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Netflix's Yasuke is a Bloody History Trip

In 1579, a Black slave arrived in Japan with an Italian Jesuit missionary. Awestruck by his black skin, daimyō Oda Nobunaga, a Japanese feudal lord, acquired him as a servant under the belief ink covered his body. The two formed a quick bond, and Nobunaga bestowed the name “Yasuke” to him. Yasuke rose from servant to nobleman to samurai. Through a series of gruesome campaigns, which witnessed untold slaughter, Nobunaga worked to unite Japan. The 6’ 2” Yasuke accompanied Nobunaga on his travels, but following the feudal lord’s suicide, a death precipitated by a coup, Yasuke disappeared from the history books.

Yasuke’s legend has of course been featured on screen before: The anime “Afro Samurai” pays tribute to him and before he passed,Chadwick Bosemanwas slated to play him in a live-action film. But director LeSean Thomas (“The Boondocks” and “Black Dynamite”) uses the legend as a different entry point into his six-episode Netflix animated series ”Yasuke.” A fever-dream of historical-fiction, the brutal show combines powerful mysticism, demonic mutants, exploding robots and familiar but sharp swordplay for a trippy story of regret and tradition.

在托马斯的轻快适应中,一个破碎的yasuke(Lakeith Stanfield的浊音)叫一个安静的小溪流村里他的家。令人挑置的胡子和恐惧,一连串瓶子的缘故颜色是他的性格。他遵循刚刚骄傲战士的熟悉的拖把变成了醉酒的孤独者。20年前,他通过自杀,帮助他的高努加,痛苦从未离开过他。虽然nobunaga(Takehiro Hira.)尊重的Yasuke,他的老致的将军没有。伪装成仪式的种族主义主导着他们对他的看法。远离法院,几十年后的这个小村庄,Yasuke感觉比以前更大。

His quiet corner is disturbed when a local singer, Ichika (Gwendoline Yeo), asks the now boatsman to shepherd her sick daughter, Saki (Maya Tanida), upstream to a doctor. Unbeknownst to Yasuke, the girl possesses immense psychic powers, making her the target of a fantastical evil witch.

Akin to飞莲花“寒冷的蒸汽从事,”Yasuke“的故事情感上的漩涡和三个以不同的间隔。对于每一步,我们的英雄从他的Hideaway村庄带走,一个像莲子项链这样的物体触发了他在Nobunaga下的日子困扰着他的内存。这就是他在封建主法院遇到了一个同伴局外人,这位同样熟练的女性战斗机Natsumaru(Ming-Na Wen). And that’s where their presence, a change from the older homogenous samurai tradition, caused the establishment to recoil. It’s a nice subversion. Often when Japan’s way of life is depicted as threatened, whether in film or television, it’s due to outside forces trying to westernize the country. But this is an African and Asian woman who are desperately trying to drag this feudal land into the future. And no matter how often they prove their worth, they’re perpetually othered.

当“Yasuke”向后朝着主角的遗憾向后看,它正在注入弯曲的元素 - 科幻,黑人,西方和幻想 - 类似地反对传统。托马斯填充了一个顽强的塑造熊,一个古怪的未来派机械,非洲巫医和其他神秘的果实。奇怪的耶稣会牧师,奇怪的牧师,作为天主教的颂歌,目的是在16世纪转换日本人。锡卡旅行到一个充满活力的绊倒的星形飞机。和黑暗的致幻魔法普遍存在。

Thomas’ show can often create whiplash through these sharp tonal and visual shifts: at points we see classic samurai duels and technologically advanced cannon blasts in the same frame. The story also makes little sense and feels convoluted. And there are too many minor monsters hunting Yasuke and company for any of them to make a discernible impact. But, oh, the bloody swordplay is consistently enthralling. Pinkish purple vistas of Japan’s landscape, animated to startling clarity, serve as the backdrop to Yasuke’s gushing slaughters. With eye-popping fluidly, he cuts down his opponents in the breadth of a single slash, causing their insides to explode across the screen.


To the tune of six brisk half-hour length episodes, Thomas’ “Yasuke” hits the spot for any anime lover while offering new subversions to the samurai genre. It raises questions regarding racism and sexism. And it never shies away from real ruthlessness. While the story features a few too many dots that need connecting, “Yasuke” connects in every other way for maximum bloody impact.

All six episodes screened for review. "Yasuke" premieres on Netflix on April 29.


Robert Daniels是一部位于芝加哥的自由电影评论家,英语是MA。他是812Filmreviews的创始人,他为球员列表,声音的后果和MediaVersity写了。

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