Anime About The Black Samurai Yasuke Is Announced By Netflix

Netflix officially announced an adaptation of Yasuke's story on March 9th, bring the story of the Black Samurai to Netflix. The announcement received both compliments and complaints.
By Caleb Hurley

Netflix announced a new series on March 9th about Yasuke, a black samurai. Yasuke’s tale is about a former slave turned samurai who served under daimyo Oda Nobunaga, who was responsible for conquering most of Japan. The tale begins with Jesuit missionaries traveling to Japan, with Yasuke under their service. When the missionaries met with Nobunaga, they presented Yasuke to him. Nobunaga was fascinated by the man, believing the darkness of his skin was ink. The daimyo ordered that Yasuke be scrubbed until all the ink was scrubbed from the slave’s body. Nobunaga’s fascination grew as he realized Yasuke’s skin was just dark in general.

Nobunaga would later go on to make Yasuke one of his retainers, naming him a “weapon bearer.” This made Yasuke the first foreign-born samurai. Yasuke would go on to fight in major battles for Nobunaga, even serving his heir, Oda Nobutada, after Nobunaga’s death. Yasuke was eventually captured by enemy forces who apparently tried to give him back to the Jesuits.

The black samurai has been featured in a few statues and ancient artworks around Japan. It also is said that the samurai was directly responsible for inspiring stories such as Afro Samurai and others. While it may be 500 years later, the legacy of this figure is still inspiring people to date.

“Witness the legend like it’s never been told before. LeSean Thomas joins with anime hit-makers MAPPA for Yasuke, a new series following the legendary African samurai premiering on Netflix April 29th.” Netflix tweeted.

“This show’s going to sound as good as it looks with LaKeith Stanfield voicing Yasuke and soundtrack by the great @flyinglotus.” Netflix also tweeted.

“Proud to share these first images. 3 years in the making and we are finally here… Honor has a new name. April 29th only on Netflix.” The Flying Lotus tweeted about Netflix’s announcement.

The show has received a mostly positive reception from different social media groups with many happy the interesting story is being told and happy about the representation.

“Excited for people to get a bit familiar with Yasuke. His story alone is wild, such a great warrior that went through so much before and after coming to Japan. Yasuke was trusted by Oda Nobunaga even being his bodyguard and fought alongside another. Nobunaga was proud of Yasuke.” Another person tweeted.

“Real world history and anime coming together to create a show?! This looks so fucking sick! So many cool people from history I wish I could see come back to life as an anime. I hope more moments from history are animated. Keep it up Netflix.” Another person tweeted.

“YESSSS, my love for history-based anime is huge and I’m glad Yasuke, one of my favorite samurai is the main focus of a new anime. Lot’s of love.” Another person tweeted.

However, a few people had some reservations about the show, with some believing that it would be another boring, trope filled samurai anime, others not trusting Netflix to tell the story accurately and some who want LeSean Thomas to support those who backed another project named Cannon Busters.


“LeSean should look after the fans who backed the Cannon Busters Kickstarter and start sending out rewards or communicating with people 3 years it took for a update that has no new news, just “coming in the next few days”, the exact thing he said in 2018 (Source: updates 26 + 27).” One person tweeted.

The last topic seems to be the most controversial. On Lesean’s Kickstarter for his other project, Canon Busters, complaints have come in red hot from people who have waited for years to receive the rewards they were promised. Much of that pressure has moved on towards this new production.

“Ive been replying to any tweet associated with LeSean and Cannonbusters whenever I can. Everyone should be doing the same! Put the pressure on!!” One person on the Kickstarter commented.

It remains to be seen whether this controversy and other issues will be addressed by LeSean or will negatively affect the show.