““Yasuke” is a purportedly a show about history’s first Black samurai. When the Netflix adult animated series sticks to that idea, it’s pretty good.
“Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for the six-episode series to lose sight of its compelling protagonist in favor of increasingly outlandish fantasy elements.
“The series, which hails from animation veteran LeSean Thomas (whose credits range from “The Legend of Korra” and “Black Dynamite” to “The Boondocks”) is very loosely based on Yasuke, who served Oda Nobunaga, the “Great Unifier” of Japan, as a samurai in the 16th century.
““Yasuke” begins near the end of the real samurai’s recorded history: Records state that Yasuke was captured shortly after the defeat of Nobunaga’s forces and his ultimate fate is unclear; in the Netflix show, Yasuke (voiced by LaKeith Stanfield) eventually escapes and spends the later part of his life as a peaceful boatman haunted by dreams of his past.”
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