'Yasuke': Air time, how to live stream, plot and all you need to know about Netflix's anime series

'Yasuke': Air time, how to live stream, plot and all you need to know about Netflix's anime series
'Yasuke' (Netflix/ YouTube)

If you're big on history and anime, get ready for a fascinating combination of both, that's sure to have you glued to your screen. This April, make way for 'Yasuke', a historical-fantasy that is based on the life of Japan's first foreign samurai, known as Yasuke. With big-league names like LeSean Thomas and Studio Mappa at the helm, the six-part series combines history with a touch of fantasy fiction to bring you this unique story set in the Sengoku era.



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Release date

'Yasuke' premieres on April 29, 2021, on Netflix. 

Air time

According to the Netflix press site, Yasuke will air in the US at 3 am ET

How to live stream

The 6 episode series can be streamed on Netflix. Subscribe to Netflix directly, via a mobile app store (App Store, Google Play). You can also watch it by signing up for the platform’s free trial. Apart from that, viewers can also opt for different subscription plans provided by the streaming giant. A premium plan that allows more people to watch the service on different screens simultaneously, costs $18 per month. Meanwhile, the basic US plan costs $9 per month.



Set in the Sengoku period, 'Yasuke' follows the story of Yasuke, a boatsman who lives out his days peacefully. However, unbeknownst to many, he is a former samurai, who once served directly under the feudal lord Oda Nobunaga.

The story is a mix of history and fantasy, seeing that Yasuke was in fact a historic figure, however, this adaption does have fantasy elements. As per the Netflix summary, "In a war-torn feudal Japan filled with mechs and magic, the greatest ronin never-known, Yasuke, struggles to maintain a peaceful existence after a past life of violence. But when a local village becomes the center of social upheaval between warring daimyo, Yasuke must take up his sword and transport a mysterious child who is the target of dark forces and bloodthirsty warlords." 


This is the story of Yasuke, the first African samurai who actually served the legendary Oda Nobunaga.


LaKeith Stanfield

Yasuke is voiced by LaKeith Lee Stanfield, often known as Keith Stanfield. An actor and a musician, Stanfield has a long-standing career and has starred in multiple biopics such as 'Selma', 'Straight Outta Compton', 'Snowden' and 'Judas and the Black Messiah'. He was also animated for this role in 'Judas and the Black Messiah'.


LaKeith Stanfield attends the world premiere of "The Photograph" World at SVA Theater on February 11, 2020 in New York City.

He was starred in multiple critically acclaimed movies as well, such as 'Dope', 'Knives Out' and 'Get Out'. With regard to his music career, he goes by the stage name 'Htieka' and is a part of the band, Moors.


LeSean Thomas

LeSean Thomas is an American animation producer, director, animator comic book artist, writer, character designer, and storyboard artist.

LeSean Thomas (leseanthomas.com)

Over his career, he's worked on multiple hit animated shows, such as 'Black Dynamite', 'The Legend of Korra', 'The Boondocks' and 'Children of Ether'. As reported by What's on Netflix , Thomas mentioned that it feels that its serendipity, to be part of this project, seeing that he too, resides in Japan.


"Part of me deep down feels I was meant to create this adventure series with MAPPA, Flying Lotus, LaKeith & the rest of this talented team. Yasuke is a fascinating, mysterious figure in Japanese history that’s drawn a growing interest in today’s media over the decades," he explained.

"I first learned of Yasuke’s role in Japanese history over a decade or so. The children’s book, Kuro-suke by Kurusu Yoshio, featured images that piqued my curiosity. To eventually learn that he wasn’t just a fictional character, but a real person, was exciting material for an adventure story." He added.




As per the trailer shared by the official Netflix page on YouTube, the summary reads -- "Once enslaved, now a samurai. This April, honor has a new name. A peaceful boatman once known as the Black Samurai is pulled back into conflict when he takes a little girl with mysterious powers under his wing." The trailer features Yasuke, a boatsman who is living out his days peacefully. However, with flashbacks of war and politics, hope comes in the form of a prophecy, of a black warrior who is destined to save the people.


Where to watch

The six-part anime series will drop all episodes together on April 29 and will be available to stream on Netflix.

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