Comic book legend Stan Sakai announced that his iconic Samurai rabbit title Usagi Yojimbo will be its first-ever solo CGI animated adaption from the Netflix streaming service.
“I’m excited to announce the first-ever Usagi Yojimbo TV series,” he wrote on Twitter. “Thank you for all your years of patience and support.”
“It is a pleasure working with Gaumont and Netflix. I am involved in each step of the production and am enthusiastic with the direction we are going into,” he added in a statement. “It is wonderful to expand the Usagi universe by collaborating with so many talented people. I am working with an awesome team and I’m looking forward to finally seeing an Usagi series on the screen! I thank my wonderful fans, friends and family for their support and encouragement over the last 35+ years.”
According to Variety, Gaumont Animation is partnering with 88 Pictures, Dark Horse Entertainment, and Netflix for Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, which will follow a descendent of the title character rabbit ronin Miyamoto Usagi named Yuichi. The young warrior is training to become a Samurai to honor his ancestor while leading a “ragtag team of misfit heroes” to battle villains. Aquaman director James Wan will serve as executive producer.
For those unfamiliar, Usagi Yojimbo is based on many tales of the Samurai through an anthropomorphic world similar to Zootopia, though based in feudal Japan instead of modern times. The Samurai rabbit first appeared in a series of appearances via anthologies in 1984. He would get his own title first for Fantagraphics Books, followed by Mirage Comics, and later Dark Horse which saw his arguably most popular run. As far as other appearances, he had some amazing crossovers with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
At first glance, this series does look pretty cool. I will admit, I am slightly disappointed that it is not a direct adaption of Usagi Yojimbo. His tales of heroism had few rivals and I loved his adventures. That being said, with creator Stan Sakai and James Wan’s production company Atomic Monster Productions involved, I think it will be incredibly well done.
Sakai is a master storyteller and I have no doubt he will bring us a fantastic series.
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