Netflix Is Turning Usagi Yojimbo Into an Animated Series

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Usagi is coming to Netflix...but not in the way you might have expected.

Usagi is coming to Netflix…but not in the way you might have expected.Image: Stan Sakai

Stan Sakai’s legendary rabbit ronin is finally getting an animated series of his own after decades and decades of comic book adventures across Edo Japan. But the new series seems like it’ll contain a few interesting twists.

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Deadline reports that Sakai will produce the CG animated series with Gaumont, Dark Horse Entertainment, and James Wan’s Atomic Monster (Wan will be one of several executive producers alongside Sakai) for Netflix. Titled Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, the show will not actually follow the titular Miyamoto Usagi, the protagonist Sakai first created back in 1984. Instead, Samurai Rabbit will follow one of Usagi’s descendants, a teenage rabbit named Yuichi who strives to become a samurai like his legendary ancestor.

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Yuichi won’t be alone in his quest, however—he’ll lead his own squad of heroes, including, according to Deadline, “a roguish bounty hunter, a cunning ninja, an acrobatic pickpocket, and a faithful pet lizard” in his fight against other anthropomorphic animal warriors (and, apparently, intra-dimensional monsters!?) to master the way of the samurai.

It’s perhaps not the premise Usagi Yojimbo fans might have expected upon hearing that the series was getting an animated adaptation—although it’s not out of the realm of possibility, considering Sakai did the future-set Space Usagi spinoff miniseries in the ‘90s, which itself almost became a cartoon series. But given Sakai’s direct involvement, we’re cautiously optimistic that even if we aren’t getting a traditional Usagi Yojimbo comic, we’ll be getting something interesting nonetheless.

We’ll bring you more on Netflix’s plans for Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles as we learn them.

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