Anime, anime, anime! It seems Netflix has made good on its mission to bulk up its’ anime library with a slew of new anime this year, like Eden and Gundam Hathaway. And while returning shows like Beastars and The Seven Deadly Sins have still managed to keep the lion’s share of attention, newcomers like Dota: Dragon’s Blood and Yasuke have also begun to build a buzz for themselves with Netflix subscribers; leaving fans to wonder if they’ll be treated to more seasons.
Luckily, Dota: Dragon’s Blood — which scored an impressive 8/10 on IMDb — got quickly renewed for a second season on April 19th, only weeks after its March 25th premiere on Netflix. But unfortunately, for fans of Yasuke, the LeSean Thomas depiction of Japan’s first African American samurai has not encountered the same type of luck.
What Is Yasuke About?
Netflix’s Yasuke, loosely based on the historical figure of the same name, follows the tale of a lone African who went from being in the service of Jesuit missionaries to being the first African American samurai in the service of the famous Japanese lord Oda Nobunaga. The series —set in a reimagined version of 16th century feudal Japan where magic, robots, and other forms of advanced technology are somehow integral to the culture now — picks up the story twenty years later, as Yasuke tries to put his samurai past behind him by retiring to a remote village and becoming a boatsman under the alias, “Yassan.”
One night, he meets a singer named Ichika at a local bar and is offered a job transporting Ichika and her sick daughter Saki to see a special doctor. But before they can reach their destination, they are attacked by mercenaries, and Yasuke is left with the task of protecting Saki on his own. However, Saki is not entirely helpless as she exhibits mysterious magical powers that are both feared and sought after by the dark forces of the demon warlord Yami no Daimyo. Together, the two continue the journey to meet with the special doctor meant to help Saki with her powers and deal with ghosts from Yasuke’s past as they find themselves deeper amid a revolutionary struggle against Yami no Daimyo’s forces.
Will There Be A Season 2?
In an April 27th interview with Comicbook.com, Yasuke creator LeSean Thomas expressed his thoughts on a possible second season:
“I can’t say too much, but the response has been great, and it would be great to become more than what it is. I’m just really excited for the fans digging into this, and then we’ll see. It would be great to have a big splash and then keep things going.”
And when the series premiered on April 29th, the [email protected] profile on Twitter tweeted fans a confident foretelling of the future:
But since that time, nothing else has been heard from the show’s Twitter profile, and the tweet has since been deleted.
Although the series did manage to score an astounding 93% with critics on Rotten Tomatoes and resonate with many viewers, its audience score of 53% and its 6/10 rating on IMDb tells a different story. Based on the audience reviews, not everyone was thrilled to see the approach that creator LeSean Thomas took with the historical figure, despite Get Out star Lakeith Stansfield’s cast in the titular role.
Its bad reviews may be the reason Netflix has yet to announce any plans for a Yasuke second season. The streaming platform has been known to cancel fan-favorite shows based on low numbers and bad reviews before. Let’s not forget what happened to Mark Millar’s Jupiter’s Legacy — It got axed only a month after its premiere due to low subscriber streaming and a 73% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Ironically enough, it also got a 6/10 on IMDb. And if that is any indication of what’s to come, Yasuke could be the next in line of canceled Netflix shows this year. Still, there’s always the possibility that Netflix could just be playing possum to see if more fans will react in the show’s absence while they sit back and weigh their options.
As of yet, there haven’t been any new developments or announcements in the production of Yasuke Season 2. And with five months left in this year, it seems unlikely that the show will return in the early part of 2022. But, of course, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the Yasuke is automatically on the chopping block. It just means that fans will have to wait a little longer for Netflix to decide its fate.