Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo is headed to Netflix. Per Deadline, the streaming service is partnering with Gaumont to develop a comedy-action CGI-animated series based around the world of the decades-old comic, titled Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles. Sakai will serve as executive producer on the show, alongside Aquaman director James Wan’s company Atomic Monster. This will be the first television series to adapt the 35-year old franchise about the Rabbit Ronan.
However, instead of focusing on Miyamoto Usagi, the Edo period-dwelling protagonist of the comic series, The Usagi Chronicles will follow his teenage descendent Rabbit Samurai Yuichi as he navigates a far future world that combines classic Japanese aesthetic with high-tech imagery. On his quest to become a great samurai warrior in his own right, Yuichi will be joined by a team of misfits — including such sci-fi staples as a bounty hunter, a thief, a ninja, and a pet lizard — while taking on monsters from an alternate dimension.
Long-time fans need not worry, however, as Sakai notes in an official statement that he’s heavily involved in the series’ creative development:
“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. 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.”
Mumbai-based 88 Pictures, who have worked on Netflix’s Trollhunters and Fast & Furious Spy Racers series, will serve as the animation studio for the show. So far, an expected release date has not been confirmed.
What are your thoughts on an animated Usagi Yojimbo series? Let us know down below if it’s been a long time coming, or if Miyamoto Usagi and co. should be left on the page.
Did You Know:
An animated series based on Space Usagi, the sci-fi spinoff comic of Usagi Yojimbo, was planned for development in the early 1990s, but was canceled after the failure of a similar show titled Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars.