At Comic-Con At Home 2021, Netflix and Gaumont Animation have given us our first look at Samurai Rabbit The Usagi Chronicles, which is the official name for the new animated series based on Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo comics. It was originally announced back in 2020.
The comic book series is set primarily at the beginning of the Edo period of Japanese history and features anthropomorphic animals replacing humans. The main character is a rabbit rōnin, Miyamoto Usagi, whom Sakai based partially on the famous swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. He wanders the land on a musha shugyō (warrior’s pilgrimage), occasionally selling his services as a bodyguard.
Netflix’s Samurai Rabbit The Usagi Chronicles will be a follow-up of sorts to the Usagi Yojimbo comics. It will feature the teenage Rabbit Samurai Yuichi Usagi, a descendent of the great warrior Miyamoto Usagi, in a futuristic 26th-century Japan. In his quest to free Neo Edo from the dangerous Yoki, he will be joined by his trusted Tokage named Spot, the brash rhino bounty hunter Gen, the fun-loving fox thief Kitsune, and the serious cat ninja Chizo.
Fans will appreciate that all of the others characters are also descendants of the classic heroes of Usagi Yojimbo.
The official synopsis reads:
“[Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles] follows the teenage Rabbit Samurai Yuichi, descendent of the great warrior Miyamoto Usagi, on his epic quest to become a true samurai.
But he isn’t alone!
He leads a ragtag team of misfit heroes – including a roguish bounty hunter, a cunning ninja, an acrobatic pickpocket and a faithful pet lizard – as he battles depth-charging moles, metal-tipped winged bats, and monsters from another dimension, all in the pursuit to become the best samurai Usagi!”
James Wan is serving as executive producer for the animated series, and Sakai himself is involved with the development of the show, providing input and approval for everything in the finished product from design to voice actors.
According to showrunners Doug and Candie Langdale, Samurai Rabbit The Usagi Chronicles will be a character-driven story similar to that of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in the ’80s and ’90s, as well as inspired by the Hong Kong action comedies of Jackie Chan and Stephen Chow.
For those not fond of the series’ 3D CGI visuals, the showrunners have confirmed that flashbacks will be animated in traditional 2D. There is no release date yet for the upcoming animated series.