Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig’s latest venture is a Netflix series.  And it will be available very soon.  Neo Yokio is made up of quite the star studded cast and includes Jaden Smith, Desus Nice and The Kid Metro.  Among many other notable names.  This is also something that you might not expect, but Neo Yokio is anime.  An homage to the Shonen genre, the anime offers a serious dose of postmodern style.  It follows the exploits of bored teen bachelor Kaz Kaan, a citizen of the fictional city of Neo Yokio.  Which, looks a lot like futuristic Manhattan.

There’s mechs, brash sidekicks, couture fashion, bratty rich kids and a hint of black magic.  If you ever dreamed of Wes Anderson directing anime, this is probably as close as you’ll get to that coming true.  Once the occult forces attack, Kaan (voiced by Jaden Smith) hesitantly transitions into the role of demon slayer. Susan Sarandon also pops up as his mother.  The Oscar-winning actress just happens to be one of the players in the show’s insane ensemble. Others include Stephen Fry, Richard Ayoade, Jaden’s little sister Willow Smith, and Steve Buscemi. And, that’s just to name a few.

In Neo Yokio, Jaden Smith plays Kaz Kaan.  A character described as “the #1 most eligible bachelor and demon slayer”.  This leads you to wonder how much of a satire this is supposed to be.  Especially with such a star studded cast.  Will people find this more humorous, than serious.  Or will people end up rolling their eyes at it?


Check out the press release for the film.  And note just how many stars are in the show.

From creator, writer and executive producer Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), writer/executive producer Nick Weidenfeld and his Friends Night banner, Neo Yokio is a new animated series starring the voice talents of Jaden Smith, Susan Sarandon, Jude Law, Tavi Gevinson, Jason Schwartzman, and Desus & Mero, along with Richard Ayoade, Ike Barinholtz, Steve Buscemi, Alexa Chung, Stephen Fry, Katy Mixon, Annet Mahendru, Kiernan Shipka, Willow Smith and Amanda Stenberg. A collaboration with Japanese anime studios Production IG and Studio Deen, along with MOI, the Seoul-based animation studio, the series is a postmodern collage of homages to classic anime, English literature and modern New York fashion and culture. Storyboard artists for the series include Kazuhiro Furuhashi (Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Hunter x Hunter, Rurouni Kenshin) and Junji Nishimura (Ranma 1/2, Urusei Yatsura, Pro Golfer Saru).

Neo Yokio starts streaming on Netflix on September 22.  The question is will you be watching?  Anime isn’t typically my favourite genre, but after seeing who is in the show, I might just have a peak for no other reason than that.   It also looks kind of cute, and entertaining.  Which is something that I need to have in my life from time to time.  I can’t watch serious dramas all the time.  So having a collection of fun and light TV shows to watch when I need to is great.  Which is what makes this even more enticing.  Will you be checking this out on September 22?

By Staff Writer

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