Netflix has officially given a series order to a brand new CG animated series titled Samura Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles which will be based on Stan Sakai’s popular and long-running Usagi Yojimbo comic books. The comedy-action series will be taking viewers to a world that mixes high-tech images with classic Japanese references. In addition, James Wan has also boarded the project as an executive producer through his Atomic Monster banner.
“It is a pleasure working with Gaumont and Netflix,” Sakai said in a statement (via The Wrap). “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.”
Samura Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles will tell the story of teenage Rabbit Samurai Yuichi, descendant 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!
Recommended Reading: Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition
First published 1984, Usaji Yojimbo is centered around a rabbit ronin named Miyamoto Usagi, a character that draws inspiration from the life of legendary Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. The series has gone through three publishing companies since its released and has also received a number of awards including six Eisner Awards from over 20 nominations. For his work in the comics, Sakai also earned a Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist in 2016.
Samura Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles will be executive produced by Stan Sakai, who is the creator, writer, and illustrator of the comic book series. Candie and Doug Langdale have also signed on the project as showrunners and executive producers. It is a co-production by Gaumont, Dark Horse Entertainment, and Atomic Monster with will also be executive produced by Nicolas Atlan, Terry Kalagian, Sidonie Dumas, Christophe Riandee, Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg, Chris Tongue Michael Clear, and Rob Hackett.
“All of us at Gaumont were honored when Stan trusted us to develop his iconic property into an animated series,” President of Gaumont U.S. Nicolas Atlan said in a statement. “This is a first for ‘Usagi Yojimbo.’ We are thrilled to have Netflix on board as our creative partner so we can together, with the combined artistic talent of Stan Sakai, Dark Horse Entertainment and Atomic Monster take this iconic brand to the next level.”
The series has also enlisted 88 Pictures ( Fast & Furious Spy Racers ) as its CGI animation studio. Khang Le has also been set as the art director while Ben Jones will be a supervising producer.