Let’s take a moment to talk about Neo Yokio. This anime series hails from creator, writer and executive producer Ezra Koenig (the lead of “Vampire Weekend”), writer/executive producer Nick Weidenfeld and his Friends Night banner, and features the voice talents of Jaden Smith in the lead role of the lovesick Kaz Kaan. As the youngest member of a family of “magistocrats”–pink-haired demon slayers who once liberated the city–Kaz is more concerned with shopping, field hockey and mending his broken heart. The world and characters of Neo Yokio were introduced earlier today in the series’ first trailer.
A collaboration with Japanese anime studios Production IG and Studio Deen, along with MOI, the Seoul-based animation studio, the series is described as “a postmodern collage of homages to classic anime, English literature and modern New York fashion and culture,” which is another way of saying, “We threw everything at this to see what would stick.” Will that wide-net approach eventually make sense? We’ll find out in a couple of weeks, but this first look is definitely not for me. YMMV.
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 Amandla Stenberg also star. All six episodes of Neo Yokio will launch globally on Friday, September 22nd exclusively on Netflix.
Check out the first trailer for Neo Yokio below and then please explain to me what we all just experienced:
Welcome to Neo Yokio, the greatest city in the world. It’s the most populous urban agglomeration in North America, but its prestige does not merely stem from its size. Neo Yokio is a diverse labyrinth of cultural and architectural innovation at the forefront of global fashion and finance.
As for Kaz, his demon-slaying is barely more than a side-hustle coordinated by his Aunt Agatha (Susan Sarandon). Also by Kaz’s side are his faithful mecha-butler, Charles (Jude Law), and his inseparable friends Lexy and Gottlieb (The Kid Mero and Desus Nice) as he navigates the complexities of life in Neo Yokio and tries to stay one step ahead of his arch-rival, Neo Yokio’s number one most eligible bachelor, Arcangelo Corelli (Jason Schwartzman.)
Things take a mysterious turn when Kaz is drawn into the turbulent world of ex-fashion blogger Helena St. Tessero (Tavi Gevinson), setting in motion a sequence of events that force him to question everything he knows about Neo Yokio.