Netflix has ordered “Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles,” a new CGI animated kids’ series based on the award-winning “Usagi Yojimbo” comic books by Stan Sakai.
Produced by Gaumont, “Samurai Rabbit” marks the first animated TV adaptation inspired by Sakai’s comics. The show will follow a brand new character, teenage Rabbit Samurai Yuichi, a descendent of Miyamoto Usagi, the protagonist of the “Usagi Yojimbo” comic books.
Per Netflix, “The series takes place in the far future, set in a world that mixes modern high-tech images with classic Japanese references. It 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!”
“Samurai Rabbit” is executive produced by Sakai, along with Candie and Doug Langdale, who are acting as showrunners on the animated series. Additional executive producers include Nicolas Atlan, Terry Kalagian, Sidonie Dumas and Christophe Riandee for Gaumont; Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg and Chris Tongue for Dark Horse Entertainment; and James Wan, Michael Clear and Rob Hacket for Atomic Monster. Ben Jones is supervising producer and Khang Le will serve as art director.
Mumbai-based 88 Pictures (“Trollhunters,” “3Below: Tales of Arcadia,” “Fast & Furious Spy Racers”) has been appointed as the CGI animation studio.
“All of us at Gaumont were honored when Stan trusted us to develop his iconic property into an animated series,” Nicolas Atlan, president of Gaumont U.S., 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.”
“It is a pleasure working with Gaumont and Netflix,” Sakai added. “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.”