The world of the iconic “Usagi Yojimbo” comic books is coming to television for the first time.
Netflix is teaming with Gaumont on a CGI animated series titled “Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles,” which is based on the 35-year-old comic book series by Stan Sakai.
Rather than centering around the comic books’ protagonist Miyamoto Usagi, the series will take place in the far future and follow the teenage Rabbit Samurai Yuichi, descendent of the aforementioned great warrior, on his epic quest to become a true samurai. Yuichi will lead 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.
Sakai will serve as an executive producer on the show, along with Gaumont’s Nicolas Atlan, Terry Kalagian, Sidonie Dumas and Christophe Riandee, Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg and Chris Tongue, and Atomic Monster’s James Wan, Michael Clear and Rob Hackett. Candie and Doug Langdale are attached as executive producers and showrunners. Ben Jones will be the supervising producer, while Khang Le will serve as art director on the series.
“It is a pleasure working with Gaumont and Netflix. I am involved in each step of the production and am enthusiastic with the direction we are going into,” said Sakai in a statement. “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.”
Mumbai-based 88 Pictures has been chosen as the CGI animation studio for the series.
“All of us at Gaumont were honored when Stan trusted us to develop his iconic property into an animated series,” added Nicolas Atlan, president of Gaumont in the United States. “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.”