Netflix’s Crazy New Anime Has Jaden Smith as a Rich, Dapper Mage
In 'Neo Yokio', Jaden Smith defends his city against all manner of occult threats, including public opinions regarding his rich, playboy lifestyle.
When Jaden Smith’s pink-haired animated character Kaz Kaan shoots energy balls at a flying flaming skull, you know things will be totally crazy in Netflix’s new animated series.
We can’t quite call Neo Yokio an “anime” even if its premise sure sounds like one: Smith’s Kaz is tasked with defending a futuristic city from all manner of occult threats, using his mystical powers as a “magistocrat.” Apparently, in Neo Yokio, only the rich get to use magic, just like in real life.
According to his stern mother-like figure, Kaz Kaan has a “sacred duty” to protect the city and his family name, so even though he’d rather smooch models at basketball games and take lavish baths, he’ll have to get out there and fight some demons with his Transformer-looking robo sidekick. Kaan will seemingly have to combat his own indolence in addition to the aforementioned flaming skulls.
Netflix is truly entering a Renaissance age in its relationship with anime.
Ezra Koenig — perhaps better known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of Vampire Weekend — created the series, and he wrote and directed it with Nick Weidenfeld.
The stacked cast includes Jason Schwartzman, Susan Sarandon, Jude Law, Tavi Gevinson, and more, with Law voicing the robot and providing some of the voiceover in the new trailer from Netflix:
“Neo Yokio is the greatest city in the world. It is a diverse labyrinth of cultural and architectural innovation. Of course, whenever a city becomes the envy of the world, problems are bound to arise.”
Those problems include demonic possession, monsters, class warfare between old and new money, and influencing public opinion about his status as a magistocrat.
Neo Yokio hits Netflix on September 22, 2017.