Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles review: Mature storyline refined by stellar voice-acting

Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles is a comic-based series that follows the introductory life of Yuichi, the ancestor of Miyamoto Usagi. The series is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Yuichi is a rabbit who dreams of being the best samurai, just like his ancestor, Miyamoto Usagi. He moves to the City of Neo Edo, where once his ancestor lived their samurai life.

In the glamorous life of Neo Edo, Yuichi is in a constant search to show his Samurai skills. However, due to his looks, he is constantly mistaken for his ancestor Miyamoto Usagi, who has a not-so-good history.

Unfortunately, Yuichi frees a dangerous Yokai trapped in the Ki-stone, which leads to several unexpected events in the city.

Through an adventurous journey of fun, learning, and courage, Yuichi and his friends fight the Yokai and save the city of Neo Edo.

Performance

Well, Darren Barnet does a commendable job in proving that he is not only a good actor but also a great voice actor. He has successfully brought life into the character of Yuichi, justifying the character’s immature as well as a growing sense of instincts.

The interesting part is that Yuichi’s pet Spot is also voiced by Darren. 

And while mentioning double-voiced artists, Mela Lee performs incredibly in voicing two contrary tones in the characters of Lady Fuwa and her student Hana. 

But if there were a term for representing screen presence through voice, Mallory Low would win praises for voicing the calm, clever, and full of secrets Chizu. 

Although Yuichi is a created character for this particular show, one must feel comforted by the presence of Miyamoto Usagi in 2D flashbacks, which is voiced by Yuki Matsuzaki.

Positives

As a futuristic take on the Eisner Award-winning comic Usagi Yojimbo, Samurai Rabbit is an engaging and enjoyable watch for kids. 

Although it is not directly adapted from Stan Sakai’s comic, it has excellently created a new character, Yuichi, who will be new hope for future generations.

The beautifully portrayed hero’s journey is filled with excitement, adventures, and morals that are necessary for any children’s show.

The characters are beautifully developed. One of the praiseworthy aspects of Samurai Rabbit and its characters is that apart from a common motive of saving the city, every character has their conflicts to deal with.

Although there are several subplots, the series is intellectually crucial in portraying various emotions such as guilt, bravery, friendship, love, and respect. Something that makes it perfect for a kid’s present as well as future instincts.

The show also does an excellent job of keeping up the suspense till last. Also, it does not fail to surprise the viewers with its sudden plot twists.

Negatives

The show is very directly referring to the past and its concepts. Such as the concept of Yokai, which remains a mystery till the end.

Are the Yokai good or bad? A question that will always derive a baffling answer. Because the series did not comment on the exact nature of Yokai and why they were trapped in the Ki-stone.

Also, an over-the-top approach to heroism is somewhat harmful even for the little viewers. Even though Yuichi did not learn the entirety of being a samurai, he brilliantly succeeded in overcoming the battles.

The feeling of bravery generated from half-hearted effort might create a general perception of life for the watchers, who are commonly the kids.

Verdict

If you are a Japanese anime fan, you must already know about Usagi Yojimbo and should rush to watch this show. But it’s never late to start learning about an award-winning comic chronicle, and Samurai rabbit is one of the best encyclopedic watches for the kids.

Rating: 4/5


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