As reported by Polygon, Usagi Yojimbo starred Miyamoto Usagi, an anthropomorphic rabbit who was inspired by the real life legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may be familiar with Miyamoto Usagi as he has crossed over into the turtle’s universe multiple times.
Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, on the other hand, stars the teenage Rabbit Samurai Yuichi Usagi, a descendent of the great warrior Miyamoto Usagi, and takes place in a far future in a world that mixes modern high-tech images with classic Japanese references.
“[Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles] follows the teenage Rabbit Samurai Yuichi, descendent of the great warrior Miyamoto Usagi, on his epic quest to become a true samurai,” The official description reads. “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!”
Many of the characters Yuichi befriends during the show are also descendants of classic heroes from Usagi Yojimbo, including the brash rhino bounty hunter Gen, fun loving fox thief Kitsune, and serious cat ninja Chizo.
Aquaman and Furious 7’s James Wan is serving as executive producer for the show, and he was an avid fan of the comic growing up.
Sakai himself has been very protective of this comic, which he considers his life’s work, and the crossovers with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were more of a “testament to Sakai’s personal friendship with the Turtles’ creators, Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.”
Sakai was involved with every step of the show, and above all he wanted something that was action packed, well crafted, and respectful to Japanese culture.
Samurai Rabbit’s showrunners Doug and Candie Langdale want to craft a show that appealed to those kids who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s watching shows like TMNT. The show will also honor its comic history, as flashbacks will be rendered in traditional 2D animation while the main show will be in 3D.
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