Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles is an animated series based on the historical action fantasy comic Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai. However, unlike the comic which is set in the past with Miyamoto Usagi as the lead protagonist, the Netflix series takes place in the future and follows the story of Yuichi Usagi, who is the descendant of Miyamoto Usagi.
The series is created by Doug and Candie Langdale and the characters are voiced by Darren Barnet (from Never Have I Ever fame) as Yuichi Usagi and Spot, Aleks Le as Gen, Shelby Rabara as Kitsune and Mallory Low as Chizu. The series has 10 episodes in total and has a runtime of about 22-26 minutes respectively.
Netflix describes the series as:
“A teenage rabbit eager to become a true samurai teams up with his new warrior friends to protect their city from Yokai monsters, ninjas and evil aliens.”
-Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles Review Does Not Contain Any Spoilers-
Plot & Characters of Samurai Rabbit Series
The series follows the story of a teenage rabbit named Yuichi Usagi, who is the descendant of Miyamoto Usagi, a legendary samurai who fought against the Yokai monsters. Yuichi aspires to become a samurai-like him and decides to leave his auntie and family farm to head to the city of Neo Edo where he will fight the monsters & become great samurai like his ancestor.
But when he reaches the city, he realises that it is nothing like he imagined. The yokai monsters have long been extinct that people think of them as folklore and the ancestor that he thought was legendary is considered a traitor in Neo Edo. Through various unfortunate encounters and fights, Usagi meets up with Gen the rhino who is a bounty hunter in search of the most dangerous criminals in the city.
He also meets Kitsune, a pickpocket sly fox and Chizu an undercover ninja cat working as a spy for the leader of the Neko Ninja Crew. Also, a special mention of Spot, Usagi’s pet dinosaur and loyal companion who doesn’t speak but his presence is cute enough.
The special thing about Neo Edo is that it runs on the energy emitted by the Ki-stone, a crystal located in Tetsujin’s temple. However, somehow Usagi mistakenly unleashes the Kagehito and numerous yokai monsters trapped in the stone, which starts to wreak havoc in the city. To protect the city and fulfil his destiny he teams up with the odd bunch of friends to fight the yokai monsters.
Inspiring Series With A Message
If we talk about the protagonist Yuichi, then he is not the chosen one with great powers or anything. He just happens to be the future generation of his famous ancestor and dreams to become the greatest of all time as well. At the same time, no matter how big his dreams are, he lacks discipline and skills. Throughout the series, his character grows through the various setbacks and struggles that come hurling his way.
But he is never alone, the group of animals he becomes friends with are always by his side and shows a perfect example of teamwork. The unbreakable teamwork and friendship help every character to withstand any problems in their lives and work together for a good purpose at large. Although there is a lot of sword fighting and violence, the series emphasises resorting to fighting as the last option.
It tests and teaches Usagi when to fight and that what’s truly important is to know when not to fight. Initially, he declares war against all the yokai monsters but gradually he realises that one should not judge or make assumptions based on appearance and hearsay. The series gives the message of understanding, discipline, growth and friendship to its younger audience.
Final Thoughts: Perfect For Young Audience
Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles on Netflix is an engaging and interesting animated series which can be enjoyed by young children as well the adults, who might be aware of the original comic character, who even appeared in the Ninja Turtles series numerous times. Unlike the comic, the series brings a new take on the classic and modernise it for the contemporary times.
It can be seen as a mix-match of Kung Fu Panda and the Madagascar franchise in terms of style, dialogue and humour. All characters show potential and growth in the series which displays a good example for the kids to learn from their mistakes and grow. Everyone has flaws but what matters is how they deal with them and step ahead of them.
Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles is streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.