September 7, 2017


Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig Makes Netflix Series With Jaden Smith as a Demon Slayer

Neo Yokio: Netflix via YouTube; Smith: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Neo Yokio: Netflix via YouTube; Smith: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Multi-hyphenate Jaden Smith voices a pink-haired demon slayer named Kaz Kaan in new Netflix series Neo Yokio. Watch the anime's trailer below before it arrives on the streaming service on Sept. 22.

Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig created the animated series, which is set in "the greatest city in the world" that becomes plagued by evil spirits. Along the way to saving the day and defending his family name, Kaz joins characters voiced by a who's who of TV and movie stars such as Susan Sarandon, Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, Desus & Mero, Steve Buscemi and Jaden's sister Willow Smith to name a few. 

The series is an ode to popular Japanese anime with millennial humor. "I can see you, bitch," a demon skull dramatically shouts at Raz. "You're wearing a black tuxedo against a midnight blue sky and it's sparkling."

Netflix describes Neo Yokio as "a postmodern collage of homages to classic anime, English literature and modern New York fashion and culture." Though sprinkled with funny moments, the production is serious business, with Japanese anime studios Production IG and Studio Deen teaming up with Seoul-based MOI as well as storyboard artists Kazuhiro Furuhashi and Junji Nishimura.

Additional voice actors include Tavi Gevinson, Richard Ayoade, Ike Barinholtz, Alexa Chung, Stephen Fry, Katy Mixon, Annet Mahendru, Kiernan Shipka and Amanda Stenberg.