Know thy anime

Esquire (UK) - - Culture -

Nat­u­rally, Vam­pire Week­end front man Ezra Koenig has filled the in­ter­al­bum lull by writ­ing a star-stud­ded Ja­panese car­toon for Net­flix

The premise of Neo Yokio, the new Net­flix anime series cre­ated, co-writ­ten and ex­ec­u­tively pro­duced by Ezra Koenig, of Vam­pire Week­end (whose new al­bum is ex­pected in 2018), is more out-there than we have space to ex­plain. But by way of tid­bits: its hero is a pur­ple-haired, lux­ury brand-ob­sessed mil­len­nial called Kaz, voiced by Jaden Smith, who hap­pens to be de­scended from a long line of “rat­catch­ers”, or ex­or­cists, and who is called upon by his Aunt Agatha (Su­san Saran­don) to cast demons out of the in­hab­i­tants of Neo Yokio, a kind-of fu­tur­is­tic New York in which the Lower East Side has low­ered into the East River.

In episode one, Kaz’s first gig is to ex­or­cise a be­spoke Chanel suit be­ing worn by a fash­ion blog­ger (Tavi Gevin­son). We also meet his ri­val Ar­changelo (Ja­son Schwartz­man), with whom he spars in neigh­bour­ing fit­ting rooms at Bergdorf Good­man. Oh, and he has a gi­ant robot but­ler voiced by Jude Law. As with ev­ery­thing Koenig does, the cre­den­tials are im­pec­ca­ble (the name of his show riffs on 1987 anime clas­sic Neo Tokyo, and his prin­ci­pal di­rec­tor is the es­teemed Kazuhiro Fu­ruhashi). It’s arch, it’s weird and it’s in­fec­tiously charm­ing.

Neo Yokio launches on 22 Septem­ber on Net­flix

Pur­ple-haired ex­punger of demons, Kaz, is Neo Yokio’s lead char­ac­ter

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