Neo Yokio is New Yuck!

Netflix has released the trailer for its original hipster/anime parody animated series Neo Yokio. The six-episode mini-series is created & written by rock band Vampire Weekend vocalist Ezra Koenig. Storyboard artists for the series include Kazuhiro Furuhashi (Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Hunter x Hunter, Rurouni Kenshin) and Junji Nishimura (Ranma 1/2, Urusei Yatsura, Pro Golfer Saru). The animation, judging by its limited detail and frame rate, is provided by South Korean studio MOI. The series will premiere on September 22.

Honestly, I’m not opposed to the idea of “American anime,” but just sitting through this two-minute trailer was tough for me. I understand that this is satire, but I don’t quite comprehend exactly what it’s satirizing. Judging by the trailer, this show has no understanding of the tropes of Japanese supernatural adventure/comedy anime. It may be trying to parody typical American young adult fiction, but I don’t see a lot of clear parallel there, either. It feels as if it’s trying to be an animated Wes Anderson production, yet it has none of the wit or offbeat charm that makes Wes Anderson’s films so acclaimed. The trailer just comes across to me like a strained, artless pet project featuring poor animation quality struggling for legitimacy by casting recognized celebrities.

For examples of poor animation and limited frame rate, look at the stiff dancer’s movements at :16, the one-frame lean-in at :20, the poor detail and stilted movement in the magic action scene at 1:07-1:09, and especially the two-frame arm extension at 1:55.

Add a Comment