If you watch one anime this year, make it Jaden Smith's Netflix Show Neo Yokio. The series, which was created by Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig, stars Smith as a wealthy teen who can expel possessed spirits, as well as distinguish the difference between the color black and the darkest shade of midnight blue. If THAT statement doesn't convince a lot of wary audiences, perhaps these next few highlights of the series will:
The Jaden Smith-isms Are Top Notch
Those who watch Neo Yokio expecting Jaden Smith to say some off the wall shit will not be disappointed. Jaden's weird lines in this show might just be because he's playing a character trapped in a fashion-obsessed supernatural blending of Tokyo and New York City, or it could just be because he's a weird kid. Regardless of which is true, Smith's Kaz Kaan goes from episode to episode discussing his existential dread or the importance of fashion all whilst slaying demons or attending a fancy party in the Hamptons.To be quite honest, he still sounds just as goofy as he is in real life, but at least his character is living in a world that somewhat justifies his pseudo-intellectual teenage philosophies.
The Voice Acting Cast Is Phenomenal
For what Neo Yokio may lack in big-name anime voice actors from the industry, they more than make up for it with Hollywood star power. Susan Sarandon voices Kaz Kaan's aunt Agatha, Jude Law his mechanized butler Charles, and Jason Schwartzman is the obnoxious but hilarious rival Arcangelo Corelli. Even on the lesser side of characters, we have the hosts of Desus & Mero playing Kaan's best friends, and Steve Buscemi in a small but worthwhile role. Suffice to say, Neo Yokio's voice acting cast is phenomenal, and it's truly a treat to hear all this talent come together for a genre few would've ever expected any of them doing.
The Focus On Style And High Society Living Is Insane
A large part of Neo Yokio's story is based on a portion of the city's obsession with style and high society living to the point of insanity. Brand names like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Giorgio Armani are name-dropped early and often, as Jaden Smith's Kaz Kaan strives to become the top bachelor of Neo Yokio. There's even a point where Smith's character interrupts an old man spraying his wife's favorite perfume on her grave to engage in a lengthy discussion about the importance of scents and the transition of women's interests in perfumes throughout the decades. It's truly bonkers, but when real life brands and art like Damien Hirst's "For The Love Of God" (pictured above) find their way into the show and fit seamlessly, it almost feels like an exposé on the way we live.
Neo _Yokio_ is currently streaming on Netflix. For more on Jaden Smith and his odd behavior, be sure to check out this bizarre Batman music video he did a while ago, or how there was once a point where people didn't associate him with the word "weird." For a look at other new shows that are returning or making their debut this fall season, visit our fall premiere guide.