A 'Samurai Rabbit' Celebration with Stan Sakai and Friends
We chat with the 'Usagi Yojimbo' cartoonist about the new Netflix series and why this adaptation succeeds where others failed.
On the show this week, we welcome Stan Sakai and the creative force behind the new Netflix series Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles. Yeah, we can hardly believe it, either. After decades of anticipation, Miyamoto Usagi, the classic comic book character, finally has his own show. Kinda. But don't let that "kinda" worry you. It's all good.
Adaptation is a scary concept when you love something as much as we love Usagi Yojimbo. Stan Sakai's comic is legendary. Few have ever dabbled in his world. The idea that showrunners Candie Langdale and Doug Langdale were able to play with his rabbit ronin makes us jittery. However, having watched the ten Samurai Rabbit episodes currently available, we can breathe a massive relief. This cartoon is good. Real good.
And a big reason behind why the show works so well is how it circumvents fannish nitpicks by jumping into Miyamoto Usagi's future, following his brash, teenage descendant Yuichi Usagi instead. Samurai Rabbit skews a little younger than the comics, but it's not totally absent of corpses or stakes. Also, the series cleverly challenges Miyamoto's legacy through Yuichi's idolization.
In this episode, we first chat with Stan Sakai and art director Khang Le about the thematic and artistic twists this series pulls from the Usagi Yojimbo comic book. We then chat with Candie Langdale and Doug Landale about their anxiety in adapting such a precious franchise. And, um, we might get some hints about how Samurai Rabbit encourages Stan Sakai's desire to see other creators play with his toys.
Relevant Links to this Week's Episode:
Lisa's Comics Bookcase interview with Jadzia Axelrod & Jess Taylor
Be sure to stay updated on all things Stan Sakai by visiting his Twitter HERE, his Instagram HERE, and his Website HERE. You can follow Candie Langdale and Doug Langdale on their Twitter HERE, their Instagram HERE, and their Website HERE. You can follow Khang Le on his Instagram HERE and his Website HERE. Oh! And don't forget to watch Samurai Rabbit, produced by Gaumont Animation, now streaming on Netflix.
And, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.
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