Kicks and schtick: animated ninja adventure entertains
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There’s something for everyone in Netflix’s new animated TV series Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles (rated TV-Y7). Younger kids will enjoy the animal characters and all their ninja brawling but probably won’t keep up with the sophisticated dialogue and subplots.
Parents will appreciate themes of friendship, courage, and forgiveness but might take objection to the show’s mystical backdrop and spirit beings—some mildly scary.
Usagi (voiced by Darren Barnet) dreams of becoming a samurai like his famed ancestor, Miyamoto. He goes to the big city, Neo Edo, to find a sensei who’ll train him. Usagi makes three friends, accidentally releases hundreds of ancient spirits called Yokai, and encounters villains. Lady Fuwa’s gang is trying to steal the Ki-Stone, a giant crystal that powers Neo Edo. The mayor, Lord Kogane, tosses Usagi and his friends in jail for the smallest offenses.
“I’m trying to look tough on crime,” Kogane says.
On top of everything else, when Usagi hears accusations that Miyamoto was a villain, he determines to clear his ancestor’s name. He finds this a task more daunting than realizing his dream.
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