Netflix’s American Anime ‘Neo Yokio’ is Getting Savage Reviews

Netflix’s recently announced Neo Yokio American-Japanese series, which was created by former Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig, drops on this Friday. The series centers around a supernatural socialite named Kaz (voiced by Jaden Smith), who is an exorcist cursed with a privileged life.

Some members of the press received an early screening of it. Turns out, none of them are big fans.


What They Say About the Story

Neo Yokio

“The dialogue is almost lifted straight from Smith’s account but it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the world that creator Ezra Koenig (of Vampire Weekend) has made.” – Polygon

Like Gossip Girl before it, Neo Yokio falls short of any real socioeconomic criticism, too in love with the aesthetics of the lifestyle to tear it down in any real way.” – Den of Geek

“Instead of feeling like an anime parody, it’s easier to see Neo Yokio as a bad show desperately trying to fit in with the rest of the anime on Netflix” – IGN


What They Say About the Characters

Neo Yokio

Kaz is an easy character to hate because he’s based entirely on Smith’s Twitter persona.” – Polygon

Plopping a 15-foot Transformer in the middle of the angsty adventures of a young trendsetter and letting Law be the literal voice of reason is one of the series’ smartest decisions.” – Indie Wire

Helena has moved on to staging anti-capitalist demonstrations in an attempt to use her social influence to expose the injustices of the world, injustices most egregiously committed and ignored by the Neo Yokio elite.” – Den of Geek

I’d go as far as comparing one of the show’s later femme fatales, Mila, to a Totally Spies character, but I feel like this comparison would somehow diminish Totally Spies.” – Anime News Network


What They Say About the Animation

Neo Yokio

The few action scenes are lacking, too. A lot of that comes from the stunted animation that comes with fewer frames in between key movements.” – IGN

…visually, none of the characters move or act right in this thing!” – Anime News Network

In six episodes of TV animation, there’s not even a single moment of truly dynamic action, nothing that’s boldly visually inventive.” – Anime News Network


Nicest Thing They Said About Neo Yokio

Neo Yokio

When the show moves on to more satirical ground, there’s an overriding sense that Neo Yokio is far more of a utopian setting than the jarring environments of the Hollywoo of “BoJack Horseman” or the Brooklyn of “Search Party” – Indie Wire

As an anime homage, Neo Yokio is found wanting. As late capitalist satire, it hits many of its marks.” – Den of Geek

The build-up in the last two episodes feels like actual progression that was needed earlier on.” – IGN

Yikes…looks Netflix struck out swinging with Neo Yokio. You can read the full reviews at Anime News Network, IGN, Den of Geek, Indie Wire, and Polygon.

Your friendly Canadian writer @GoBoiano. Expect to see movies & live action coverage from my side of the field!
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