It was an overcast Saturday morning when I stumbled onto Netflix and the featured show caught– or rather, assaulted– my eyeballs. An anime produced by renowned tweeter and musician Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend. The main character voiced by philosopher and feelings sensei Jaden Smith. The strangest, most beautiful show description I had heard in my young, mediocre life.
Slightly hungover, with a smoothie in hand, I pressed the play button and awaited Neo Yokio— what seemed to be a creation not even those of us with the most robust imagination could conjure.
Preface: I am in no way a weeaboo and I don’t watch anime, so this show better not make me feel like a dumb loser nerd.
Everything was pretty and kind of… soothing, I noted. Slight pastel tones wash over the aesthetically symmetrical cartoons.
The plot is whacky as hell but easy enough to follow. Themes center around fashion and elitism. I love fashion, I am fashion… I readjust my Kmart trackies and pretend I’m in a tweed Gucci suit like the one that was possessed by a demon in episode one.
Jaden Smith… no … ‘Kaz Kaan’ is Neo Yokio’s #1 Most Eligible Bachelor and Demon Slayer. That’s a title all of us wish we could live up to at least some point in our life.
Imagine how much more interesting The Bachelor would be with demons… forget I ever said that. It’s plagued with terrifying beautiful demons by default.
Wow, each line truly sounds like something that would transmit off Jaden Smith’s latest generation iPhone keypad in a semi-profound tweet.
“Win, lose… we’ll all be equal in the grave.”
Neo Yokio… as in New York but different I realised fifteen minutes later. Everything is falling into place.
A Google search tells me movie star Jude Law and stylish fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson are also part of the cast. It truly is an all-beautiful cast. Is ‘cast’ the right word for an anime? It is now.
I still can’t tell if everyone loves or hates this show from my scan of article headlines. Could one anime divide a nation? That would have made a good clickbaity headline.
It took me until now to understand the irony behind Damien Hirst’s ridiculously expensive bejeweled crystal skull being possessed and wanting the blood of the bourgeoisie. I hate myself. I don’t know what’s going on anymore.
Is getting nineteen-year-old mega-millionaire (or whatever) lord Jaden Smith to star in this anime about the snobbery of the elite, celebrities, and capitalisms plight like super meta-ironic? Or was it an honest mistake? Either way, who cares, this kind of rules.
The working class can wait for their emancipation another day.
There are most likely a bunch of think-pieces about how ‘pretentious’ and ‘unfocused’ this artform is all over the internet right now and I’m not even mad.
They can’t stop me now.
Typing ‘fashion blogger-turned-terrorist’ gives me such joy. What a rush. Just as instructing a bunch of music producers to magically create ‘Gregorian house’ probably elated Ezra Koenig.
A few hours later I’ve finished the entire first season of New Yokio, I’m in my underwear and the dishes pile up in the sink waiting for my sweet embrace. My head is still in the picturesque, strange, fantasy world inhabited by Kaz Kaan. And I kind of wish I was at the MET or conducting a spontaneous exorcism.