“While attempting to distance himself from his demon-slaying past, Kaz Kaan, a wealthy magistocrat, is forced to question everything he knows about Neo Yokio.”
Let’s talk about Neo Yokio, the American-made Japanese series on Netflix.
I admit it; I saw the preview and I was instantly sold on this show. I knew I would love it! How could I not? Not only did it have an anime vibe to it (You guys know I love anime), and a supernatural flair in the storyline (Hello, paranormal romance writer here!), it starred a person of color (Boom, baby!).
Win—win, right? *deep sigh* Wrong. Oh so wrong.
There were some positive components in the show, but they were overshadowed by the not so engaging storyline and stilted voice-acting by the lead actor. I forced myself through the 6 pilot episodes because I got this thing about completing something I start. It wasn’t horrible, it was just difficult to finish.
I will say that I appreciate what the writers tried to accomplish with this series. Deliver something new and fresh. Granted, the story was indeed new and fresh, it was just poorly executed. And that’s just my anime-loving opinion on that.
I must say the art was nice, bubbly and fun. Some of the characters even made those goofy expressions you sometimes see in anime. Many people in the FB comic groups complained about the art style, but I think the style went well with the theme of the show.
Jaden Smith portrayed Kaz Kaan, an aristocrat demon slayer. I love Jaden, I really do, but he may have to take an “L” for this one. His voice acting was detached, lacking that special pizzazz that would make him desirable to listen to. Perhaps, that’s how it came off because the character is pretty monotone and removed from emotion, unless the situation involved his ex-girlfriend. I’m sure he’ll get better with more practice.
Jude Law, Susan Sarandon and Steve Buscemi did great as their characters! I expected nothing less from them.
But the shining light for me, and quite possibly the reason I kept watching, was Arcangelo Corelli. He was one of the comic reliefs as well as the antagonist. That being said, he was the jewel of the show, which is unfortunate for Jaden, because his character was supposed to be the star.
I also enjoyed Kaz’s friends whenever they were on screen. They were amusing.
What really bothered me about this show was the lack of representation of women of color. We simply didn’t exist in the high society created on the show, unless we were cronies to an uppity white girl or a masked performer who received no less than 5 seconds of screen time. Ah, I forgot to mention the episode when Kaz’s best friend jumped into a pool full of cursed water and was turned into a woman for the day. I guess we can count that as a WOC sighting. How disappointing. The main character is a person of color, but the writers couldn’t be bothered to give a woman of color a slot in the main cast.
Needless to say, if Neo Yokio gets a second season, I won’t be watching.
★★ out of 5 stars
Blaze wanted to sear the smile from his smug face, but she couldn’t move. She couldn’t even will a flame into existence, and lord knows she wanted to. He not only stole her powers, he stunted her spirit energy too. Didn’t help matters that she still suffered the muddling effects of the Warlock’s possession spell.
Lucius consumed another gulp, swallowing faster this time. “Do you feel the ache to call out to my Queen? I truly wish you would. I imagine she would break through any barrier to get to you. After all, she did conjure a moonlight mirror.” He released a breathy chuckle. “It’s unheard of for any demon to accomplish such a feat alone. She’s so powerful. If you would just call for her aid…” Voice lowering to a whisper, he sidled in closer. His death-tainted breath feathered her face. “We both need this. I’m not certain of what I will do to you should I be forced to wait any longer.” He brushed the back of his hand over her arm, making her flinch. Frozen goosebumps formed where he touched her. “Bring her to me. Let us both be freed of this torment.”
“No.” It became increasingly difficult to remain grounded. His presence, this place… It was breaking her down.
“This resistant will not help you, my dear?”
“Resistance is all I have left.”
“Words of a true hunter.”
This wanka must think I’m here for his entertainment. Flipping her auburn ponytail back, Copper spun around to face him. “I have the right mind to kill you just to get rid of the persistent headache that comes along with your annoying voice. So, for the last time, shut it!”
“Kill me?” Crouched between the two patients, he paused on administering a shot to the girl with the missing leg. Wide frightened eyes rested on her. “You wouldn’t do that.”
She let a malicious smile slip across her lips. “I most certainly would, and in case you’re wondering, I would take great pleasure in it.”
Cautiously, he stood and scuttled further back into the vehicle. “You’re a soldier for mankind, not some ruthless murderer.”
“Laughable. I’ve been in your presence for no more than twenty minutes and you speak as though you know me, when in fact, you have no fuckin’ idea who I am.” Moving closer, she held onto the boy’s fear-filled stare. “What do you think I did before becoming an Andausian soldier? Bake cookies and read romance novels?” A snorting giggle erupted from her. “I’m equipped with a special set of skills. I can take life and cover my tracks without anyone being the wiser.”
“You—you’re just trying to scare me.”
“Am I?” She twirled her dagger between her fingers. “Let’s see. How would I conceal your unfortunate, yet timely death? Ah, I know. I’ll just say a demon possessed you. Yes, that’s it. A demon seized control of your mind, therefore, I had no other choice but to do away with you. After all, a possessed human is a lost soul.”
“Well, your friend Blaze…” he muttered, his voice shaky. “She’s been possessed. Do you think of her as a lost soul?”
And now he’s done it!
Fire ignited behind her eyes. In a flash step, she bolted into the truck. The sharp edge of her blade found his throat, jarring a startled gasp out of him. “You daft fool!” The stinging tears came back as a burning sensation inflamed her heart. “You just don’t know when to shut your fuckin’ pie hole!”