Vampire Weekend may be “80% done” with their new album, tentatively titled Mitsubishi Macchiato, but the band members have also been plenty busy with their side projects as of late. Chris Baio has his solo career; Chris Tomson released the debut from his other band, Dams of the West, earlier this year; and Rostam left the group altogether to start working on his own. Ezra Koenig has been busy too, though not with a musical endeavor. The frontman is the creator, writer, and executive producer of a new anime show coming to Netflix called Neo Yokio. With the six-part series debuting on September 22nd, the streaming giant has released the show’s first trailer, which you can watch above.
Set in the fictional metropolis and cultural center known as Neo Tokio, the anime centers on the young demon slayer Kaz Kaan, voiced by Jaden Smith. With the number of demons to slay dwindling over the years, Kaz is more focused on staying abreast of high fashion and playing field hockey. His Aunt Agatha (Susan Sarandon) handles most of the demonic stuff while he and his buddies Lexy and Gottlieb (The Kid Mero and Desus Nice, respectively) hang out with his robot butler, Charles (Jude Law). Together, they face off against Neo Yokio’s most eligible bachelor, Arcangelo Corelli (Jason Schwartzman) and try to keep Kaz from falling into the depths of a broken heart.
The all-star cast also features Tavi Gevinson, Richard Ayoade, Ike Barinholtz, Steve Buscemi, Alexa Chung, Stephen Fry, Katy Mixon, Annet Mahendru, Kiernan Shipka, Willow Smith, Amanda Stenberg, Dave Macklovitch (of Chromeo), and Nico Muhly. Dev Hynes of Blood Orange wrote original music for the series, which also features the songs of Bach, Vivaldi and Beethoven.
Though the art comes from Japanese anime studios Production IG and Studio Deen, along with the Seoul-based MOI, it’s purely Koenig’s project. The cosmopolitan focus on bathos and ridiculously star-studded voice cast might make it seem like this is the Vampire Weekend mastermind’s id run amok, but we’ll see if it pays off on September 22nd. Find the trailer above and read the full synopsis below.
“Neo Yokio is a near-future serial set in the greatest city in the world. It’s the most populous urban agglomeration in North America, but its prestige does not merely stem from its size. Neo Yokio is a diverse labyrinth of cultural and architectural innovation at the forefront of global fashion and finance.
This is all cold comfort to the lovesick Kaz Kaan (Jaden Smith), the youngest member of a family of ‘magistocrats’ – pink-haired demon slayers who once liberated the city. Today, his demon-slaying is barely more than a side-hustle coordinated by his Aunt Agatha (Susan Sarandon) – Kaz himself would rather concern himself with shopping, field hockey and – of course – mending his broken heart.
Neo Yokio’s supporting cast includes Kaz’s faithful mecha-butler, Charles (Jude Law), and his inseparable friends Lexy and Gottlieb (The Kid Mero and Desus Nice). Together they navigate the complexities of life in Neo Yokio and try to stay one step ahead of Kaz’s arch-rival, Neo Yokio’s number one most eligible bachelor, Arcangelo Corelli (Jason Schwartzman.)
Things take a mysterious turn when Kaz is drawn into the turbulent world of ex-fashion blogger Helena St. Tessero (Tavi Gevinson), setting in motion a sequence of events that force him to question everything he knows about Neo Yokio.”