First Impressions: Neo Yokio

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Hey guys, it’s your girl KrisSimsters and the moment I saw the trailer for Neo Yokio pop up in my YouTube subscriptions from Netflix was the moment I knew I was going to review this show. This led to my ultimate goal of the evening after work, sitting down and watching this six episodic show basically consume my Saturday night. The main reason why I wanted to watch this show is the same reason everybody with a slight peak of interest wanted to watch it…it started Jaden Smith. People even went on to say that Jaden Smith basically made this anime and yeah, no. You can call it a Jaden Smith anime all you want, but the person behind the anime was Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koeing and the anime studio behind this was Studio DEEN, who also created, Fate/Stay NightHell Girl, and Hetalia–and please do not get me started on Hetalia tonight, I do not have time. And yes, Jaden Smith voices the main character, Kaz Kaan; there are also many other people (big name people) who sold their soul for some money.

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I mean…fucking seriously Jude Law, Steve Buscemi, and Susan Sarandon have sold their souls for this show? How much did Will Smith have to pay you? I could bitch about this casting all night, but I don’t have time so lets talk about Neo Yokio, shall we?

Oh and just in case you do want to watch this show, it’s currently streaming exclusively on Netflix.


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Overall Plot:

OK, let’s be honest for a moment…if you took out the characters’ voice acting and writing…the overall plot to this show isn’t bad. Honestly, I like the idea of a demon slayer who’s also an elitist (or Nouveau Riche in Arcangelo’s case) and just wants to have fun, but he knows he has to keep him and his aunt in business or else they’ll get thrown out in the street. But the demon-fighting stops after three episodes and the other three episodes focuses on Kaz’s elitist status. But by the end of episode four, things start to get interesting. But even when things get interesting, they are also somewhat predictable. The second and fifth episodes really did play with this a bit, because while it was obvious that (blank) is a secret demon or (blank) really did do that thing Kaz didn’t think they did; it was still fun watching it unravel.

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The Setting/Animation Style:

The animation style to this series and the overall setting is honestly the best thing about this American anime. I like the idea of Neo Yokio being a cross between New York and Tokyo. While some scenes looked as though they were drawn in thirty minutes, the important scenes have a lot of thought and detail going into them while I don’t hate it, I don’t exactly love it either. When Kaz is using his magic to get rid of demons, those scenes are amazing. Other scenes such as this…it’s more like WTF material. Like I said, it’s not bad but it’s not good either. The scenes with Kaz and Helena are more detailed than scenes with Kaz with Arcangelo or even scenes with Kaz and his two best friends. Speaking of characters…

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The Characters and Voice Acting:

One of the things I hate to admit the most about this American-anime is that I like most of the characters and when I mean most of the characters, I honestly only mean two. And no, Kaz is not one of them. I know people are trying to play Kaz off as a good guy and I know that he’s now meme-worthy (especially with toblerone), I personally do not line Kaz because his characteristics are off. He spends most of the first episode moping over the fact that his ex moves to another city because she got a better job. When he does get his act together and save Helena, he ditches her in the next episode to date a pop idol, who turns out to be bad news for him. When Helena declares that she’s no longer interested in the fashion world and becomes a hikkiomori, to Kaz she’s in the wrong. And don’t get me started on what he did with Lexy while he was a woman. The only redeemable trait I have about Kaz is that he tries to fix the messes he makes, but his way about it is just wrong.

I don’t have much to say about his friends either, Lexy and Gottlieb created the caprese martini and made Kaz their cover boy, but they don’t run with it except open a small bar they hardly run. Yeah, they get a Ramma 1/2 reference, but it’s mainly for plot convenience by the end of the episode.

My two favorite characters are actually Arcangelo and Helena. Helena’s the only person in this series with common sense, despite the trauma she went through in episode one. Her character arc was basically the best thing about this series and her voice actress (Tavi Gevison) is amazing, one of the few VAs who’s acting was on point with pacing. Arcangelo’s my second character because…this motherfucker

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I hate this motherfucker so much that in the end, I ended up loving him. He plays his role as archenemy to best friend to back to being the archenemy so well that I just…this motherfucker. If this show just happens to get renewed, I want to see more of him. He needs to have his own arc like Helena.

I also did like Aunt Agatha and Charles, but more so of them being Kaz’s parental figures. They did have so sense, but in their own way. Aunt Agatha especially, mainly because she’ll go to great lengths to protect her nephew when the situation arises.


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Final Thoughts:

Sigh…this show isn’t bad. Yes it has flaws, major flaws, but as I stated in the beginning it’s mostly because of how the characters are written and how some of the voice acting is. But it shouldn’t be called an anime either, at least I don’t think so. It should either be an American anime or an abridged version of a certain era of anime, but it shouldn’t be called an anime. It shouldn’t be taken seriously, but it shouldn’t be badly animated either. Either make all your scenes crap or make them all outstanding, but don’t do half and half. Neo Yokio is basically just one of those shows that you need to watch in order to formulate your own opinion. Yeah, my opinion might matter but not after you’ve watched it yourself. And as I said, it’s only six episodes. You could probably knock that down in one day if you really wanted too. So until next time…

My name’s KrisSimsters and Stay Golden.

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And remember if you want to watch Neo Yokio, then it’s currently streaming on Netflix. Please no illegal streaming/or downloading.

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