No salutations this time, I can barely navigate the hellish vortex between breakfast and dinner. Instead, we’ll just dive right into my review of Netflix’s newest anime series from creator Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend) Neo Yokio!
Honestly, I don’t know where to start with this one. Like the title of this review states, do not take Neo Yokio seriously. Don’t get stuck on the less than high quality animation or questionable voice acting. It’s supposed to be not-good. And if that’s not true, then believe it is, otherwise you probably won’t enjoy this masterpiece.
Here’s the synopsis for those who don’t know:
Mourning the death of a recent relationship, an elegant and fashionable demon hunter struggles to stay afloat in the elite society of Neo Yokio.
Though there’s not much demon hunting in the six half-hour episodes, it does seem to have a lot to say about the life of the materialistic bourgeoisie of high society. In addition to its classic Eastside vs Westside, Old Money vs New Money themes, there’s also well intended conversations on misogyny, gender, and the many issues of capitalism that sometimes either felt cut short or hollow. I believe the characters and their over the top personalities make up for the show’s lack of plot and subpar animation. The West Side Gentlemen aka the Caprese Boys, Kaz Kaan (Jaden Smith), Lexy (The Kid Mero), and Gottlieb (Desus Nice) are a very relatable group of friends despite their wealthy status. It was refreshing to hear dialogue between friends that doesn’t feel forced or out of place. The women of Neo Yokio, Aunt Agatha (Susan Sarandon), Helena St. Tesero (Tavi Gevinson), and Sadie (?), keep it completely 100 whenever possible, whether it’s spilling the tea on the bourgeoisie or calling Kaz out on his misogyny that I honestly wouldn’t have picked up on (to my own disappointment) if not addressed. Jude Law as a mecha-robot butler and Steve Buscemi as a vaping, powdered wig wearing civil servant, enough said. Finally, the supporting characters are all crazy and make the show oh so lively. My favorites being the russian racer Mila Malevich (Annet Mahendru), the not so classy Cousin Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz), and the North Cackalackian Sailor Pellegrino (Katy Mixon).
All in all, I loved Neo Yokio and was entertained each episode. Again, don’t hit play expecting to watch the best anime ever. Do expect some of the funniest one liners, the absurdity of high society, and Jaden Smith’s greatest tweets come to life! Tumblr user Archgynoid perfectly sums up Neo Yokio in all it’s greatness:
If this doesn’t at least get you interested in adding Neo Yokio to your ever growing watchlist, then you’re cookoo bananas and you don’t deserve this big Toblerone. But hey, love it, hate it, we’ll all be equal in the grave. I gotta go… snacks are ready.