Neo Yokio is an American-Japanese co-produced animated television series created by Ezra Koenig of American rock band Vampire Weekend, and produced by Japanese anime studios Production I.G. and Studio Deen. The first season, consisting of six episodes, premiered on Netflix on September 22, 2017. The Christmas special Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas was released on December 7, 2018.
|Genre||Science fiction |
|Created by||Ezra Koenig|
|Directed by||Kazuhiro Furuhashi|
|Creative director(s)||Ben Jones[a]|
|Voices of||Jaden Smith|
The Kid Mero
|Composer(s)||Jesse Novak |
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||7|
|Executive producer(s)||Nick Weidenfeld|
|Running time||22 minutes |
|Production company(s)||Studio Deen[a]|
Infinite Elegance, LLC
Digital eMation, Inc.[b]
|Picture format||1080i (16:9 HDTV)|
|Original release||September 22, 2017 –|
December 7, 2018
Netflix's press release describes Neo Yokio as the "greatest city in the world", a modern-day alternate timeline New York where Magicians saved the city from ruin by demons in the 19th century, gaining a place in the upper echelons of society and becoming known as "Magistocrats". The series revolves around Kaz Kaan (Jaden Smith), a vain and wealthy Magistocrat and his mecha butler Charles (Jude Law), as he balances a vapid and decadent life as a fashionisto in the city with his demon-hunting duties managed by his stern Aunt Agatha (Susan Sarandon).
Kaz has taken to self-pity and "melancholy" after his recent break-up with investment banker Cathy (Alexa Chung) and only wishes to live a life of luxury with his socialite friends Lexy (The Kid Mero) and Gottlieb (Desus Nice). His rival is Arcangelo (Jason Schwartzman), an old money scion who belittles Kaan's "Neo riche" status, and the two are often in competition for the top spot on the Bachelor's List, a gigantic public billboard of Neo Yokio's most eligible bachelors. Former fashion blogger Helena St. Tessero (Tavi Gevinson) becomes re-acquainted with Kaz in the first episode after he performs an exorcism on a possessed Chanel suit. However, the possession left Helena disillusioned with Neo Yokio and the capitalist system, eventually becoming a hikikomori, anti-capitalist critic and a foil to Kaz's vapid focus on fashion and social status.
|Jaden Smith||Kaz Kaan||Starring|
|Tavi Gevinson||Helena St. Tessero||Starring|
|Susan Sarandon||Aunt Agatha||Starring|
|The Kid Mero||Lexy||Starring|
|Jason Schwartzman||Arcangelo Corelli||Starring|
|Willow Smith||The Helenists||Recurring|
|Steve Buscemi||The Remembrancer||Guest|
|Annet Mahendru||Mila Malevich||Guest|
|Katy Mixon||Sailor Pellegrino||Guest|
|Nico Muhly||Professor Muhly||Guest|
|Frank Vincent||Uncle Albert||Guest|
|Ray Wise||Old Man in the Graveyard||Guest|
|David Macklovitch||Dave 1||Guest|
Neo Yokio was originally announced, without a title, at Production I.G.'s panel at Anime Expo in 2015. The series was originally intended to run as part of Fox's Animation Domination High-Def late night block, which had just transitioned from the Fox network to sister cable network FXX earlier that year. No further details about the series were announced in the months following, and Animation Domination High-Def ceased operations in 2016.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||September 22, 2017|
Season 1 (2017)Edit
|No. overall||No. in season||Title||Directed by||Written by|
|1||1||"The Sea Beneath 14th St."||Kazuhiro Furuhashi||Ezra Koenig (story)|
Nick Weidenfeld (screenplay)
|2||2||"A Pop Star of Infinite Elegance"|
|3||3||"O, the Helenists..."||Junji Nishimura||Ezra Koenig|
|4||4||"Hamptons Water Magic"|
|5||5||"The Russians? Exactly, the Soviets."||Kazuhiro Furuhashi||Ezra Koenig (story)|
Alexander Benaim (screenplay)
|6||6||"I'm Starting to Think Neo Yokio's Not the Greatest City in the World"||Ezra Koenig|
Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas (2018)Edit
On October 9, 2018, Netflix announced that a Neo Yokio Christmas special would be released on December 7, 2018. Trailers were released in October 2018, in November 2018, and on December 3, 2018. It was released on December 7, 2018 as an hour-long special titled Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas.
Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas features protagonist Kaz Kaan, who must defeat a giant sentient Christmas tree threatening the city of Neo Yokio. He also has to handle a Secret Santa competition, a visit by his Aunt Angelique, and plotting from Arcangelo. The special includes Jamie Foxx as a voice actor, while recurring characters are voiced by Jaden Smith, Susan Sarandon, Jude Law, and Jason Schwartzman. Pink Christmas includes an original new song by Koenig, "Friend Like You." It appears several times in the episode, and at the time of the premiere, had not appeared as a song elsewhere or for download.
The series received mixed reviews, with a common criticism being the main character Kaz Kaan. Mike Toole from Anime News Network called the show "nigh-unwatchable codswallop," expressing issues with the bad voice acting of its cast, and with its poor animation and writing. Julia Alexander of Polygon called the show a poor attempt to bring Jaden Smith's Twitter persona into a series as Jaden's character Kaz is annoying, self-centered, narcissistic and infuriating rather than likable.
IGN gave it a negative review, with reviewer Miranda Sanchez criticizing the artwork, calling it humorless, and saying that it "feigns sincerity in any serious issue it tackles." Dana Schwartz of Entertainment Weekly gave the first season a positive review, saying it was "both deeply ironic and entirely deadpan and we should be so grateful that this vanity-project-cum-genius-conceptional-art-piece somehow exists in the real world."
Among the more positive reviews was Clio Chang's in The New Republic, who described Smith's performance as "exquisitely deadpan [..] that serves to heighten his detached snobbery" and that Neo Yokio "mostly feels like an introduction to what could be a really groundbreaking show", while also calling out its "cringe-worthy moments". Mike Hale of The New York Times praised the show's satire, stating, "The show derives a lot of its humor from Kaz's earnest attempts to belong, which occasion some reasonably subtle mockery of the city's social stratification and of a certain strain of tragic millennial mopiness", while noting that "if [watchers don't stick around], it may be because they find the humor too precious". Ryan F. Mandelbaum at Gizmodo compared the show to "a six episode long dril tweet" and "Gossip Girl as told by a stoned Tim and Eric fan," praising its surreal humor and finding the show's depiction of contemporary urban life "far closer to reality—albeit a ridiculous one—than its premise may suggest."
- "Now streaming: 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'Wonder Woman,' 'Gaga'". The Seattle Times. September 20, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- Hale, Mike (September 21, 2017). "Review: An Anime New York in Netflix's 'Neo Yokio'". The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- "The cast list from Netflix's new anime series Neo Yokio is incredible". Radio Times. September 21, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- "Netflix Reveals Neo Yokio Animated Series Collaboration With Production I.G, Studio Deen". Anime News Network. Anime News Network. September 7, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- MIKE FERREIRA (July 4, 2015). "Anime Expo 2015: Production I.G. Producing Fox ADHD Project". Anime Herald. Anime Herald. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Engelman, Nicole (October 11, 2018). "Netflix Announces Christmas Special For Ezra Koenig's 'Neo Yokio' Show". Billboard. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Holub, Christian (October 9, 2018). "Netflix announces Neo Yokio Christmas special". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Hussein, Wandera (October 9, 2018). "Watch a new Neo Yokio Christmas special teaser". The Fader. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Cho, Stephan (November 30, 2018). "Netflix Shares Trailer for Ezra Koenig's Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas Special". Paste Magazine. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- "Merry Christmas from Neo Yokio, Netflix's weirdest cartoon". Polygon. December 3, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Daramola, Israel (December 7, 2018). "Hear a New Ezra Koenig Song in Neo Yokio's Christmas Special". Spin. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Sheridan, Wade (December 3, 2018). "'Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas': Kaz fights a Christmas tree in new trailer". UPI. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- "Netflix shows to kick off the festive season". iOL. November 30, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Strauss, Matthew (October 9, 2018). "Ezra Koenig's Netflix Show "Neo Yokio" Gets Christmas Special". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Noel Kelly, Autumn (October 23, 2018). "Jamie Foxx Joins Jaden SMith in Netflix 'New Yokio' This December". Newsweek. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Keene, Allison (November 30, 2018). "'Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas' Trailer Brings Elegance and Demons". Collider. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Thiessen, Brad (December 7, 2018). "Ezra Koenig Pens New 'Neo Yokio' Christmas Song". Exclaim. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Toole, Mike (September 19, 2017). "Neo Yokio Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
- Alexander, Julia (September 19, 2017). "Neo Yokio is a bad, attempted homage to Jaden Smith's strange Twitter persona". Polygon. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
- Sanchez, Miranda (September 19, 2018). "NEO YOKIO: SEASON 1 REVIEW". IGN. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Schwartz, Dana (September 25, 2017). "Neo Yokio: The best out-of-context quotes from Jaden Smith's new animated show". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Chang, Clio (September 26, 2017). "Is Neo Yokio a Satire of the One Percent? Or a Loving Tribute?". The New Republic. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
- Mandelbaum, Ryan F. (October 3, 2017). "I Lived Neo Yokio". Gizmodo. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
- Season One only
- "Pink Christmas" special only
- co-executive producer, season one only