A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Neo Yokio is an American-Japanese anime series that takes place in an alternate New York City. It contains cursing, stereotypes about the wealthy, and some racially motivated comments. There's some sexual innuendo and drinking, characters are shown in their underwear, and brands ranging from Chanel to Toblerone are referenced or shown. Like most anime series, it also has lots of fantasy violence. Older teens should be able to handle it, but it isn't meant for kids.
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What's the story?
Written by Vampire Weekend front man Ezra Koenig, NEO YOKIO is an American-Japanese anime series that takes place in an alternate New York City. After Magicians saved the city from demons in the 1800s, they rose in the social ranks. Today, Kaz Kaan (Jaden Smith), part of a new generation known as "Magistocrats," must balance his job as a demon hunter with his fashionista lifestyle. After his girlfriend (Alexa Chung) dumps him, Kaz wants to focus on hanging out with fellow socialites like Lexy (The Kid Mero) and Gottlieb (Desus Nice), remain the city's most eligible bachelor, and prove to his peers, especially his nemesis Arcangelo (Jason Schwartzman), that he is not simply "neo riche." But his uptight Aunt Agatha (Susan Sarandon) forces him to stay committed to his duties, which he tries to do with the assistance of his mecha butler Charles (Jude Law). Throughout it all, friend and fashion blogger Helena St. Tessera (Tavi Gevinson), who he saved from a possessed Chanel suit, offers her own perspective about what's important.
Is it any good?
This mildly entertaining series mixes elements of anime with some deadpan humor while offering not-so-subtle commentary about urban classism. However, the high-society narrative overwhelms the story world, making the Magician's fight against demon possession seem forced and out of place. Adding to this is Kaz Kaan's self-absorbed personality, which is so over-the-top that it's often hard to like him.
There's an attempt at diversity among the privileged (which is sometimes highlighted by some racially motivated remarks), and occasional social commentary that challenges Kaz's way of thinking. But Neo Yokio lacks any sort of cultural backbone outside of the world of the wealthy. The humor doesn't go far enough, either. As a result, it's just not clear what the overall series is trying to accomplish, which makes it difficult to enjoy.
Talk to your kids about ...
For kids who love animation for teens
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