If you don’t know then now you know. LeSean Thomas finally launched and released his first own anime project and show on Netflix. The creator Thomas has been working on the show for many years and it was always slated to come out on Netflix. Nobody knew when the drop would happen though. Cannon Busters aired August 15 on Netflix.
We chatted with Thomas many times about the state of anime in America and Netflix’s possible involvement. Netflix wasn’t airing anime on the network and giving people lanes to produce them just yet. Thomas was already seeing the future for anime in America. He was already a classic fan of some of the best anime. Then he went to Japan to train under some of the best in the industry. Thomas has brought together skills for animation, art, writing, and direction. His main goal of all was to make more African-American seen characters and anime.
Cannon Busters is a sci-fi western anime full of many shades of characters, fun, adventure, fights, and mysteries. Thomas is the director of the show and writer of the pilot episode. Amanda Celine Miller who’s also a great voice actor gets most of the scriptwriting credits for the show. As a writer, she’s most known for another Netflix anime show, “Last Hope.” Last Hope is good too, so it makes perfect sense.
NYAV Post is the company behind the English dubb recording. They do great work and have done great work for the last 10-15 years. We had to watch the dub version for this very reason. Then getting to the dubb cast we see some of the greats in voice acting. Kenn Michael as Philly The Kid, Kamali Minter as Sam, Stephanie Sheh as Casey, Debra Wilson as Lady Day, Greg Chun as 9ine, and good newcomers to voice acting.
The very first thing and the most noticed thing about Cannon Busters is the nostalgia. You can tell Thomas knows his anime especially the classic shows. The story is completely original, but he injects themes from many of those classic animes. Shows such as Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Desert Punk, Robotech, and others. As an older anime fan, I can appreciate these callbacks to the Mount Rushmore of anime.
Thomas takes us on a sci-fi western adventure every episode that is part of a bigger issue that runs the plot. It’s something to see so many African-Americans in the show. The show even has a version of Wakanda in it where it’s nothing but African-Americans. Only Naruto has touched on the level of darker races being in an anime world as Thomas does. It’s cool, tasteful, and doesn’t change the way we look at anime. Simply put you go hey there are a lot of cooler melanin characters.
The show centers around SAM a robot golem and her robot mechanic friend Casey. They are looking for someone to transport them to another stronghold of their people. They are from this nation that is akin to Wakanda which was attacked. The survivors would move to this stronghold where SAM thinks that Prince Kelby is headed too. They encounter Philly The Kid who is an immortal cowboy that makes a deal to transport them in his big Buick that turns into a mecha bull named Bessie. The adventure takes off from here.
We loved the nostalgia in the show and callbacks to other anime. We knew Thomas would have stellar animation in this show and it’s not a letdown. The opening and ending songs also bring a soulful flair to anime that’s missing. We love the diversity, we love mechas and fights, and the end of the season left us in a real shocker!! We are looking forward to more Cannon Busters. Thank you, LeSean Thomas!!
We give Cannon Busters: