In a surprising series of announcements earlier today, Jaden Smith — son of actor Will Smith and voice actor in the Netflix animated series Neo Yokio — announced that he will be directing the second season of Kemono Friends, the second season of One Punch Man, and a newly-announced third season of Toaru Majutsu no Index.
A tweet from Kemono Friends director Tatsuki told followers, “I was hard at work on season 2 [of Kemono Friends] when my producers burst into the room and told me that they found a new anime visionary in America named Jaden Smith, and that I was fired immediately.”
“I was very upset at first, but after looking up Jaden’s show Neo Yokio I understand their decision, I can’t possibly live up to that.”
A few hours later, manga publisher Shueisha made an announcement that season 2 of One Punch Man would be handled by studio J.C.Staff in association with Jaden Smith.
“To be honest, we were never completely satisfied with Madhouse’s adaptation of the first season, the animation just didn’t live up to our expectations,” an official statement from the publisher read in part. “Then we saw Neo Yokio and thought to ourselves, ‘Finally, this is exactly what we want One Punch Man to look like — closer to the original manga.’”
Minutes later, J.C.Staff announced that in addition to the second season of One Punch Man, they would additionally be producing Toaru Majutsu no Index III alongside Jaden Smith.
“People have been begging us for years to make Index III, but we never quite felt we had the right staff to live up to the material. Then we saw Neo Yokio and immediately approached Jaden with a contract to exclusively work on all of our projects,” a J.C.Staff representative told Anime Maru.
“From now on every J.C.Staff project will have Jaden Smith onboard; we’re confident in his ability to save anime.”
We approached Ezra Koenig, the actual director and writer of Neo Yokio, for comment on these developments. While Koenig was was perplexed he was receiving so little credit for the anime’s massive success, the Vampire Weekend frontman admitted it was unsurprising that the industry was recognizing Jaden Smith’s pure creative force.
At press time, famed anime director Hiyao Miyazaki was reportedly praising Smith’s work, claiming that “perhaps anime wasn’t a mistake after all.”