In 17th-century Japan, revenge wasn’t an option for women. Mizu, the “BLUE EYE SAMURAI,” must hide her gender, as well as her ice-blue eyes that reveal her true identity, in this provocative, vividly stunning animated tale of revenge.
REVIEW: Blue Eye Samurai
Mizu, a mixed-race master of the sword lives life in disguise while seeking revenge in 17th-century Edo-period Japan in “BLUE EYE SAMURAI.” In this revenge anime, we are shown revenge as an art form at all levels, especially in the animated frames themselves.
The visual language of the animated series is drawn from Japanese art—the characters are designed after traditional Japanese Bunraku puppets, which date back more than 300 years to the Edo period (1603-1868) in Osaka. These 3-foot tall puppet performances were not for children.
Created by husband and wife team Michael Green (Logan, Blade Runner 2049 and Murder on the Orient Express, Jungle Cruise, A Haunting In Venice) and Amber Noizumi, the artistry is unparalleled and light years above any other animation/anime for adults.
The animation is a 2D/3D hybrid utilizing technologies of both animation styles. The graphics are stunning, with vivid colors and stark contrasts. Soft pink cherry blossoms splattered with bright red splats hand brush strokes of vibrant red blood. Light snow in contrast with dark shadows or maroon blood. Limbs and heads elegantly and horrifically slain and scattered from frame to frame.
It’s not just the animation that wows us. Aside from the visuals, the team also took great care with representation and diversity, with a full Asian voice cast for all of the Asian characters in the show. Mizu, as a female presenting male, offers the LGBTQ+ community a look at a non-binary character whose gender identity is as central to the story as any other facet.
About BLUE EYE SAMURAI
This provocative and visually stunning cinematic series immerses the viewer in a world of vivid adult animation with a live-action edge. Set in Edo-period Japan, “BLUE EYE SAMURAI” follows Mizu (voiced by Maya Erskine), a mixed-race master of the sword who lives a life in disguise seeking the deliverance of revenge.
“BLUE EYE SAMURAI” is created by Amber Noizumi and Michael Green, who also serve as executive producers and writers. Erwin Stoff is an executive producer. Jane Wu is the supervising director and producer. Blue Spirit is the animation studio. Voice cast includes Maya Erskine (Mizu), George Takei (Seki), Masi Oka (Ringo), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (The Swordmaker), Brenda Song (Akemi), Darren Barnet (Taigen), Randall Park (Heiji Shindo), and Kenneth Branagh (Abijah Fowler). Supporting voice cast includes Stephanie Hsu (Ise), Ming-Na Wen (Madame Kaji), Harry Shum Jr. (Takayoshi), and Mark Dacascos (Chiaki), among others.
Genre: Action; Adventure; Drama
Creators, Writers, Executive Producers: Michael Green, Amber Noizumi
Executive Producer: Erwin Stoff
Supervising Director and Producer: Jane Wu is supervising director and producer
Production company: Blue Spirit Animation
Voice cast: Maya Erskine, George Takei, Masi Oka, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Song, Darren Barnet, Randall Park, and Kenneth Branagh . Supporting voice cast includes Stephanie Hsu (Ise), Ming-Na Wen, Harry Shum Jr., and Mark Dacascos.
“Blue Eye Samurai” is an 8-episode limited series that launches on Netflix on November 3, 2023.
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