Blue Eye Samurai Review
Blue Eye Samurai Review: This Netflix Epic Is A Beautiful Tale Of Honor & Vengeance (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Blue Eye Samurai Review: Star Rating:

Cast: Maya Erskine, Masi Oka, Darren Barnett, Brenda Song, George Takei, Randall Park, and Kenneth Branagh.

Creator: Michel Green and Amber Noizumi

Director: Jane Wu

Streaming On: Netflix

Language: English (with subtitles).

Runtime: 8 Episodes, Around 35-62 Minutes Each.

Blue Eye Samurai Review
Blue Eye Samurai Review (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Blue Eye Samurai Review: What’s It About:

Blue Eye Samurai reminds us of the old genre of samurai films and tells the story of Mizu, a female samurai in search of vengeance. Her journey takes her across Japan, as she meets new people, faces new enemies, and gains new allies. Mizu is also mixed race, which in the Edo period was considered to be a bad omen, and her a demon. Mizu’s distinctive blue eyes will go from being ridiculed to seeding fear in the souls of her enemies.

Blue Eye Samurai Review: Script Analysis:

Blue Eye Samurai is a passion project coming from the mind of Michael Green, one of the most famous and prolific screenwriters in Hollywood, alongside his wife, and also accomplished writer, Amber Noizumi. Together, the pair has managed to get this beautiful animated series made, and the result is one of the best animated series Netflix has ever produced. It might not reach the highs of something like Arcane, but Blue Eye Samurai still manages to surprise with its mixture of beautiful imagery, badass action, and passionate storytelling.

The series goes back to the Edo period in Japan, a moment in time when Japan was completely secluded from the rest of the world, which would end up making the country’s culture so particular. However, alongside the good, it also brought a lot of bad things in people, including the discrimination of mixed race people, and, as the series shows, anyone who wouldn’t align with the expectations of society. This last bit is something that is still being felt not only in current Japan, but also in many countries around the world.

And so, the series doesn’t only become a tale of a lonesome samurai dispatching bad guys wherever she goes – there is a lot of that, but it goes beyond by showing the lonesome samurai in a more vulnerable light. Mizu is an excellent character worth following. She is capable, decisive, but never cruel. Even when she is looking for vengeance, her self-control is truly impressive, and she manages to impress the audience and other characters in the story with just her presence. As the story goes on and we learn more about her, it becomes easier and easier to root for her success.

Blue Eye Samurai learns from Arcane and presents itself as a 3D animated series that goes for style instead of realism. Again, from a technical level, the animation doesn’t reach the highs of something like Arcane, or what we see in each season of Love, Death and Robots, but it is good enough to be passable and at points – when it goes full out in several sequences, it is truly breathtaking. There are also plenty of action and badass scenes where Mizu gets to show her skills with the blade, and they are always entertaining to watch.

Blue Eye Samurai Review
Blue Eye Samurai Review (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Blue Eye Samurai Review: Star Performance:

Animation has been gaining more and more cloud with each passing year. The rise to popularity of series like Invincible, Arcane and Castlevania have proven that animation can be used as more than just a medium to tell story for little kids. It also allows for the telling of powerful and compelling adult stories. It also gives the creatives the advantage to create scenes and sequences that would otherwise be impossible in live-action. The same goes for the performers, who are able to expand their repertoire by pushing the limits of their voices.

Maya Erskine is truly the breakout performer in this show. Her character, Mizu, is not only a compelling protagonist, but it also is a very layered character. She might often seem very serious and Stoic, but she hides a vulnerability that enhances the way we might look at her. Not every standout performance needs to be showy, and Mizu isn’t particularly a showy character, but her presence is truly enhanced by the contained and powerful performance from Erskine, who can move between cold and warm with ease.

Blue Eye Samurai Review: Direction & Music:

When it comes to animated shows, direction is vital to take full advantage of the medium. The director is allowed to basically do everything they want when working in an animated production. The director might want to try shots and scenarios that would be impossible in a live-action scenario, be it from a budgetary point of view or because there is not enough time to pull really complex sequences involving tons of extras and such. Here, Jane Wu serves as director, and she does an impeccable job.

It is clear that Jane Wu is pulling inspiration from Akira Kurosawa and many other masters of the genre, but she is also adding her own flavor, and the result is magnificent. Not only when it comes to pulling off amazing action sequences full of style and iconic shots, but also when it comes to delivering scenes that focus on the characters, the atmosphere and just the dialogue between two people. The more tender and slower moments still receive the same amount of attention.

Blue Eye Samurai Review: Last Words:

Blue Eye Samurai is a fantastic-animated production from Netflix. It is great to see that the streaming giant is still betting on animation as a good source of content for its platform. The series shines thanks to a great direction and powerful visuals. Some animations might look a bit stiff here and there, and towards the end, some storylines might not get as much love as we wanted, but this season of the show proves that there is a ton of potential in here.

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