Blue Eye Samurai is the eight-episode limited series coming on Netflix next month, and the first look of the trailer hints towards a chilling, women-centric revenge story. The live-action series not only promises excellent visuals but a strong storyline that discusses pressing issues in the modern world as well.
Get all the details about the cast, creators, and inspiration for the 2D/3D hybrid animation series that purely screams Japanese in its storyline, from voice actors to culture and beyond.
Release Date and Streaming Service
Blue Eye Samurai comes out on November 3, 2023, on Netflix. The 17th-century Edo-period Japanese drama revolves around Mizu’s dream of revenge.
Plot Line of Blue Eye Samurai
The story is set in Edo-period Japan. Back then, the buzzing city of Tokyo was called Edo, and the military dictator, Tokugawa shogunate, was the ruler of Japan. Although the 17th century was a tranquil and prosperous time for the Japanese nation, the story of Blue Eye Samurai follows a vengeful protagonist.
The mixed-race swordmaster Mizu (Erskine) is the illegitimate child of a white man who came to Japan and impregnated her mother. She was made a creature of shame and impurity because white men were pretty peculiar in Japan during that time. She inherited her blue eyes from her father.
Thus, the warrior was born, who trained herself tirelessly with one mission in mind: executing revenge. In 17th-century Japan, only four white men resided in the region. The sword-swiveling warrior must go undercover as a man to fight her enemies.
Blue Eye Samurai Voice Cast
The leading voice cast includes the protagonist, Mizu, played by Maya Erskine. Masi Oka is the voice actor for Ringo, who has big dreams while working as a mere soba maker. Darren Barnet plays Taigen, and Brenda Song is the voice actor for Princess Akemi. The two are married to each other. George Takei is Seki’s voice actor; Randall Park acts as Heiji Shindo; and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa plays the sword maker.
Meanwhile, others include Kenneth Branagh as Abijah Fowler, Stephanie Hsu as Ise, Ming-Na Wen as Madame Kaji, Harry Shum Jr. as Takayoshi, and Mark Dacascos as Chiaki. The best part is that most of the cast members are relatively obscure. Co-creator Amber Noizumi wanted to make a groundbreaking series with an entirely Asian-American voice cast.
First Look and Trailer for the Japanese Anime
The first look through the teaser trailer shows the Blue Eye Samurai mercilessly slitting her opponents’ throats open. She was fooling her enemies by living in disguise, seeking redemption for her past.
Mizu’s journey of revenge is discreetly covered in her get-up as a man. In the trailer, the opponents are visibly frustrated about not being able to defeat the man in disguise. But Mizu is adamant about fighting anyone who comes her way to get to the four white men, one of whom is her father.
It has an impeccable level of artistry and vivid adult animation. The motion pictures are spearheaded by Blue Spirit and give an enigmatic sense of realism.
Moreover, it is a nuanced story that does not just focus on the vices, as creator Michael Green explained on Vanity Fair:
“Mizu does not have the capacity for kindness at first, it is a very hard lesson for her to learn. We were careful balancing stories in the first half of the season and the second half of the season, that all of her moments of mercy, kindness, or just acceptance of other people end up having a negative consequence for her. And then, towards the end of the season, the lesson comes in that maybe being vulnerable is okay and pays its own dividends.”
Inspiration for Blue Eye Samurai
Michael Green and his wife, Amber Noizumi, show creators, have drawn inspiration from several historical period blockbuster dramas, such as The Witcher, the global phenomenon Game of Thrones, and visuals compared to Tarantino movies. Moreover, Blue Eye Samurai encapsulates the old-school, Shakespeare-esque romance and the power struggle seen in The Crown.
The co-creators had been working on the story for nearly 15 years. But Amber Noizumi’s daughter was the main inspiration.
Noizumi is also half-Japanese and gave birth to a daughter with blue eyes. The couple joked about the peculiar Caucasian trait in a Japanese baby, and they nicknamed her child “Blue Eye Samurai.” Hence, the very first spark for the show’s theme was lit.
Now, the creators are drawing inspiration from their own struggles, including cultural differences, surviving as a woman in male-dominated regions, and raising a daughter with strong and good role models on-screen. Thus, the pair is elated about bringing their vision to life by working with such phenomenal artists.