Netflix dropped the official trailer for its upcoming animated series “Blue Eye Samurai” on Thursday, offering a first look at its bloody samurai revenge story.
Created by Michael Green and Amber Noizumi, with supervising director and producer Jane Wu at the helm, “Blue Eye Samurai” features the voice talents of numerous Asian actors, including Masi Oka
as Ringo, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as The Swordmaker, Brenda Song
as Akemi, Harry Shum Jr.
as Takayoshi, Ming-Na Wen
as Madam Kaji, Randall Park
as Heiji Shindo, Stephanie Hsu
as Ise and George Takei
What it is about: Set in 17th-century Edo-period Japan, “Blue Eye Samurai” follows the story of Mizu (voiced by Maya Erskine), a mixed-race master of the sword, as she enacts her revenge against one of the only four white men in Japan at the time who took her mother, impregnated her and gave birth to Mizu.
Describing herself as a “creature of shame,” Mizu sets out to kill the four men while disguising her gender and hiding her blue eyes.
“It’s an Edo-period tale of revenge — ‘Kill Bill’ meets ‘Yentl,’” Noizumi told Tudum
about the series’ plot.
The show’s origin: Sharing how they came up with the concept of the series, Noizumi revealed to Tudum that the idea came to her and Green after welcoming their child, who was born with blue eyes.
During their creative conversation, Noizumi recalled how they tried to spin the story of how “it would’ve been illegal to be white” during the Edo period in Japan. She continued, “Nobody would’ve wanted to look white like that.”
The couple eventually landed a title when they described their child as a “blue-eyed samurai.” Green noted, “I wrote that down, knowing it was a good title.”
Explaining the animation: Green clarified that “Blue Eye Samurai” is not anime as it is a blend of 2D and 3D, which utilizes the technology of both animation styles.
Explaining the art style used in the series, Wu told Tudum she took inspiration from Japanese art, notably Bunraku puppets for the character designed.
“[Bunraku puppet] is a traditional Japanese puppet performance that dates back over 300 years, and these puppets are about 3-feet tall. They aren’t for children,” Wu said.
Other details: “Blue Eye Samurai” will be available for streaming on Netflix starting Nov. 3.