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TV Series Review: Blue Eye Samurai (2023)

Kelaru rating: ★★★★★

Available on Netflix | Episodes seen: 8 out of 8


Rarely does one sit down to watch a manga series and find themselves completely caught off guard by the what’s unfolding before one’s eyes. As a devoted fan of comic books and graphic novels, I've often been reluctant to embrace animated series, primarily due to the scarcity of truly outstanding ones. Undoubtedly, the artwork is consistently of high quality, but it's the depth of the story that frequently falls short.

However, Blue Eye Samurai shatters these expectations.

It was the trailer and a general predisposition to watch an episode of a manga series that prompted me to press play on this Netflix production. I may not be a manga enthusiast, but I do have a deep appreciation for compelling storytelling. When exceptional animation, a unique style, and a gripping narrative converge, it's akin to stumbling upon a hidden gem.

Set in 17th Century Japan, Blue Eye Samurai unfolds in a captivating context. It's a time when Japan has sealed its borders, branding any mixed-race individual within the country as 'less than human,' 'monstrous,' or 'impure.' One of these 'monsters' is Mizu, a blue-eyed girl with fair skin, condemned to a life of abuse and discrimination from a tender age. In her relentless pursuit of vengeance for her mother and her struggle against societal prejudice, she finds refuge under the care of a blind sword master who judges her solely by her character. It's within these circumstances that she embarks on the journey of mastering the art of sword forging and wielding, all while searching for the last four white men in Japan, one of whom might be her father.

As the series progresses, Mizu evolves into a formidable warrior, encountering minimal resistance. However, it's when she lets her guard down that Blue Eye Samurai truly shines. She forms a bond with an invalid and idealistic noodle cook aspiring to achieve greatness. Mizu also confronts and ultimately allies with an egotistic dojo champion and crosses paths with the daughter of a powerful clan, destined for an arranged marriage against her will.

The series masterfully weaves together numerous elements, enhanced by its artful settings, dynamic fight sequences, and the sheer satisfaction of swordplay. Some episodes delve deeper into Mizu's background, adding an additional layer of excellence. These episodes offer a glimpse into her heart and introduce relatable traits that humanise her character, moving her beyond the initial portrayal of a super-samurai.

Helmed by Michael Green (writer of Logan and Blade Runner 2049) and with a strong voice-cast such as Kenneth Branagh, George Taikei and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Blue Eye Samurai is an absolute delight to watch, providing a multifaceted and rich narrative that combines seamlessly with its stunning visuals and thrilling action sequences.

And when the soundtrack includes an epic cover of Metallica's For Whom the Bell Tolls, what's not to like?



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