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Netflix just renewed its masterful new anime Blue Eye Samurai

Updated Dec 12th, 2023 12:02AM EST
Blue Eye Samurai on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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I’m not much of an anime fan, but the early reviews of Netflix’s new eight-episode Blue Eye Samurai were so laudatory that I had to check the show out for myself. And while I don’t throw around the term “masterpiece” lightly, suffice it to say that the term absolutely fits here. Blue Eye Samurai, offering a Kill Bill-style revenge narrative, is the best animated release from the streamer I’ve seen this year, maybe ever.

Not only that, but just over a month post-release the show still has a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The series is so good, that Netflix also decided to make the first episode available to watch for free on YouTube (here’s the link) — the thinking being that if you don’t already subscribe to the streaming giant, getting a taste of it via Episode 1 of Blue Eye Samurai will have you reaching for your credit card in no time. Exhilarating spectacle, compelling characters, gorgeous animation, twists that enthrall — what’s not to like?

Blue Eye Samurai on Netflix
Brenda Song as Akemi in “Blue Eye Samurai.” Image source: Netflix
Blue Eye Samurai on Netflix
Maya Erskine as Mizu in “Blue Eye Samurai.” Image source: Netflix

As for what it’s about, the show is set in a 17th-century Japan with closed borders. Per Netflix, “Our hero, Mizu (Erskine), knows there were only four white men in Japan at the time of her birth and sets off to kill these men, one of whom might be her father, who made her a ‘creature of shame.’ But revenge is not an option for women, so Mizu must forge her revenge quest while hiding her gender as well as her blue eyes.”

She’s joined on her revenge quest by three companions: Ringo, a soba maker with dreams of greatness; Taigen, an arrogant samurai; and Princess Akemi, who’s betrothed to Taigen. The band sets out across Edo-era Japan for a series that combines the edginess of live-action with jaw-dropping animation.

The co-creators behind Blue Eye Samurai are the husband-and-wife team of Amber Noizumi and Michael Green (a writer whose film credits include Logan and Blade Runner 2049). “We want people to sink into it and be taken by the story and the level of artistry and forget they’re watching animation,” Green said in a Netflix promotional interview about the series.

“We would love this to cross over into every interest — that if you like The Witcher, if you like animation, if you like Game of Thrones, if you like The Crown, if you like historical drama, if you like Shakespeare in Love, if you like Tarantino movies, there’s something in Blue Eye Samurai for you.”

On Monday, Dec. 11, Netflix confirmed that the show has been picked up for a second season. In a statement about the renewal Noizumi and Green said that it was always their commitment to take this “very personal story” set in Edo-period Japan and bring it to life “in the most authentic and beautiful way possible.”

“Our animators, historians, musicians, martial artists and voice cast made this a reality beyond our expectations,” the statement continues. “We are thankful to our entire team and to our viewers from all over the world who have shown such passion for Mizu and her path of revenge. Mizu has a lot more blood to spill! We are deeply grateful to our incredible partners at Netflix for letting the journey continue.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.