Netflix is set to soon premiere Blue Eye Samurai, a new animated series from Michael Green and Amber Noizumi. Here’s everything we know so far about the upcoming title confirmed to be released on Netflix in November 2023.
First announced in October 2020, the new project was announced with Green and Noizumi attached as the writers and showrunners. Green is best known for his work on major Hollywood movies such as Logan, Blade Runner 2049, and Green Lantern.
Jane Wu is directing the project who has previously worked on Disney’s Mulan, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Star Trek Beyond.
Netflix Animation is working on the project alongside “animation services” provided by French studio Blue Spirt.
“Our story is a larger-than-life action-adventure that takes place 400 years ago, yet Blue Eye Samurai’s themes are of the moment and the inspiration is deeply personal. We are grateful for Netflix’s passion for this story and for their bold vision for sophisticated animated drama,” Green and Noizumi said when the project was first announced.
What’s Blue Eye Samurai on Netflix about?
The first description we got came just before the official announcement:
“In JAPAN in 1633 MIZU is branded as an outsider due to piercing blue eyes and sets out on a journey of revenge, coming into contact with the young noblewoman, AKEMI…”
A first-look photo was released for the series on April 21st, 2023, alongside the news that the series will debut at the Annecy Film Festival in June 2023 alongside other Netflix animated projects like Nimona, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, Exploding Kittens, and Leo.
At the festival, creators and supervising directors spoke about their vision for the story of a mixed-race master of the sword who lives a life in disguise while seeking revenge in Edo-period Japan.
Blue Eye Samurai executive producer Erwin Stoff noted, “Animation has always been a great medium for storytelling and Annecy is the best global stage to introduce audiences to Blue Eye Samurai. Michael Green and Amber Noizumi have assembled a tremendously talented team of artists and actors to bring their spectacularly creative and distinct vision to life.”
Jane Wu spoke during the panel, saying, “With Blue Eye Samurai, we are setting out to tell an ambitious new story and we can’t wait for audiences around the world to be introduced to this emotionally grounded animated drama with a live-action attitude.”
The show will sport a TV-MA rating.
Who will voice in Netflix’s Blue Eye Samurai?
Alongside the series first being announced, we also got the majority of the main cast for the series which includes:
- Maya Erskine (Pen15)
- George Takei (Star Trek)
- Masi Oka (Heroes)
- Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat, Blockbuster)
- Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Man in the High Castle)
- Brenda Song (Dollface)
- Darren Barnet (Never Have I Ever)
What’s on Netflix can also confirm that Sir Kenneth Branagh (Murder on the Orient Express, Belfast, Death on the Nile) will also voice in the new series.
Margery Simkin and Orly Sitowitz served as casting directors on the project.
For the moment, we don’t know who each actor will play, but we have got a list of the various characters you’ll see throughout:
- Spirited and tough, MIZU is out for revenge. She is determined and has the inner focus to achieve that goal.
- An over-eager helper who talks non-stop. RINGO doesn’t see his physical disability as a deterrent – he has no hands. His ingenuity and high energy give him the drive he needs to survive. He can be exhausting, but he is endearing and funny.
- A young noblewoman, AKEMI is bound by the traditional ways of her society. When necessary she becomes the soft spoken, deferential, traditional sounding daughter her father expects her to be. With those she trusts, she can be herself: smart, succinct, and determined, speaking in a stronger lower register.
- Although not born of noble blood, TAIGEN has reached a level of success that belies his humble upbringing. Considered the best swordsman in Kyoto, he has become arrogant and when his position is challenged by an unlikely person he is determined to prevail at all costs.
- Although blind, THE SWORDMAKER misses nothing. Though sometimes cold, he is wise, resourceful, calm and measured. He cared for MIZU when no one else did.
- AKEMI’s father, he is a lord in Kyoto who has risen from humble beginnings. Not only is he imposing in body and temperament, DAICHI is a man who has fought many battles, and has the scars to prove it. Quick to react in anger, but can be softened by his daughter, although he demands and expects to be obeyed.
- The senior attendant in DAICHI’s household, SEKI is the one bright spot for AKEMI. Like a favorite uncle to her, he is calm, cunning, and particular.
- A black market middleman, SHINJIN ONO works with the person MIZU is trying to find.
- MADAME KAJIA, a woman who has managed to find autonomy over her life in a world hostile to women. Tart, unflappable, wise and unsentimental (can sometimes be charmingly persuasive). She worked her way up to this managerial role from the bottom up.
One additional note we should add is that while casting for the show, Netflix noted that all of the characters will speak English with no Asian accent.
When will Blue Eye Samurai be released on Netflix?
In January 2023, Michael Green posted a string of Tweets in which one of them implied the new show would debut in November 2023. Netflix itself has confirmed on several occasions that the series would debut in 2023.
(And YES, this is me getting you ready to watch our show RIGHT AWAY when it comes out in November…)
— Michael Green (@andmichaelgreen) January 7, 2023
In August 2023, another crew member, Damon Bard (who serves as a visual development artist on the project), posted on Instagram confirming a November 3, 2023, global Netflix release date for all episodes of Blue Eye Samurai.
In the Instagram post, he states:
“This last Wednesday night we had a crew wrap party for my latest, epic, soon to be released Netflix project called Blue Eye Samurai. I was a visual development artist on the show for two years during the Covid lockdown. They handed out a poster to the crew that teases our main character that I developed in 3-D and hints at the overall style of our show.. To be released on Netflix November 3, 2023..”
Netflix confirmed this date on September 22nd also teasing that the first teaser trailer for the series will come as part of its DROP01 live stream that replaces Geeked Week on September 27th.
We’ll keep you posted as and when we learn more about the future of Blue Eye Samurai when we get it. Until then, let us know if you’re excited about the project in the comments below.