Netflix is a diverse landscape of unique and exciting TV shows and movies. The streaming service is home to shows like Stranger Things, Squid Game, and more of the biggest names in entertainment. But one of the most exciting areas of the platform is its animation division. It's been cranking out hits one after another over the past couple of years, and it shows no sign of stopping. In fact, the streamer just welcomed a new anime series to its ranks that's got the critics talking: Blue Eye Samurai.
This anime-style action-centric adventure only spans eight episodes, and it's only been available to watch for a week. But it already has both critics and smitten. In fact, it's amassed an enviable 100% on Rotten Tomatoes from 11 reviewers, and an astonishing 97% with audiences, spanning 100+ ratings. Not bad for a samurai tale following a blue-eyed rōnin on the hunt for the father who made her "impure."
The series, new on Netflix this week, just debuted on Nov. 3. However, the first episode premiered a few days ahead of its official release on YouTube, which gave potential fans a shot to digest the story early. The sleek animation, star-studded voice cast, and relatable heroine make for an exciting adventure. And it's a great time to jump in and see what everyone else sees in the show, to get on the ground floor, so to speak.
What is Blue Eye Samurai about?
Created by husband and wife duo Michael Green and Amber Noizumi, Blue Eye Samurai follows Mizu (Maya Erskine), a mixed-race rōnin , or a samurai without a master, seeking revenge on the man who made her "impure".
Swordmaster Miku finds herself rejected and ostracized from Japanese society because of her appearance. Bullied and derided, nearly murdered, and othered by the xenophobic Japanese villagers around her, Miku found a way forward after being taken in and trained in the ways of the sword by the Swordfather (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa).
Miku blames her hardship on one white smuggler from years ago that she believes could have been her father. Despite being a talented samurai in her own right, Miku cannot rest until the revenge she seeks is complete.
With the help of friends like disabled cook Ringo (Masi Oka) and others she meets on her journey, Miku has to come to terms with the way her life has gone down — and whether or not she'll ever find and get even with the man she believes who poisoned it.
What the critics are saying
Critics from outlets like The Guardian, Polygon, and The Hollywood Reporter agree that Blue Eye Samurai shines as a result of its masterful mix of bloody betrayals, frenetic fight scenes, and the effect of revenge and trauma on one's soul. With 11 reviews in, the show currently boasts a perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.
Polygon's Petrana Radulovic praised it for how "brilliantly evocative and exciting it is," while The Hollywood Reporter's Angie Han raved over its "knack for crafting compelling characters and engaging drama.
Others were effusive about its blend of genres, claiming it "enthralls most with backstory twists and betrayals abounding." Over at The Guardian, Rebecca Nicholson called it "a real pleasure to watch."
Ready Steady Cut's Daniel Hart praised it as "the best animated series this year."
Has Blue Eye Samurai been renewed for a second season?
Unfortunately, according to Variety's interview with supervising director and producer Jane Wu, there isn't a renewal in the cards for Blue Eye Samurai just yet. But it's still very early on in the series' life cycle, and that green light could be in the cards for the popular animated show any day.
Wu has, however, lined out some specifics of what the team might be interested in exploring with a second season, namely exploring Miku's continued struggle and a potential trip to London following the explosive conclusion to the show's first arc.
So while there isn't a definite "yes" for the show to return just yet, the wheels are certainly turning, and it looks like the team behind Blue Eye Samurai is ready to tackle a whole new narrative if so.