Blue Eye Samurai is better than anything Disney has released

Blue Eye Samurai
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Blue Eye Samurai is better than anything Disney has released

This definitely isn’t one of my favorite topics but still ill say my piece. I was once a proud fan of the M-She -U but I was repulsed by Disney’s prioritization of the message over cinema quality in the last few years. Despite what executives say over there it is absolutely possible to produce a cinematic depiction which focuses on minority issues while still being good and watchable. Blue eye samurai is the most absolute evidence of this. Hey everyone, welcome to Aniprop, let’s get into it. 

Blue Eye Samurai has a Believable Protagonist

The first pitfall that blue eye samurai avoids and where disney should take notes is in the believability of the protagonist and her struggle. Mizu is a half white, female warrior living towards the end of the Edo period of Japan. What this time period means for her is that its both a bad time to be a female warrior and a mixed race Japanese citizen which she happens to be both. This is sensible story craft because her struggles are relevant and believable based on the setting alone, they don’t feel forced for the purpose of the message.The way they even go about introducing and displaying the prejudice against her is handled very well and realistically when juxtaposed against a show like she hulk. Even for someone with no understanding of the historical context, the show is written such that the prejudice is demonstrated believably. 

The other pitfall blue eye samurai avoids is the unrealistic and unlikeable character build up or lack thereof. Mizu is a very likable character. She makes some bad decisions but the audience can see how she came to make them. Also unlike the Disney marvel female leads, we  see her endure the hero’s journey earning her competence with the sword. One of the big criticisms of She Hulk , Captain marvel and Rey from star wars is that they just became strong because  the story demanded it. Mizu on the other hand, is just as powerful as the Disney characters in the context of her own show. She achieved this through singularity of focus, years of training and a caring master. She even endured ARCs  where love was gained and lost and finally she isn’t immune to damage and defeat in a way that diminishes the audience viewing pleasure as there is always risk and jeopardy in her fights.  

Blue Eye Samurai has good characters

That carries us into the other issue blue eye samurai avoids in contrast to the M she U films. There is absolutely no jeopardy in observing a captain marvel or her cohorts fight. Because the narrative is so heavily geared towards the message. The writers are unable to display their purely symbolic characters as ever weak, injured or defeated. Because that would mean their representation is being defeated, what this means is that these aren’t actually characters but instead embodied propaganda. This is not the case for Mizu, Mizu gets injured in most battles. She takes time to overcome her injuries as well. Sometimes down for a week or more as she recovers. She makes numerous mistakes and learns from them. She is human and very relatable while still being powerful in the context of her story. It’s not hyperbolic to say that we love her or atleast are proud of her by the end of season one. 

Interestingly too, beside the inherent themes that she faces as a result of her gender and race she faces a myriad of other thematic issues. Because Michael Green is not focused on the message he allows the character to have other issues. The one i liked the most was the classic spiderman theme “ with great power comes great responsibility”. Mizu was never formally trained under a lord therefore she is not a samurai. Because she is  so skilled in the use of the blade, the characters around her infer the expectations of a samurai upon her; expecting her to behave honorably and noble. I find this dynamic interesting because we know her rough upbringing and having observed her back story it seems almost ridiculous to me that anyone would expect her to behave in the same way as a pampered lord’s samurai. She often reminds people that she is no samurai with observable frustration. The other interesting theme the story goes into is that of revenge, what it does to a soul and if it’s really worth it. It wouldn’t be a proper edo period drama without a proper tale of revenge. This time period and culture lends itself well to this type of story and I think the writing capitalized on the setting very well. 

Swords vs Guns

Beyond Mizu, we have the sword vs guns story and the European invasion at the end of the shogunate. This context has been covered extensively in other shows like rurouni kenshin and the last samurai. It’s pretty much the same here, and that story acts as a backdrop for our main Mizu story. In this way Blue eye samurai is superior to all the M she You tales as well. The total story and universe doesn’t orbit our main character only. The writing in my opinion takes advantage of tropes because of how well known the European invasion of Japan is, the writing doesn’t spend copious amounts of time on setting up this context but instead focuses more on the specific character studies. 

What the recent Disney films also failed to do is make compelling support characters. Everything is so centered around the main feminist that it makes the side characters look lame. Even intentionally so, characters, especially male characters are made to look exceedingly foolish to elevate the perceptions of competence of the protagonist. Unfortunately this can break immersion as at times the sidemen are made to look so foolish and incompetent that it becomes unbelievable. What’s worse is that in  some cases even established, well loved characters like the Hulk are made to look unrealistically stupid and useless to elevate the woman. Blue eye samuraI does the opposite with compelling and loveable side characters. Ringo, Taigen and princess Akemi get the most screen time and they are well written with their own struggles and motivations. Their depth of character enhances the interactions with the protagonist. Even just the recurring characters are pretty fleshed out. The sword maker, Madame Kaji and Seki are more developed than anything I have seen from Disney lately. 

To no one’s surprise Netflix has already renewed blue eye samurai for a second season .The second season seems like it will div deeper into the revenge plotline of the series. It looks like it will be good and at the very least outperform anything Disney has released in recent times. Thanks for watching today, like and subscribe and see you next time. 

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