Netflix has released the official trailer for its upcoming American adult animated television series, Blue Eye Samurai. The trailer brings viewers into the show’s visually stunning and provocative animated cinematic action sequences, which have a live-action edge.
Set in Edo-period Japan, Blue Eye Samurai follows Mizu (voiced by Maya Erskine), a mixed-race master of the sword who lives a life in disguise seeking the deliverance of revenge.
The drama’s protagonist is described by the streamer as being a fierce, focused mixed-race samurai who embarks on a revenge quest against the four white men who made her a creature of shame. She was taken in by the Swordmaker and learned to forge, then wield, swords.
Besides Erskine, Blue Eye Samurai‘s voice cast also include George Takei (Seki), Masi Oka (Ringo), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (The Swordmaker), Brenda Song (Akemi), Darren Barnet (Taigen), Randall Park (Heiji Shindo) and Kenneth Branagh (Abijah Fowler). The series’ supporting voice cast features the voices of Stephanie Hsu (Ise), Ming-Na Wen (Madame Kaji), Harry Shum Jr. (Takayoshi) and Mark Dacascos (Chiaki).
Jane Wu serves as Blue Eye Samurai‘s supervising director and producer. Green and Noizumi also serve as executive producers on the drama, alongside Erwin Stoff.
Blue Eye Samurai‘s eight episodes were written by Noizumi, Green and Yana Bille-Chung. Wu helmed the show with Ryan O’Loughlin, Earl A. Hibbert, Alan Wan, Green, Sunny Sun and Alan Taylor.
While discussing how she and Green came up with the idea for Blue Eye Samurai, Noizumi said: “Michael and I are married. I am half Japanese, half white, and our daughter is turning 15 in a couple of weeks.
“But when she was a baby, about 4 months old, one day I realized she had these big, bright blue eyes and I was so excited that I had a baby with blue eyes. And then I kind of started thinking, Why am I so excited that my daughter has blue eyes? What’s the big deal about that? And why am I so excited that I have a baby who looks more white?,” the series’ co-creator continued.
“In our early creative conversations, we were talking about how back in the Edo period starting in 17th-century Japan, it would’ve been illegal to be white. Nobody would’ve wanted to look white like that,” Noizumi added. So the duo “started spinning a tale that progressed slowly over the following 15 years.”
Green went on to share why he and his wife-colleague felt Erskine was the perfect choice to voice the role of the drama’s titular blue-eyed character. “She is highly skilled, deeply trained, and she’s a very serious actor. We all got to know her as a brilliant comedic actor from the show Pen15, and I think the world is about to get to know her as an action hero,” he noted.
“As Mizu, she’s thoughtful and considerate, and she really spent a lot of time in training thinking about what it is to have a voice that masks your gender. If we didn’t have Maya Erskine, there was no second choice for Mizu,” the show’s co-creator revealed.