The badass animated series, Blue Eye Samurai, is racking in rave reviews after debuting on Netflix. Blending a unique animation style with an epic tale of revenge, series creator David Green and Amber Noizumi have opened up about the creative process behind the samurai series.
While fans have picked up hints of Kill Bill and Mulan, Noizumi revealed in an interview with Emmys.com that, actually, Blue Eye Samurai‘s biggest influence: Yentl. Yup, the classic 1983 musical starring Barbra Streisand. At first glance, the animated samurai story and Yentl seem nothing alike, but underneath the action, the stories are both built around female characters striving for acceptance in a male-dominated world.
Both Mizu and Yentl are concealed women living in a world where men dominate everyday life. Mizu isn’t accepted anywhere she goes due to her “impure” blood which deems her a demon to society. She is a victim of the community’s ignorance of mixed races from the lack of knowledge during Edo’s period of isolationism. Similarly, Yentl also faces sexism in her country which leads to her being frowned upon for her desire to acquire more knowledge. When becoming a man, Yentl and Mizu are able to have more choices in life and, most importantly, freedom.
Noizumi also revealed that Blue Eye Samurai took inspiration from genre classics like Lady Snowblood, but Yentl was definitely the big one as she and Green, who’s also her husband, collaborated on the series while stuck at home during the COVID pandemic.
Blue Eye Samurai is available for streaming on Netflix.