blue eye samurai: a journey of self discovery
In addition to reflecting the genre’s own characteristics through all the characters, and combining this with a unique visuality, an exquisite work has been created. “Somehow, at the fifteenth minute, if you didn’t know, I might get bored and turn it off in the second episode.” I started with a fragile motivation and reached the bottom in two days.
Character transformation is a must for journeys of self-discovery. It must be a more or less obvious transformation, preferably mixed with intense insight. For this, it is essential to overcome some difficulties and thresholds. The series does these things; But the best thing about Blue Eye Samurai is that it was able to transform almost every character in a healthy and satisfying way, without putting all the burden on the Mizu character.
Warning: Spoilers from here on out.
He started his journey with blinding rage and a quest for revenge, but with every obstacle he overcame, he calmed down his anger as much as it should have, calmed him down, and smoothed down the sharp edges that harmed him. Meanwhile, he discovered friendship and love, even though he was unaware of it, and became dignified. The main basis of his transformation is the fact that he realized that pure anger can only work to a certain extent. The blinding anger of the first episodes did not disappear, it just turned into a force under control. Although he was a character who went through the toughest roads with Akemi, overcame the most difficult obstacles, and became stronger with each obstacle he overcame, the audience was reminded in every episode that he was still a character with fragilities and weaknesses, not a character with superpowers. These features were what made Mizu so interesting. Mizu is an incredibly charismatic character, but the audience constantly finds things to empathize with her, which is why they love her even more.
He could survive in his small tavern, which was neither good nor bad, but he followed Mizu with the motivation of being the best at anything. Judging by his character development, I think the thing he’s best at is friendship. She cooked, sewed, fought, protected, looked after, and more importantly, she did not defend her friend’s mistakes and opposed him. He came and went to help where needed. Even though he was born without hands, instead of being sulky and cowering in a corner, he went on an adventure and did not complain for a single moment. A great supporting character. It’s like the embodiment of wisdom. The full transformation of the characters has not been achieved yet, but obviously there will be something else besides Ringo. He’s a character with a lot of potential.
After being humiliated by Mizu, he still had a chance to marry Akemi and live a rich and carefree life. But he wasn’t satisfied with that and he followed Mizu and set off towards the unknown. She wanted to repair her damaged ego. Although he set out with the desire to have a rematch with Mizu, after a while this motivation completely disappeared. Because she discovered that there are more important issues in life than a person’s ego. The selfish and arrogant Taigen in the first episode had almost no connection with the Taigen in the last episode.
In fact, compared to the other characters, Akemi was the one who embarked on a path full of uncertainty and in more difficult conditions. She set out into nothingness, not caring about the chance of marrying a lord and living a comfortable life where she could have whatever she wanted. Her love was initially the catalyst for her journey, but towards the end of the story, this motivation lost its meaning. His transition from recklessness, even risking working in brothels, to relative rationality occurred almost imperceptibly. She discovered that she could move from the title of “a gifted daughter of a rich, powerful father” to “a woman who can take power and direct that power” and she chose this path. Along with Mizu, he is the smartest character in the series. Likewise, her character development and journey was the most difficult character, along with Mizu.
It is also noteworthy that the characters’ transformations do not occur through a moment of catharsis.
Catharsis: In ancient Greece, it was considered a type of “soul transformation”, meaning the purification of the soul from evil. In short, you can think of it as a moment of enlightenment that happens suddenly.
Each chapter builds on the previous one. Nothing happens all at once, with instant awareness. Events and thoughts accumulate, and as a result of that accumulation, a transition occurs. Maybe we are watching the transformation that took place in the fifth episode unfold somewhere in the seventh episode. Meanwhile, the characters are not left superficial. They all have a certain amount of depth. Apart from what we have seen in their past, there are no big question marks left about what we have not seen. We can understand the characters’ behavior and their reasons, and we can make guesses about what we cannot understand.
I guess Netflix gets screwed every once in a while, they come up with stuff like this. You shouldn’t miss it while you’re at it.