Amber Noizumi and Michael Green both cut their teeth in live-action, and from what they told Animation Magazine, their first foray into animation came with a bit of a curveball. ‘learning. “We were like, ‘Yeah, we can go to Kyoto, go to Edo, go to this town and build this castle, and (the animators) just have to draw it. It’s no big deal, n ‘Right?’ And it was only when we started talking to people who knew certain things that they were like, ‘Oh, no, that’s a big deal! These things cost time and money,” Noizumi said. This meant the creators relied heavily on supervising director Jane Wu, who has been involved in both animation and live-action, such as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” and “Captain America: Civil War.”
The action-packed movement of the series is highlighted by the stunning animation style, which integrates traditional 2D animation with 3D models. Even the entirely computer-generated moments have a hand-drawn feel. “We kept saying, ‘Let’s not do this thing of creating beautiful concept art and throwing it away,'” Green said. “Let’s make it look like conceptual art.” The intention paid off, as “Blue Eye Samurai” is both graphically bloody and beautiful. So much so that the showrunners warned the animators before joining the team, knowing that drawing severed limbs and fountains of blood might not be for everyone.
Mizu obliterates opponents with ease, slicing and dicing enemies like an Iron Chef in a chopping challenge and using broken teeth as bullets. “Blue Eye Samurai” is not an anime by definition, but clearly takes inspiration from some of the greats while emulating the hallmarks of samurai and exploitation cinema of yesteryear.