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'Bright: Samurai Soul' review: Netflix's anime spin-off has breathtaking action and depth

Still from Netflix's Bright: Samurai Soul (Image via Netflix)
Still from Netflix's Bright: Samurai Soul (Image via Netflix)
Shruti Kotiya
ANALYST

Netflix and anime go hand in hand, especially with latest releases like Bright: Samurai Soul. An animated spin-off to Netflix's original action film Bright, the movie explores its predecessor's world but as a prequel.

Directed by Kyōhei Ishiguro and written by Michiko Yokote, Bright: Samurai Soul revolves around an alternate version of Japan’s Meiji Restoration era that comprises of humans, orcs, goblins, fairies, and elves.

The official synopsis of Bright: Samurai Soul reads:

"In the time between the fall of the Shogunate and the rise of the Meiji era, a powerful bright light emitted from a wand brings an end to the long Shogunate period to avoid further bloodshed as Japan begins to shift toward a new era. Amid these circumstances, Izou and Raiden go on a journey along the Tokaido road to bring her and the wand she holds safely to the land of the elves in the north while protecting the powers of the wand."

'Bright: Samurai Soul' : A review

The storyline of Bright: Samurai Soul begins with two forces of the past battling to get a hold of the mystical wand that has the ability to either bring light to the world or smother it in darkness.

Years later, the two opposing entities clash again to get hold of the magic wand, only this time they hunt down elves. A Rōnin samurai named Izou (Yūki Nomura/Simu Liu), an orc called Raiden (Daisuke Hirakawa), and a young elf Sonya (Shion Wakayama/Yuzu Harada) find themselves in the middle of this deadly war after acquiring the wand.

Like every anime, the movie stuns again with marvelous visuals that make death look almost real. From limb chopping to the blood splattered all over the screen, anime fans know that it never shied away from the gore and makes it that visceral.

What adds even more depth to the film is the music direction by Jin Aketagawa.

With fascinating animation especially with the Japanese woodblock print style, the movie is absolutely breathtaking, giving viewers another reason to watch anime.

While the original movie was set around blatant racism and dirty cop references, Bright: Samurai Soul focuses more on loyalty and morality. A simple yet effective story about two misfits who are trying their best to protect a little girl.

Bright: Samurai Soul is now streaming on Netflix.

Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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