After watching the first episode of Blue Eye Samurai, the first thing that came to my mind was an English novel I read, “The Bluest Eye”: in 1970s America, the main character, Pecola, is discriminated against and bullied because of her dark skin, so she wished she had a pair of blue eyes because they are usually a symbol of white people. Symbol.
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Blue Eye SamuraiThe heroine of Blue Eye Samurai has “watery” blue eyes, but that’s exactly why she’s ostracized. Born in 17th century Japan, she was born to a white man who raped a local woman and gave birth to a half-breed with blue eyes. The people around her feared her and disliked her, calling her “the devil”.
The blue eyes in “The Bluest Eye” are beautiful, pure, and superior, while the blue eyes in Blue Eye Samurai are ugly, mongrel, and inferior.
The concept of a racist-isolationist society is one of those words that is embedded in my DNA.
All three East Asian countries are without exception. But the opposite is the West’s endless expansion of force and trampling of other civilizations.
In “The Bluest Eye”, Pecola is raped and impregnated by her father, but her premature baby doesn’t survive, and she goes crazy, thinking she has blue eyes so people around her treat her better.
And in Blue Eye Samurai, Mizu vows to kill all four white males that were the only ones in Japan at the time of her birth, because any one of them could have been her father. It’s really awesome to go straight for the people who caused her life’s misfortunes.
I don’t know if the writers were even remotely referencing “the bluest of eyes” when they created Blue Eye Samurai (Mulan was definitely referenced, the posters are all pretty much the same; and maybe Memoirs of a Geisha since the heroine has light-colored eyes and mentions “water”).
But it’s nice to see (and see) that she has light-coloured eyes, and that she has light-coloured eyes and mentions “water”. “), but it was comforting to see (even if only fictional) women finally stop being self-discriminating and brainwashing and take up the gauntlet and go straight to the issues themselves.
One of my favorite episodes of Blue Eye Samurai is the treatment of Water’s husband. For a while, Water was married. The husband was a samurai. He was punished by the Shogun for a minor mistake. He was bent on training excellent warhorses to make amends to the Shogun and prayed for reinstatement.
The husband showed extreme gentleness to Water in the early days of the marriage, saying, I will never force you if you don’t want to. At the same time the husband was training a particularly stubborn mare. He said: This mare is particularly good, and if he can tame her to give to the general, the general will surely forgive him. He added: It takes patience to tame a horse.
Encouraged by her husband, Water gradually dropped her defenses against him and gradually revealed her past nature of practicing martial arts day by day. By now the metaphor of a stubborn mare = water is obvious. And I like the English word for “tame”: break. “tame” her, “break” her, “destroy” her. “break” her. The irony is extreme.
According to normal screenwriter thinking, the next plot would be that Water finally lets down all her guards with her husband’s patience, and the two of them double-tree until there’s some sort of accident, her husband dies, and Water once again transforms back into her hate-filled, blocked-out self.
That’s why I almost rolled my eyes at this. It’s a good thing the writers of “Blue Eyed Samurai” didn’t go for such a cliché. Mizu does let down her guard with her husband’s patience, and they are sweet for a while, and then the husband learns that Mizu knows kung fu and insists on fighting her, and loses.
Another anti-stereotype character in Blue-Eyed Samurai is Princess Akemi. It’s not really an Anti-Stereotype, as non-silly princess characters have been there before.
Blue Eye Samurai begins with her fighting her father to marry the man she loves, and even outright fornicating with her favorite samurai. Later, she runs away from home in search of her missing lover, and goes around poking around in the guise of a prostitute, and meets real johns with a little sleight of hand to not lose her virginity, but also to please them.
After being forced to marry the youngest son of a shogun, she decides to take control of her own life under the guidance of her mother, Ms. Sangaji. After a misunderstanding, she discovers that her husband is not so unpleasant, and apologizes directly for her rudeness and encourages her stuttering husband to express himself. When she discovers that her father wants to betray the general and kill her husband, she doesn’t hesitate to imprison him when the time comes.
It is interesting to note that the princess is on top in both encounters. She is not a kept virgin, but she would never commit herself to someone she didn’t like either. This, better than most stories, also reflects the fact that she is indeed a real person with a mind of her own.
What’s even more valuable is that she clearly knows that those girls who sell their bodies do that line of work because they have no choice, so when she has the ability, she is the first to ransom them and respect their own wishes. That’s a lot better than some realistic non-realistic women who dislike and despise prostitutes.
Akemi’s setting is also realistic in a way: daughters of poor families, with no education, no resources and no personal freedom, it’s simply impossible to awaken their feminist consciousness.
Only the daughters of well-bred aristocrats like Akemi have the opportunity to be exposed to a good education from an early age, and have the chance to cultivate their own will, although more often than not this self-will is portrayed as “unconscious” and “bratty”, i.e., silly and sweet.
What makes Akemi different is that she’s not just capricious, she also finds her own way to get what she wants. As the story progresses, her purpose changes from “running after men” to “I want to achieve greatness”.
She’s an ambitious empress, and I like it. After the citywide fire, Akemi says she’ll take care of her father, but in reality she’s supposed to be under house arrest, which is a great move.
Another thing I really liked about Blue Eye Samurai is that the female lead, Mizu, is not the Chosen One. Every time she encounters a contingency it almost always goes towards the worst case scenario.
She meets a young boy after completing an assassination at the behest of Ms Kaji and lets him off the hook, only for the bear to turn around and rat on him, leading to the near extermination of those involved.
She breaks into the tower where the white man is alone to assassinate him and ends up in a constant state of trouble from the moment she enters the dark passage, with various missteps, various guards finding her, various alarms, various poisonings, and various hidden weapons.
When a woman tries to accomplish something, she is thwarted in every way. They’ll go to great lengths to stop them. But even so, even with all her serious injuries, she fought tenaciously to the top of the tower. And that’s the truth.
Women who want to achieve greatness have to work a hundred times and a thousand times harder than the average male, they have to become superhuman. And even then, they are questioned, dismissed, and stigmatized all the time. All the empathy, all the sympathy, it’s all thrown away at some point for some reason.
That’s why I said that after watching Blue-Eyed Samurai all I could think about was Arthur Morgan saying “This world is men unleashed” and John Marston saying “You are a woman living in a men’s world. “You are a woman living in a men’s world”. And so it is with us now.
But as depicted in Blue Eye Samurai, there is no use crying or being angry. Mizuki or Akemi, they are all women who have their own ideas and try their best to fight for them. What is more important than “voice” is “action”. When we can’t refute with words, we should fight with actions.
The delicate balance between the father of the sword, the water, and Akemi’s concern for the two, and their equal exchange, was found by the writers of Blue Eye Samurai, which is very rare. The fact that the “guardians” are older men makes sense to me. In a large sense, these men are the “outsiders” of the community, the “rebels” of the order.
There weren’t many women who were “advanced” at that time (or even now). Mizuki and Akemi, as pioneers of feminism, could not find much support and encouragement from their female elders. In many cases, the older women themselves are the defenders of patriarchy. （Again, we are women living in a men’s world.)
At this point, then, the only role models they, we, were able to emulate before they met, before GIRLS HELP GIRLS happened, were an extremely small number of males.
Young males like Taejoong, who are in the prime of their high-profile privilege, combined with their own lack of age and experience, are of course unlikely to be able to help the girls who could potentially jeopardize their interests in the future. Although Tae-Seung treats Mizu as an equal opponent, it’s because he doesn’t realize that she’s actually in a daughter’s body. His expectation of Akemi is just “abducting a princess to live as a housewife”.