Fantasy and historical setting in Japan of the Meiji period (1868-1912) give life to Bright – Samurai Soul, the prequel / spin-off of Bright, the urban fantasy film starring Will Smith (buy the films starring Will Smith who knew Amazon) written by Max Landis (creator of Dirk Gently and son of director Jonathan Landis) and directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad).
Bright – Samurai Soul is an animated film directed by Kyōhei Ishiguro (Fairy Tail, Psycho-Pass, Children of the Whales) based on the screenplay by Michiko Yokote (Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion, Prison School), while the animation studio that took care of the making of the film is Arect. Bright is therefore becoming a franchise, and this animated prequel takes up the main themes.
Bright – Samurai Soul, the plot
Below you will find the complete synopsis of Bright – Samurai Soul:
In the period between the fall of the shogunate and the rise of the Meiji era, a powerful bright light emitted from a wand ends the long period of the shogunate to prevent further bloodshed as Japan begins to move into a new era. Under these circumstances, a one-eyed wandering ronin named Izou, who has lost his reason for living, and Raiden, an ogre who hates murder and hopes to leave behind a life of a thief, separately meet a young girl. elf named Sonya around the same time. Together, they embark on a journey along the Tokaido Road to take her and the wand she keeps safe to the land of the elves in the north. On their path is the mysterious Inferni organization, which aims to obtain the wand and revive the Dark Lord, who intends to dominate all creation. Inferni also uses the new Meiji government in its attempt to steal Izou, Raiden and Sonya’s wand. Traveling along the Tokaido road from Kyoto to Yokohama, Izou and Raiden begin their journey to protect the wand.
Since it is a spinoff, we recommend watching the film Bright before this prequel, in order to become familiar with this world and better understand the subtexts of the story told in Bright – Samurai Soul. From a narrative point of view, we are not dealing with a particularly elaborate and original story. In short, don’t expect big twists. However, watching the film has its own charm, not only due to the particular visual aspect.
The short duration of Bright – Samurai Soul, 80 minutes, still allows for a good characterization of the main characters, even if the same cannot be said for the vilain. Another negative element concerns some steps, which are a bit too hasty, while others are affected by the fact that an exhaustive explanation of the reasons behind the actions of the characters and of certain phenomena is not provided; these elements lead to perceive the shortcomings, giving the impression that the global vision of the dynamics of the narrative is not so global.
However, it is also possible that the choice has been made to omit certain passages not only because they can be better understood by looking Bright before Bright – Samurai Soul (as it should be, in fact), but also because it is very likely that that of Bright become a real franchise: not only was this animated spin-off prequel to the original Netflix movie made, but it is also in the plans a sequel to the film, which is expected to be directed by Louis Leterrier as David Ayer, the director of Bright, was also unable to direct the sequel due to other work commitments, some of which always with Netflix. And if you’re wondering, both Will Smith and Joel Edgerton will return in the sequel.
This may give us hope that in the future we will have a better defined overview of the world in which they are set Bright e Bright – Samurai Soul, but in the present it seems that the clear definition of the characteristic elements of this mixture of real world and fantasy is yet to be established.
Bright – Samurai Soul: the union between classical and contemporary art
The graphic style with which it was created Bright – Samurai Soul is that of Japanese woodcut classic, while the animations were made using the 3D computer graphics. The final effect, from a visual point of view, is fascinating and alienating at the same time, precisely because of the combination of two forms of artistic expression so distant in time.
It is a mixture that might seem risky, but which shows all its charm especially in the action scenes: while in fact the beautiful and evocative backdrops remain more or less static, thus reproducing the effect of Japanese woodcuts, the animation in 3D computer graphics gives the moving objects and characters that depth, that sense of three-dimensionality that instead the typically two-dimensional woodcuts do not have.
Another element that recalls the Japanese woodcuts is found in the use of colors, of which they come he preferred the more subdued and less bright shades; even the palette in general recalls this art form, presenting a coloring that focuses more on warm shades.
Respect for the Japanese artistic tradition is thus combined with the modernity of visual effects and 3D animations, giving life to a vivid world and a not very original story, but certainly pleasant. To give you an idea, we show you the trailer for Bright – Samurai Soul:
Overall, therefore, Bright – Samurai Soul is an animated film that strikes more for the graphic and visual aspect itself than for the plot, so the final result is pleasant, and it is also a new way to explore the world of Bright.