Take a look at the trailer Netflix has released for Bright: Samurai Soul, an anime feature set in the same world as Bright, the David Ayer-directed 2017 action-fantasy starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton.
We head back to time between the fall of the Shogunate and the rise of the Meiji era, and follow a troubled Ronin, Iza (with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu leading the English-language voice cast), and an orc, Raiden (Fred Manusco), who find themselves working together to bring a young elf girl and the wand she carries to the land of the elves in the north.
An interesting style of animation on display in the trailer – a combo of Japanese woodblock print art with 3DCG technology. The trailer also unveils a narrative in the same vein as the film, with a grumpy human and well-natured Orc forced to team up for the greater good. The anime film is directed by Kyohei Ishiguro, whose credits include episodes anime series such as Psycho Pass, Your Lie in April, and Children of the Whales. The script comes from Michiko Yokote (Children of the Whales, Prison School).
This could also serve as a test by Netflix to see what level of interest there is for the Bright world, considering talks of a live-action sequel have been going since 2018. The first film was met with middling reviews (we liked it), but was a hit for Netflix, with around 60 million viewers tuning in to watch, making it the streamer’s biggest release at the time and an early blockbuster as it got its footing in the movie realm.
Bright: Samurai Soul will be streaming on Netflix from October 12th.
Official synopsis for Bright: Samurai Soul:
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, a one-eyed wandering ronin named Izou, who has lost his reason to live, and Raiden, an orc who detests murder and hopes to leave a life of thievery behind, separately meet a young elf girl named Sonya around the same time. Together, they 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. Standing in their path is the mysterious organization Inferni, which aims to obtain the wand and revive the Dark Lord, who intends to rule all of creation. Inferni also uses the new Meiji government in its attempt to steal the wand from Izou, Raiden and Sonya. Traveling along the Tokaido road from Kyoto to Yokohama, Izou and Raiden begin their journey to protect the wand.