2021 / 80m - Japan
Action, Adventure - Animation
Bright: Samurai Soul poster


October 20, 2021


Netflix is very eager to get a slice of the anime pie and isn't afraid to throw its own IP in the mix. Sometimes it turns out pretty well (think Altered Carbon), but it's certainly no guarantee for success. Bright reminded me a bit of Kai Doh Maru, only it lacks the artistic vision, and it gets trapped in some tried and tested Feudal Japan alteration of a world that wasn't all that interesting to begin with.

Izo (a ronin) and Raiden (an orc) get stuck defending Sonya (a young elf). Several people seem to be targeting the young girl, who supposedly knows more about a mystic wand that can identify people with special powers. As the trio travels through Japan to learn more about this wand, it slowly dawns on them that Sonya isn't just any regular elf.

The setup is very basic, the link with the live action Bright is there in the characters and broader lore, yet it still feels like some kind of awkwardly tacked on anime extra. The art style isn't entirely successful either, but at least the camera work and shot compositions are quite interesting. It's decent (and relatively short) filler, but Netflix needs to do better than this.