Blue Eye Samurai – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

The Tale of the Ronin and the Bride

Episode 5 of Blue Eye Samurai begins with a show, bathed in shadows and fronted by puppets. This is the Tale of the Ronin and the Bride, something that eventually returns us to the present. Mizu brandishes her blade and holds off the men, while organizing traffic and having Ringo take care of the women, taking them down to the basement. “You have doomed us all,” Kaji says bitterly, as Mizu waits for the men to show up.

Working from the shadows, Mizu takes out the men one at a time. As she does, we cut back in time and see more of Mizu’s past, including how her mother succumb to opium. Mizu tells her mum not to do this again, but she shrugs it off, claiming she needs to go back to work soon.

Even worse, Mizu’s mum tried to sell her off. With money gone from the house, she’s chipper and claims that her new husband is an outcast and getting old now, so he needs help with chores. And this is how she ended up at the secluded hut of a man called Mikio. However, he’s not a brute and knows this is a match of convenience rather than love.

Slowly, the pair start to grow closer together, bonding over horses. And, specifically, a stallion called Kai. Kai is a tough horse to break and after hurting Mikio and giving him a big bruise over his chest, Mizu manages to break him.

Mizu and Mikio have a strong bond, and Kai is given to Mizu as a gift. This is enough for Mizu to kiss the former warrior, and the pair end up having sex together – an act of true, genuine passion rather than convenience.

Mizu opens up and tell him about her revenge and the sword skills she’s been learning. Unfortunately, his desire to see “all of her”, shatters Mizu’s dream as her eternal sunshine darkens. Mikio is bested in battle and sees the beast lying within. Mikio leaves with all the horses – including Kai. When he does return, he leaves Mizu to her fate when men show to kill her.

Back in the present, Mizu finds herself holding off the soldiers while sporting her wound. She’s breathing deeply, struggling, and when she’s choked out, it’s Akemi who manages to save her neck – quite literally.

It’s enough for Mizu to get back up and fight with all the strength that she has. She goads all the guards in to her position, using the door as a shield…but only to keep out a handful of men from many more outside. Eventually the door collapses and falls on top of her.

However, that doesn’t stop Mizu. She manages to best all ythe soldiers outside, leaving them in a bloody mess. This coincides beautifully with the past, as Mizu does the same for the men who show up to claim her bounty. Eventually, this ends with Hamata thrown to the proverbial wolves. Or, well, the women at Kaji’s brothel.

Mizu walks away, closer to death, as we cut back in time and see Mikio return and start fighting with Mizu’s mother. When he stabs Mizu’s mum, she throws a knife and kills her husband.

Back in the present, Mizu allows the king’s guards to take off with Akemi. Ringo is shocked by her dishonourable stance on the matter. In fact, he turns and lets her walk away.

The final scene catches us up to the future, where the tale of the Ronin and the Bride finishes. Akemi is there, and she points out that she’s met the real Onryo once, who has nothing but darkness in her heart. And as she opens her mouth, we see that her teeth have been stained black.

The Episode Review

Blue Eye Samurai has been a great watch but this episode in particular really exemplifies the artistry and excellent storytelling this show has become synonymous for. The flashbacks are woven so well into the story, alongside the present day tale. That whole tale about the Ronin and the Bride echoes Mizu’s journey up to this point and it’s testament to her willpower that she’s managed to survive this long.

The action is just as relentless and brutal as it has been previously, but this time with the added bonus of including a lot of artistry with the way this violence is shown. The red ribbons from the Ronin story, woven around the bloodshed of Hamata’s army, is beautifully done.

It all escalates up to Mizu pushing forward with her revenge, even if it means turning away from those who have supported her. And now it becomes clear why – she’s worried she’ll be betrayed again if she pens her heart to another individual.

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You can read our full season review for Blue Eye Samurai here!

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