Netflix’s ‘Blue Eye Samurai’ revolves around its titular protagonist, Mizu, a mixed-race female Samurai who lives under the guise of a man to embark freely on her darkened path of revenge and retribution. While her character remains a focal point of the narrative, the show also features compelling storylines about several other characters, including Mizu’s overeager apprentice, Ringo, and fellow frenemy samurai, Taigen. Among these characters is Akemi, a Princess of the Tokumobu clan who yearns to blaze her own path.
Unlike Mizu, Akemi doesn’t have the opportunity to make up for her gender-based period-typical disadvantages and struggles to have a say in her own life. Nevertheless, raised by a wise man, Seki, her father’s advisor, Akemi learns to traverse the world on her own terms. Therefore, given the crucial role Seki plays in Akemi’s life, his well-being becomes a point of emotional interest to the audience and leaves them wondering about his ultimate fate. SPOILERS AHEAD!
What Happens To Seki?
From the beginning of Akemi’s storyline, Seki establishes himself as a trusted parental figure in Akemi’s life. The princess’ mother had died shortly after her birth. Therefore, Seki, a member of the Tokumobu court, had fallen into caring for Akemi’s upbringing. Although most men within the story remain oblivious to women’s plight in their times and often only treat them as objects, Seki maintains a deeper understanding of the female condition.
As such, Seki teaches Akemi the way of the world while also allowing her the freedom to challenge its unfairness toward women. Still, he knows Akemi will have to live in a man’s world once she’s grown, so he tries to show her the subtle, manipulative ways in which she can compel men to do her bidding. Yet, Akemi remains too hot-headed and stubborn for the same. Although she employs tricks to get her father to agree to an engagement between her and Taigen, a respectable samurai, she refuses to move on to an alternative once their relationship falls through.
During this time, Seki tries to set up another marriage for Akemi, which he believes would be the best bet for her future despite its complications. However, he loses Akemi’s trust since he makes the decision without her input. By doing so, he has essentially tried to control her life in the same vein that others have tried to for so long. Consequently, a short fallout occurs between the two, with Akemi leaving for her own adventure without Seki by her side.
Nonetheless, by the show’s end, the two reunite, albeit under taut circumstances. Akemi’s marriage to the Shogun’s son is all but confirmed, and neither can do anything to prevent it. Yet, the situation has changed significantly since their last interaction. During her short time at Madam Kaji’s brothel, Akemi saw the aggravated disadvantages women below her social status suffer through. As a result, she knows that by trying to run away from her royal blood and the opportunities it may bring to influence cruel but powerful men, she is doing a disservice to her own potential.
By now, Akemi has realized that instead of pursuing happiness, she wants to pursue greatness. Likewise, Seki has also learned his faults in trying to control Akemi. The old man wanted the princess to live on her own terms and raised her to desire the same. Therefore, now he only wishes to support Akemi through her choices without controlling them.
Akei marries Tokoyashi, the Shogun’s son, and realizes she can make the best of an inconvenient situation by helping other women, particularly Madam Kaji and her girls. Nevertheless, the victory is short-lived since Abijah Fowler and his men, armed with European firearms, knock on the Shogun’s doors soon. While Akemi tries to warn her father about it, she discovers that he himself is aligned with Fowler and wants to overthrow the Shogun even if he has to work with a foreigner to do it.
Still, while Akemi is locked up in the dungeon, Seki comes to her rescue alongside Mizu, who previously abandoned Akemi but has returned for her. As such, Akemi and Seki flee from the palace as the Shogun’s army perishes to Fowler’s men. However, once the duo is out of the Palace gates, they realize they have the chance to ensure this battle ends within the Edo Palace. A fire has broken out within the palace walls and will burn down the building and the people within.
Thus, before running away for her freedom, Akemi decides to lock the Palace doors behind her with Seki’s help to ensure none of her father’s court makes it out of the bloodbath and continues their rule over Japan. Most of the lords inside the palace walls helped Fowler carry out this attack, and those who didn’t would die at the Europeans’ hands anyway.
Yet, after the pair shut the doors behind them and Seki bars it with his sword, he gets shot by one of the soldiers’ guns as he and Akemi run across the bridge. As he dies with the Edo Palace burning in the background, he tells Akemi about his dream for her to make her way into the world and rule over Japan. While Seki’s death devastates Akemi, it also fuels the fire inside her to ensure corrupt men don’t get to abuse their power ever again. Ultimately, Seki dies, and his death hardens Akemi’s resolve to let go of her fancies for a happy but inconsequential life and instead chase after greatness.
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