The title of the film is based on a 400-year-old form of Japanese puppet theater, a style of storytelling that uses 4-foot-tall puppets with highly detailed heads, each operated by several puppeteers who blend into the background wearing black robes and hoods.
When the Drifter leaps onto the prison roof and attacks a guard, the Narrator says "Happy birthday, fucker." This line is quoted from the song "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies" by the band Faith No More. Mike Patton, who plays the Narrator, is the lead singer of Faith No More.
Bunraku (2010) is the first feature film produced by renowned production designer Alex McDowell, RDI. He originally met with Guy Moshe and producer Nava Levin in 2007 to consult with them on Bunraku (2010). Moshe's project was such an interesting and provocative blend of genres and techniques that McDowell got hooked and helped them to set up an innovative approach to pre-production that integrated pre-visualization, storytelling and design into a new fluid and low budget workspace for the creative team.
Snoot Entertainment's Keith Calder decided to produce Bunraku (2010) because he has always loved films in the 'no-name stranger coming to town and ending up in a bigger struggle' genre. Bunraku (2010) was for him the opportunity to take this genre and spin it on its head and bring a unique and strong visual style to it.
Japanese artist Gackt Camui came to the attention of director Guy Moshe through his role in the television historic drama The Trusted Confidant (2007), a year-long series produced by Japan Broadcasting Corporation. In this series, he portrayed a heroic warlord. Moshe went to Japan personally to entice Camui to join the cast for Bunraku (2010).
According to Keith Calder, Bunraku (2010) is heavily influenced by the look and style of classic Hollywood musicals except that the singing and dancing are replaced with physical combat sequences that evoke Gene Kelly by way of Bloodsport (1988).
The characters 'The Bartender' and 'Alexandra' share matching tattoos on their necks near their left ears. Alexandra wears Yin, the dark side, night. While The Bartender wears Yang, the white side, light.