Interesting, that's about how I'd sum up this one. A different take on yet another vampire driven anime, Black Blood Brothers takes many of the old traditional vampire strengths, weaknesses, and effects, which was very nice to see. The show progressed at a rather unorthodox rate, with minor 30 second flashbacks and seemingly no real direction to speak of. Episode after episode, I caught myself changing my underlying theory for where the show would be ending up and came to the realization that this would be an anime about the characters. The story is there but the characters are really what it's all about when all is said and done and I appreciated it in that regard. If you're a story buff then you may want to move along, not to say that it was disappointing so much as it was middle grade. Nothing too impressive to see here.
There really isn't a ton of backdrop to any of it aside from the main overbearing questions. By the time the anime touches on the universe it is showing us the main characters all know each other through and through and they spend little time telling the viewers just what the hell is going on.
The animation that the artists employ in BBB is a nice blend of the traditional style of anime, but the presence of modern technology was definitely noticed. Very smooth, it was equally enjoyable to watch the humorous exploits of the three main party members, as well as the intense action sequences. The weapons clash with a refreshing brilliance that reminds me a bit of Afro Samurai, and like it, BBB impressed. The style of buildings and such aren't anything to marvel at and neither are most of the character's garments, with the exception of the main character Jiro, whose clothes are similar to that of what I'd expect to come out of a warlock's closet! His outfit is refreshing in contrast to the last few anime that I've watched and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Finally, the techniques that the vampires and such perform throughout the series have a nice shiny glow to them that make me "ooo"-"aaahh" frequently.
I don't know if anyone is going to argue for the sounds that this series employs. Like many anime the sound was there, but it wasn't noticeable enough to stand out. It was simply dull wallpaper in the living room, I pass by without noticing it... at all. I watched through all of Black Blood Brothers and not once did I say "I really enjoy the soundtrack!" or other comments of the like.
Characters! The characters in BBB are the driving force and they do not disappoint, with great vocal appearances from favorites Christopher R. Sabat (can FUNimation do anything without throwing him in there somewhere?), Jerry Jewell, and Kent Williams (though not in any lead roles). There is a very diverse span of character personalities present in this anime, from cold and calculating to childish happiness. BBB implements, quite effectively, a plethora of voice talents, all suiting their characters roles amazingly. I was particularly happy to hear Jerry Jewell and fell in love with his character Zelman. As I've said this series is moved by characters and with characters as great as these it is hard to foul up.
Overall Black Blood Brothers was far from what I expected. I enjoyed it very much and think that most will not be disappointed, it is well worth the 12 episode time-frame. I would have liked to have seen more done with it though and feel that it falls short of its potential.
Ten years earlier in the Hong Kong Crusade the Silver Blade defeated the Kowloon King and destroyed most of his vampire offspring. Now Jiro Mochizuki, AKA the Silver Blade, and his younger brother Kotaro head to the special zone, a vampire sanctuary where Jiro plans to immerse his sibling in the community there. Unknown to our hero is that the remaining Kowloon Children plan to enter the special zone and wreak havoc on the peaceful inhabitants inside.
If I was only given one word to describe this series, I'd go with dissatisfactory. That's not to say it's bad, because it's interesting enough, I just left feeling sort of unfulfilled. I've talked to friends who've watched it as well and mostly I get the impression that they thought it was beyond awesome, but I can't bullshit myself on this one, I thought it was average. That could be because I'm only a casual vampire fan, I mean I loved Blood+ but can we really consider that a hardcore vampire story? What it is, is that you'll watch the entire series, stand up and suddenly feel like you're missing something.It's only twelve episodes long, which is fine, but by the end it felt like I'd only watched about five or six episodes, like these twelve are only the setup for the meat of the story. They spend a lot of time revealing Jiro's past and who everyone is, then they have one big fight and it's all over. You take your favorite action series, for example and start with that first micro-arc they give you to establish character, setting, and plot and then end it. It was an interesting take on vampires, however, not anything super new. It will keep you guessing and interested, but be warned that you may be in the minority with me who found the ending okay but lacking.
Animation and sound were good. Animation was pretty great but nothing to lose my mind for. I watched the dub and I thought the voice actors did great.For all you people who aren't thrilled by dubs it's watchable if you prefer english.
Because the series spends a lot of time showing flashbacks and getting to know our cast, characters are the driving force behind the entire series. It starts out slowly, revealing only what we need to know at a good pace and eventually ending with a well formed idea of who these people are. You'll have your favorites, mine was Zelman Clock, and your least favorites, wasn't a big fan of Jiro. Most of them fall snuggly into roles we've seen many times before but luckily they're characters we like. One problem I encountered was that some of the characters slip through the cracks a bit. Everyone's always focused on Jiro and Kotaro,(like Jiro's the goddamn emperor of vampires or something) I would have liked to learn more about Zelman, or the Lord Dragon kid, or the antagonist's side of the story. You don't get a good sense of why the villian is the villian other than them going against the hero's. Otherwise good.
Overall, if you're looking for something deep and meaningful look elsewhere cause this ain't it. While the series is fun in it's own right it's not anything you want to go giving up your first born son to see. In fact skipping it is perfectly acceptable. The ending felt as if it were only the beginning with a couple of questions left unanswered (though not many) and only a feel for few of the cast which in my mind is inadequate story telling. The story is a fine blend of suspense and humor, but a surprising lack of gore for a show about creatures who suck peoples blood.I give this one a six out of ten because even though it was lacking on certain plot points, it was still enjoyable. A good series to add to your anime resume if you have the time, if not, don't sweat it you aren't missing much.
Black Blood Brothers is finally now one of my all-time favourites. The story telling was great, the style in which in the end 2 timelines are merged and all questions are answered was brilliantly executed. The Universe of the vampires in this anime was very believable. The animation was great, with the characters looking very believable, and not to mention cute! But the part that needs a special mention is the character art. This anime had one of the most beautiful representation, that I've ever seen of the characters. There was this one scene where the protagonist had just found something after thinking it was lost. He was in genuine pain, but was unable to cry, but also at the same time happy because he just found what he thought was lost. The entire emotion was drawn on his face. You could tell all those emotions just by looking at that face for those few seconds, even if the dialogue wasn't there. I was actually sad to see the series end in just 12 eps. But the ending does have enough room for a sequel or two, or even short OVAs. So, I'll be eagerly waiting for the sequel or OVA's release when they do, just like with Code Geass.
Considering that I only watched four episodes I don't expect this review to be any good. But this mostly concerns the dub so don't be surprised.
Now I wasn't planning to really watch it after that vampire piece of trash Twilight had started ruining the vampire legacy right down to its core. But after seeing a Within Temptation amv for this particular anime I decided to put it as a plan to watch.
The plot was descent, the reason why I rated it a four. It had no really interest to me at the start when I read over the syno. for it, that and it sort of reminded me of the show Saiyuki, which is weird. Two brothers trying to find a more perminate home in secture 11. You'd think they would develop it more further but they decided not to and by the time the first dvd was over they had already finished their journey. Quite quick to be honest. I guess the next half goes into the awakening of Kontarou. Not sure but I am not really all that impressed by it.
The prologue at the beginning was a little unnecessary but provided action fans with a nice taste of battle. So yes, it in my opinion deserved a four.
The animation of it.. I swear that Kontarou looks a bit more plump than he actually is, faces were thinner and longer, and I also swear that Jiro looked a bit like a stick in some places. So the animation I would rate a nice 6. It may have had many faults but I count for effort as well. Also the background was pretty good as well, not to dark nor to bright. Just a perfect plain background.
The sound now.. here is where I developed trouble with watching this and what helped lower my opinion on the plot.
I decided to watch the dub, and I regretted it the moment I hit play. I was right in knowing that FUNimation had yet again screwed up another voice casting. Ouch. If anything I had to stop the dvd within five minutes of watching it to gain my nerve to finish. Tantum J. Michael as Jiro was not a perfect match, he was.. as always.. DULL and slightly gruff in voice. I swear they only cast him because of sex appeal in tone. I continued to twitch everytime he talked threw Jiro. It was not a perfect combination and if you seen into the past with his acting you can tell it is him because he has that dull tone of voice. I will compliment him for being able to capture and authority tone but not by much. Even when Jiro paniced in water you can still hear that dull edge to it. Ouch.. just ouch. It was also not a pretty flashback that this guy was to play Sebastian. All I can say is that Sebastian is doomed.
Kontarou... That voice was the reason I stopped the show to gain my nerve. His voice was wincy, scratchy and just down right annoying. It was like a more obnoix sounding Goku (Saiyuki). I just had to tune him out.
Mimiko's voice actor wasn't too bad.. the voice could have been better but she seemed to slip into the role alright. But the english dub is something I do not recommend watching this show in. It greatly distracted me from the plot quite a few times, and the characters I could barely pay any mind to. 'sighs' Really I wish Funimation would stop making bad dubs. I feel so sorry for my Kuroshitsuji 'sniffles'.
Now the characters.. I don't have a good opinion on. You can thank the dub for distracting me on that. But I do rate them a five for mediocre. Though Jiro's actor had basically hurt my chances of paying attention to him, I could tell by how he acted that he had a no tolerance polocy, he was also kind and very noble, plus he was had quite a seductive side (well if you get down to the last episode you can see it). But his reasons for protecting Kontarou are quite see threw, even in the first episode I could tell why he wanted to protect Kontarou so much.
To get a better opinion on him I had to look up his character profile (which I ignored spoilers if any of you are concerned). I would say he is not to bad and defiantly those of a younger age girl's fantasy.
Now Kontarou.. I really don't want to bother with. I had a terrible time trying to pay any attention to him, which was because of the horrid voice. I did catch that he was a hyper child that can be easily side tracked by simple things like food or toys.
Mimiko.. I would say is a bit on the sueish side. For two episodes it had more concentrated on her, and her innoscent nature wasn't too likable with me. She also had a short temper and I would say that was the only funny thing about her.
Most of the other characters I have forgotten do to my lack of interest in them or bad voices. But I can say they were good supporting characters. So yes I would say a five is good enough for them, not to bad to be descent and yet not to good to be fair.
Overall... I rate this serious a 5.3. Five for it capturing at least my interests, and not letting me fall completely into my own imagination. Another for some descent actions scenes, and some good animation. But the three for poor sound. Seriously.. I hated the english dub, I advice any newbies to the serious do not let your curiousity get the better of you.. the sub is a better choice.
Ah... vampires... I despise vampires. I hate them with a burning passion due to the cliché way they are depicted in pop-culture. Ever since Twilight was released and for some reason people enjoyed it (I did not!), paranormal romance has been in. Hell, even when I go to the book store to buy some new books and mangas there's an entire section labeled Teen Paranormal Romance. The concept is overrated and overdone. I've only ever read one book series I remotely liked involving it, and it's not about vampires. Considering this anime came out the year after the original Twilight book made its first appearance, I was nervous that it would be riding the same path as it: cheesy, poorly written, and all together disappointing and boring. As you can imagine, even when my close friend CrazyBeverly96 recommended it to me, I was wary to watch it. After all, I have my reasons to avoid ANYTHING involving vampires. Wow, was I wrong.
This is one of the parts I worried about the most. I was praying it wouldn't be cliche, and I was right, it wasn't. The complicated set up with red-bloods (humans) and black-bloods(vampires), and the various clans of vampires makes the show interesting. It also added an aspect similar to in Wolf's Rain where the characters try to 'find paradise', which in this case, turns out to be a city where humans and vampires coexist peacefully.
The story chronicles the lives of two brothers, Jirou and Kotaru, who are traveling together. The two don't share much resemblance (actually, none at all...), but hey, neither do Ed and Alphonse in most of Full Metal Alchemist. Speaking of which, the anime follows a well-used trope in anime of having two brothers (or at least brotherly figures), one older and one younger, who go on their adventures together. So that's a bit of a downside.
While obviously predictable in certain sections, and with a few measly plot holes, the story still flows nicely. There's enough unique content to make it very interesting, and the character backstories are deep enough to keep someone watching interested.
There's not too much to complain about in this department. Character designs are fitting and unique, like Jirou's outfit and both brothers' googles. Action sequences are pretty good, there aren't a lot of moments where someone could look at the show and get lost on who's hitting who. The backgrounds, while detailed and somewhat varied, have a tendency to be too dark in most of the city sequences and too bright in others, like in the wintery forest with the Dark Princess of the North. Overall, pretty good. Once again, it's not the best I've ever seen, but it's still definitely above average.
I was surprised by the lack of gore and bloodshed(Being that this is a show about vampires), but in some places it seems to follow along what some anime made for younger teenagers or kids do with: ‘That guy just had his arm ripped off! Wow, there’s not a lot of blood.” I’ve heard people say there’s quite a bit of blood and gore, but really, it’s not that bad. If you’re looking for loads of gore, find a horror anime like Corpse Party: Tortured Souls that doesn’t censor blood at all.
It's always fun to write the part of the review about the section you enjoyed the most in the show. For me, it was definitely the sound. Both the opening and the outro music were great, but the opening is definitely what I liked the most about the show. It was fitting to the series’ action. The voice actors were great, very fitting for the characters they were portraying.
I'll just focus on the three main ones here, as the others are all fine in my opinion. My only issue would be that one would almost wish the show was a bit longer so that the more minor characters got more time in the spotlight... or in some cases more depth in general.
Jirou: Dark, handsome, complicated, and with an interesting past, he's just the kind of character I love. His design is unique and obviously fitting. It's tiring when watching animes to always see the same kind of lighthearted heros all the time. Characters like Jirou are a nice twist that helps break from the usual heroes/heroines. His weaknesses are in touch with those of traditional vampires, ie. sunlight, water, etc... And NO he does not sparkle...
Kotarou: The younger brother of the two vampires. He's so adorable it burns. He's innocent, a bit on the naive side, and all together the antithesis of his older brother Jirou. He's a great foil character for Jirou, and lightens up the show in it's darkest moments... I can't reveal too much more about him, because... well, SPOILERS!
Mimiko - the reigning heroine of the little band of heroes in their not-so-merry adventures is mature and relatively calm. She is once again, an interesting alternative, and prefers to compromise instead of fighting if possible(duh...) She's strong enough to deal with vampires and other things that would otherwise cause a weaker character to fall apart.
It exceeded all of my expectations.
I would recomend it.