Trinity Blood Review,
Trinity Blood takes place several hundred years in the future in post apocalyptic Earth divided between three kingdoms. The Empire of the True Race, is a vampire kingdom with its capital in Byzantium. The Vatican leads the New Human Empire and opposes the vampires in what is pretty much a cold war. And Albion, or England, with its capitol in Londinium, is a technologically advanced society made up primarily of humans and a “ghetto” of vampires. There is a fourth faction, the Order of Rozen Cruiz, which seems set on ending the uneasy peace and changing the cold war to a full fledged world war. The main character, Abel Nightroad is neither human nor vampire. He is a crusnik. I think I will let Abel explain what a crusnik is in his own words:
“Has it never occurred to you that there may be something beyond the two. Humans eat the flesh of cows and birds. Vampires drink the blood of humans. So then, why not a being still further up on the food chain. A being which preys upon the vampires.” - Abel Nightroad
An interesting idea, especially since he looks and acts completely human until he unleashes his crusnik power. Still, there’s a lot more going on here. There’s a lot of political intrigue as the various factions try to either bring about peace or war between the human and vampire empires.
Let’s break it down:
Art: 9/10. Wow, the designers really did an excellent job. The sets and backgrounds are very detailed. The animation is smooth, and incorporates 3D CGI with traditional 2D animation very well. The costumes are rich, detailed and colorful. (Full disclosure, I have cosplayed as a character from this series.) Being an actual armorer (not costume armor, real steel and brass) I am also blown away by the armor in this show. The inquisitorial department, which is basically the military wing of the Vatican, wears armor that are some of the most realistic armor designs I have ever seen in anime. The inquisitorial armor has no spikes or ridges or protrusions common in anime (and completely unheard of in real medieval European armor). It looks like real medieval armor, but with rocket packs and advanced weapons attached.
Story: 7/10. I would love to rate this higher on story. It really has a good one behind it, but it has some flaws. First and foremost it takes too long to get going, not helped by having two complete filler episodes before the main plot arc is introduced. As it is, things don’t really get going until episode six, and even then, only slowly. Finally, and this is the worst sin an anime like this can commit, it has NO ENDING! The story simply stops at the end of the final episode, with no resolution whatsoever, and no plans to continue the series. The creator, Sunao Yoshida, unfortunately passed away, meaning the series was just stopped, and though the novels were finished by Kentaro Yasui, the anime was not. Finally, the anime also seems to assume you have read either the novels or the manga, as it gives very little of the very detailed backstory. If you want to know where the vampires come from, the origin of Abel and the other crusniks, etc., you will need to read the other materials.
Music: 8/10. The music fits the theme of the series. Takahito Eguchi, better known for video game music, does a solid job here. There are vocals with a modern beat, lots of orchestral and instrumental numbers including some great piano pieces that really set the feel of the scene quite well. The closing song, Broken Wings, is quite good, as well as being in English.
The Dub: 8/10. There are pros and cons to the dub. Abel Nightroad’s Japanese voice, Hiroki Touchi, is easier to take on the whole, whereas Russel Wait seems a bit obnoxious when Abel is in his goofy human form. However, Wait does an excellent job of changing his tone when Abel is in crusnik mode, which is a great contrast, and is a great audible cue as to when things are about to get messy. The rest of the voices are well done. The child Pope is equally obnoxious in either English or Japanese, and I’m pretty sure he’s supposed to be. Hilary Haag, one of my favorites, plays the Empress, and her voice is perfectly suited to that character.
Overall: 8/10. Trinity Blood is a must see. And I believe this anime is truer to the original novels than the manga (which I also have). Unfortunately, you will inevitably be left hanging by the abrupt end of the series. Just be ready for that, and try to manage your expectations. Other than that, great show!
Recommendation: Definitely watch this series. If you love subs, then everything you need is right here on Anime Planet, but if you want to watch it dubbed, then you’re going to have to buy it. If I was going to recommend a set, I would probably go for the collector’s edition offered by Funimation. At least it comes with extras. However, its expensive. The viridian collection is an older box set, but still available on Amazon at a great price. It will do if you’re on a budget, but you get no extras.
Trinity Blood fails in almost every respect. It doesn't start like this though, it actually starts as pretty good. The world is neat, the plot looks like it will go to cool places, and the two main characters, Esther Blanchett (a nun whose church has been destroyed by vampires) and Abel (a priest who works for the Vatican and fights vampires) are totally likeable. We'll get to flaws in their characters as the show progresses later on, but all I can say here in the intro is that it starts off promising, so promising, but ends in failure.
The story, as stated, starts with promise. The war between the Vatican and vampires seems pretty cool and the world the fights take place in is pretty damn awesome. The whole thing comes off as something you can enjoy totally. But then about the point where little fairy children called Tinkerbells show up, the whole series degrades into stupidity, terrible pacing and plotting, and things pop up out of nowhere. For example, toward the end of the series (this isn't really a spoiler) Abel's sister explains that their brother is still alive (news to me). This suddenly leads Abel to go after his brother who shows up for the next four or five episodes of the series, despite never being mentioned or showing up at any other time. Nothing is even insinuated before a major plot point happens, it just happens and is shoved in your face. While this may be trying to be surprising, it fails horribly because it is so groan worthy and the characters act so unrealistically toward the plot point.Just watch the last episode where the series tries hard to explain the terrible story arc, but fails miserably due to terrible unrealistic actions of characters and no backstory or anything to tell us what is going to happen or what has happened. We don't even understand why Abel and his brother are fighting.
One of the stupidest parts of the plot is that Abel can't kill anyone (despite killing someone in the first episode). It means really awesome fight scenes degrade into crying and idiocy. Not that there are very many fight scenes in the series, and none are memorable. Even the final fight scene is totally worthless and unmemorable.
And more plot holes appear throughout concerning Abel. He mentions he can't swim in one episode after he fell off a cliff and swam to safety in a previous. It's small things like this that make you wish for something more. It starts promising---so damn promising---but degrades so badly. It gets really bad when a little vampire noble is introduced. Suddenly a romance blossoms between Esther and him, and there is even a point where the story is interrupted by a music video-esque scene of the two looking out a window. It's so out of place and stupid.
The animation is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not good. Characters don't look too great, while environments typically look fantastic.
The main theme is pretty good until the end when it sounds like two or three people are singing it out of synch. The end theme is okay. The music for the show itself is bad, not even likeable. It sounds like the music out of a bad JRPG, like when you are in a town in Final Fantasy or something. Not good.The voice actors are competent, though none are outstanding in the least.
Father Abel is Vash from Trigun. One moment a blubbering idiot who can't stop eating, the next a total badass. Even the plot is like Trigun with brothers from space fighting each other on a post apocalyptic Earth. Not that Abel is a bad character, he could actually be likeable if it weren't for the fact he's a total wuss and won't kill people. While Vash was like this and promoted the whole "Love and Peace!" thing Abel cries about violence and even in super awesome badass mode he becomes a huge crying wuss.
Sister Esther is likeable at first, but slowly over the course of the series you grow to dislike her more and more as the plot puts her more in focus as a typical anime girl who is trying to hard to help but always fails.
The vampire nobel boy I mentioned before is the most annoying character in the series. He likes Esther when he must be five years younger than her. His voice is terrible and raspy. The series focus's on him toward the end and that's when the show degrades.
All the other characters are just there and are never anything more than two dimensional. One of the priests at one point before the final fight pulls a locket with his daughter's face on it out and says something about protecting her, which is news to me. I guess they were trying to add depth to the character, but it doesn't work and comes off as cheap and stupid.
Don't waste your time with this series. I wish it were better because it had a lot of potential, but it degrades crazily over the course of it's 24 episodes. Once the plot moves into the vampire people's kingdom and their nobles and things like that, it becomes so boring and it's a chore just to watch. This is when the characters become groan worthy and everything becomes totally unlikeable.
And after a terrible ending, not an ending like Big O that makes you think or something like that, just a plain old terrible/stupid ending, you feel like there is so much missing. Nothing has really been explained, characters motives are not explained, the backstory is hinted at, and I wish there would have been more of it because it actually sounds interesting, and there are still bad guys alive. While it feels incomplete, for me, I breathed a sigh of relief it was over. I enjoyed the first half immensely, but the last half was so bad and so awful that I can't even suggest the overall series.
Pass this one up.
Trinity Blood could have been a good anime, but it fails to deliver. The premise is interesting, presenting all the elements necessary for an exciting political intrigue story, but the shortcomings and drawbacks are so many that I'd say you can safely avoid watching it.
There's the Vatican in Italy with a teenage pope manipulated by his older cardinal siblings, the Vampires ruled by a Vampire Empress in their own country somewhere east of the Vatican, Albion which is our contemporary UK under the reign of an ageing queen, and then a covert and obscure Rosen Cruiz Order that wants to undermine and overthrow the existing balance of power. Humans hate vampires - backed by the religious beliefs of the Vatican - and vampires of course believe humans to be an inferior race, so we're on the brink of a full-scale conflict. And this is basically the only interesting part, because the rest is all so disappointing. The story isn't developed well, it's slow to start and there are several filler episodes. There are plot-holes and inconsistencies and quite a lot of contradictions. The backstory isn't clear at all, so you don't understand why the bad guys are so bad (and the main antagonist btw is introduced really late in the story), you don't even understand why the main protagonist is as he is and exactly what his motives are. There are just a few hints here and there but none of your questions get an answer. It's executed in a sloppy way. And the ending too is quite lame and absolutely unsatisfying. And it felt rushed.
Just a few characters are fleshed out and nearly none are developed. Abel Nightroad is practically the only reason why you go on watching the anime. He reminded me a lot of Vash in Trigun, clumsy, kind-hearted and good-natured, he becomes totally cool as soon as he activates his crusnik powers. But his past remains a mystery. And, given that he is so powerful, I couldn't really understand why he never seemed capable of acting on time avoiding thus nefarious consequences but just waited for the worst to unfold. Another decent character is the Vampire Empress, Seth. And maybe the pope's sister, Caterina. But, as already mentioned, nearly no backstory is given for any of the characters. The rest are stereotypes. And this is true also for Esther, the female protagonist, who is on top of that also incredibly annoying.
So, all considered, I found this anime to be lacking in regards to the characters and the plot. And it's a pity because if both characters and story had been presented and developed better, it would have been a good watch. You can tell the elements are there for something good, but it just doesn't manage to deliver.
Abel was so innocent seeming, then he turns into the ultimate bada** and ylu are all wow priest boy got some moves! so seeminlgy innocent priest trying to save the world, destroying one evil creature at a time. The sound effects were great, the animation was beautiful, the supporting characters added flavor, and the plot was intriguing. I wanted the story to go on forever. They concluded what seemed to be an arc before ending it but it was so good and I loved Abel so much I wanted it to go on and on. Someone so pure should not be so awesome. It seems so wrong and yet Abel makes it work so well the poor tortured soul. I wont spoil it though, you'll learnt he why of it when you watch the anime.
Right, it's confession time for me. If you have been reading my reviews than you may have noticed that I tend to rip the anime a new one. There is a reason for this though and it has to do with the fact that I can't turn my brain off when watching anime. I can't ignore the stupid shown in the anime and this is a problem as most anime are very stupid indeed.
In this case I'm not talking about a 90 pound girl catching a multi-ton cruise missile and throwing it back. Yes, it is stupid but it is a stupid that I'll allow. It's anime. Things like this are normal here and I'm pretty much fine with it. It annoys me to be sure but I will not rant about it.
So, having explained this lets rip into this anime shall we? Just a heads up: There will most probably be spoilers. The more I hate an anime the more spoilers there will be.
ART: I rather liked it. The anime doesn't use bright colours much, or at all, and most of what is seen looks very faded (?). It is a bit hard to explain, if you are curious just watch the first epsiode online and decide for yourself. Characters are easily identifiable and action is not hard to follow.
SOUND: Decent enough I suppose. I rarely pay attention to the music and when I do it is because it is either horrible or very good. I have really no complaints. Voice acting is excellent.
CHARACTERS: Main character is Abel. He is a priest for the Vatican and his main job is to keep the vampires in line and stop them if they start to attack humans. He acts a bit goofy and scatterbrained but this is mostly an act.
Ester is a young nun who Abel meets on one of his missions. She decides to go with him to the Vatican and becomes an agent like Abel and is assigned to him.
Rozenkreuz orden is an vampire run organisation dedicated to starting a war between vampires and humans. They feel that himans are nothing more than lifestock and should serve vampires. A sentiment shared my many despite centuries of peace between the two.
STORY: After a devastating war, peace between humans and vampires has finally been reached. Although this peace has lasted for centuries there are those who feel that this is far from the natural order of things. Caught in the middle is Father Abel Nightroad. His mission is to prevent this war at any cost.
RANT: I was referred to this anime by a friend of mine who really loved it. While I did enjoy it there were to many things I just couldn't look past to really like it. This puzzled me a bit since I'm usually a sucker for vampire stories....with the exception of Twilight.
Anyway, first problem I had is explaining the backstory. A simple Google search showed me that this series is based on a series of light novels. It tells the story of humans overpopulating the world and trying to colonize Mars. There they discover an unknown bacteria and some nanomachines. The bacteria turns people into vampires while the nanomachines turn people into super vampires that feed on vampires. Those that survive the process anyway.
War breaks out between vampires and humans and world goes to shit. Peace is made and the anime starts about 900 years after this monumentous occasion.
NONE OF THIS IS IN THE ANIME OR MENTIONED ANYWHERE!
Appearently this was to difficult to put in as out tiny brains could not comprehend such complex material so vampires just appear in the world and war ensues. They actually show this new history in the opening scene of the first episode when you see a knight battling a vampire.
I trust that I won't have to explain how stupid this was. You had a perfectly good explanation handed to you on a silver platter and decided to go with this garbage that raises many questions that you can now no longer answer. Well done.
Second problem I had was that this is basically Trigun with vampires in a Victorian setting. I am not even kidding. The similarities are stunning really. The only differences I saw was that Abel was not a wanted criminal and was willing to kill when he had to.
Vash fought his brothers' gang during the main series and Knives only appeared in the final episode for a showdown. Here it is the same as Abel fights his bothers' gang and only in the final episodes does Cain appear for the big fight.
Please tell me if I'm the only one who feels this way. Let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree on this.
Do I recommend this? Well, as I already said there were parts that I liked. Try some episodes online and decide on that if this is for you.