Black Blood Brothers is in all accounts a cop-out anime, practically a collection of elements that have been tested many times before it did and sold well. This show tried to take as few risks as possible and went for the established formula others made in the past. But it still failed to be good as it forgot the most important thing all series need. Excitement!
My overall feeling for this show is formed by its many negatives and not its few positives, which to be frank are nothing much to write about. So this review will be a list of thing I didn’t like in this anime, starting with the most serious and proceeding with the least important.
1) Incomplete story
Although the overall scenario is actually very good, what we get to see in the anime is just a small part of the big picture. We see some stuff happening in flashbacks and some hinted for the future but we never see the whole story because it was stopped mid-way. Supposed the manga continues the story, supposed a sequel can always be made. I only know that a lot of things were left out and we only get a very vague image of what the heck is going on.
The story is about a vampire super soldier fighting evil organizations of vampires, who want to … we are never told. What we are told is that this world is willing to have coexistence between humans and vampires and that many people are willingly offering their blood in order to keep the other kind peaceful. Plus, chances of turning into a vampire are not that high. So yeah, having a setting where we see coexistence is quite interesting. The problem is with the villains who have done stuff in the past and plan to do a lot more in the future. We never get to see all that and it can be very disappointing.
What we only see is a rather linear and simplistic adventure of the main character going from place to place and fighting villains. Not exiting at all.
2) Annoying main character
At first, the lead reminded me of a much calmer Alucard (from Hellsing), as he was a vampire dressed in red who was fighting other vampires to protect the humans. But in reality, he is a lot closer to Vash (from Trigun). He is the typical noble warrior, acting too goody with everyone and doesn’t want to hurt innocents; the result of which is stupid by default. He clearly has no qualms about killing hundreds of vampire soldiers in the beginning of the show but he is more than willing to stop his attack and let the villains escape or heavily injure him if they are holding hostages. As noble as that sounds, I ensure you that it is nothing but lame in practice. The villains will escape and kill far more innocents or will almost lose his life for a nobody.
What is even more stupid is how he has no problem killing vampires who are brainwashed to attack him. Otherwise, they count as innocents as well. Why are they an exception? Because of the berserk state they are in? Killing their controller would revert them back to how they were.
Also, he keeps around him two very annoying and problematic side characters. They are there just for trouble so it is nothing but stupid to take them with him everywhere he goes or act all weak and passive next to their shallowness instead of just slapping them to get serious about it.
3) Annoying side characters
Let’s talk about them as well. One is his brother, a very young cheerful vampire boy. People around him are cut to pieces and he will just ask for ice cream. He is so out of touch with reality, it is plain stupid. He will always trust people, always want to play, always say only the sweetest things; GAH I feel like strangling him. He is supposed to offer a bright side to the story and even act as a comic relief mascot animal with all that optimism of his. But for all we see he is nothing but a delusional idiot who always gets kidnapped or ending up in the middle of the battle, forcing his brother to keep side-tracking in order to get him back. He is not as uber-awful as Raki (from Claymore) but he shares the same ridiculous archetype.
The other is this neurotic office girl, who is the typical damsel in distress yet as soon as they stay next to each other, keeps hitting him and insulting him like he is a lowlife. Why do women act like that in anime? It is so terrible and not funny at all.
4) The villains’ motives
Because we don’t get to see them. We see how stereotypically evil and megalomaniacs they all are and that is pretty much all of it.
That is an easy one. Powerful vampires could control lesser ones to do anything they want, thus turning them to drones and cannon fodder in battles. They are mostly just innocents trying to have a normal life yet with this cheap plot element the villains can have as many foot soldiers as they want. As cool as it sounds, it is just trashing the personalities of everyone if they have no free will.
6) The hero’s hat
Just because it looked cool on Alucard or D, doesn’t mean that a big hat will look good on anyone. In this case, it was drawn in a way to make the hero look stupid.
7) Average production values
Animation and sound are just average; there are no heavy artistic overtones nor are there great voice acting and smart dialogues. The main intro song was nice to listen for a few times but that’s it.
Piece all the above together and you can see why I found this to be nothing but a simplistic adventure with annoying characters and wasted potential. But to be honest the fight scenes had decent choreography which was not mostly magic attacks doing any shit the scriptwriter wants. Besides stopping bullets and mind control, all the rest of the action was cool hand-to-hand or swordsmanship goodies. Too bad that was the only plus.
There is also a side detail where having your blood sucked gives you an orgasmic feeling and the ability to read the sucker’s mind for a while but it was never looked upon much. Another wasted potential.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 1/2 (basic)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 2/4 (typical)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 4/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 0/2 (doesn’t exist)
CHARACTER SECTION: 3/10
Presence 0/2 (annoying)
Personality 1/2 (stereotypes)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 0/2 (doesn’t exist because of the open ending)
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (nothing worth rewatching)
Memorability 1/4 (meh, just go watch Trigun or Hellsing)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 2/10
It went way too easy with its own merits and lost it early.