In world where flesh-eating monsters roam the streets, only one organization has the means to save civilization from annihilation: Red Shield, a specially-organized unit designed to fight these monsters, and the only weapon that can destroy them: Saya. Awakened from a 30-year sleep, Saya is thrust into a modern world which she has no memories of, and is troubled by a past filled only with bloodshed and sadness. With the undying love and support of her family and friends, she struggles to gain the strength to move forward and regain the pieces of her shattered memories.
So some dudes made this short horror film titled Blood the Last Vampire which was instantly labeled cult. I don’t know why; it was probably the weird presentation of an otherwise simplistic premise. Some years later, some other dudes decide to make a series out of this and the result is Blood+. The tale of an apparently normal high school girl forced to take part in a sinister conspiracy that aims to make humanity food for vampire-like freaks. To make a long story short, the series has a very good concept and interesting characters but its presentations lacks the stuff that would make it a masterpiece. Making yet again my infamous list of minuses I found in this, I hereby mention the following.1) Long duration / Slow pacing. The show lasts twice as it should; it is 50 episodes long yet you can’t escape the feeling that it might as well be only 26. The reason is simple, many episodes feel like minor side quests or filler missions that in the longrun only manage to hinder the progress of the story with characters and storylines that lack excitement and tire the viewer. The first Full Metal Alchemist series for example had many fillers and minor side stories throughout its course, yet most of them were quite interesting and to the most part not boring. This is not the case here. We can always blame the directors of course, since one of them is responcible for the uber horrible “Persona: Trinity Soul”, and another one for the snoring “Loups=Garous”. How can you expect something good out of these failures of directing? What is even worse, is that you can’t remove those episodes either, because they are almost imposed by the personality of the main heroine.2) Passive main character. … Who is a crybaby. A dynamic character would have done the same things in half the time instead of constantly doubting and holding back or crying in a corner. Although the basic motto of the series is to portrait a normal girl as she steadily becomes more decisive and active, that still didn’t leave the feeling that the main heroine is going around in circles. One moment she is trembling in fear, then she suddenly finds the strength to fight, then she reverts back to how she was… 20 times in a row. It gets REALLY bothersome. I mean, check out Hitomi, the main heroine of Escaflowne. She is still the average frail girl who keeps falling in love with every hunk she meets and does silly things all the time. She is not a fighter, and she is need of some guy to come and save her. Yet she is also dynamic enough to like her. She keeps taking risks, she is not afraid to speak her mind, she does some nice acrobatics like the athletic type she is and when she has second thoughts about something, you FEEL why she doubts. Saya in Blood doesn’t pass as such; she keeps flipping between kick-ass and crybaby with little justification other than being afraid to fight. Well it is excused the first few times but when it keeps happening over and over, then you are getting pissed with it.3) Lack of focus on secondary characters. Saya and her nemesis get all the spotlight, leaving all the rest as almost unneeded background decorations. Although it is true that a great deal of characters are fleshed out throughout the series, none of them does something overly important to affect the story. Imagine an entire secret organization of supposed elite agents who in the entire series didn’t manage to beat the weakest monster, while Saya an otherwise simple-minded schoolgirl has slain a mountain of brutes. Why were they in the story then? Just to pay her traveling tickets and giving her a quest list? Nice NPCs they were… Her family ain’t better either. Her step brothers although keep interacting with her and even asking her to fight for her, by the end of the day don’t do anything active to affect the battles or the result of all this mess. Do you know how irritating it is to have epic level fighters who do nothing while the rookie squire kills the dragon?4) Boring battles. Although there is a lot of action in the anime and most problems end up being resolved through fighting, almost none of the numerous duels and spars are exiting. Saya will just use her super blood to instant-kill any monster she cuts with her sword, after a simplistic battle choreography. And if she gets injured in the progress? Big deal; she immediately heals like Wolverine. In the meantime, all the rest of the supernatural people around her will be flying and shooting and blowing stuff up, usually with zero importance to the plot. And as I said, elite agents are completely useless at beating even the weakest of foes. Where is the interest in all this?5) Huge mystery build up / disappointing revelation. For most of the show Saya will have amnesia (which is a bad trope on its own but I felt generous enough not making a different topic about it). She will keep traveling and fighting and investigating and having flashbacks in order to remember what had happened in her past. And we are kept teased with these vague images and hints and weird stuff, making us expect an amazing revelation. And when the revelation finally comes, you go all “WTF, after all this waiting that was all of it???” Seriously, the explanation of the grand mystery behind her past is simple as frakk, yet they make you think it will be something unimaginably epic.6) Clean CGI. Although the animation is quite good and the sceneries are great to stare, the anime just doesn’t feel “dirty” enough to like it. What I mean is that the textures on objects like clothing or rocks will look sparkling clean, even when they should be worn-out from weather, bloodshed, dust, mud or generally affected by their surrounds. Even the wind blowing on the characters’ faces will feel more like a fan. It is as if the entire thing was shot with a blue screen and thus feels fake. Ok, maybe 3D effects weren’t as well developed back then. That still doesn’t excuse them looking more artificial than hand-drawn cells. Then again this is a studio I.G. Production; all its works feel equally plastic. It is fine when they were making sci-fi shows with robots and machines but when it comes to faces and people, they are simply bad. 7) Ever-present school uniform. Saya wears one most of the times, even when she is not going to school. Appealing to the otakus too much and you end up making it look too ridiculous to care about her personal drama. 8 ) Red lips. Saya has them. ALL THE TIME! They stand out. She is the only one with so much RED. They are annoying… That’s pretty much all of it. The finale may also feel corny as frakk as well, but I am generous again and leave that alone. Corny doesn’t mean bad; just unimaginative. It is otherwise good corn quality.And now the few things I have to praise about the anime 1) Gore. Buckets of blood and some deviant things here and there; nice albeit overdone.2) Shadows. Good use of lighting by … not using it. Makes things pitch black and scary by being just black silhouettes with glowing red eyes. 3) Soundtrack. Exceptional use of violin and musical instruments in general; very good in building atmosphere. Too bad most is lost because of the boring plot and silly story. And the lyrics are to the most part ruining it as they are pop shitz. What in blazes is pop doing in a semi-horror anime? … Oh, right, it has a schoolgirl in it …
Blood+ is considered by a lot of people I know, to look like an action anime title. This, of course being my opinion, is not the case. Although this is far from being a tragic end to it all, instead Blood+ still retains its distinction from other anime titles for being extrordinary. It is a fantastic drama that has more ups and downs than you could ever imagine. Starting out with the series, it is very hard to watch because you end each episode with 1,000 more questions than answers. The first 12 episodes seem slow and boring. This is due to the set up for the many episodes in the series and many things to come. This show can also come off as being boring because there is little action and absolutely no comedy, it is a serious show from beginning to end. With that being said, Blood+ has a rich story and dynamic characters that will make up for a loss of excitement. Story- Saya Otonashi is seemingly a caring and happy high school student who lives with her family in Okinawa. She has no remembrance from her past. While brutal carnivorous monsters called Chiropterans are threatening the human race; Saya is the only individual capable of killing these monsters. In a nutshell, the story doesn't sound too particularly unique. Although the series takes leaps towards shocking new changes and plot twists, this makes it stand out as a drama. As I claimed previously, the beginning causes many questions to arise due to the set up for later on in the series. Making it through the beginning is well worth the pay out of a very rewarding middle portion and ending to the series. Animation- How the animation looks, is not that bad, it is quite detailed. What your looking at is the issue if any, there is nothing quite that interesting to look at. Overall, it won't be the reason you watch the show. Sound- There are four opening songs in the series depending on which part your at. The opening music is very good, the backround music and noises at times can really help add emotion to what's going on at that particular moment. The voice dubbing work wasn't particularly good, but it was acceptable. As I said with animation, it probably won't be the reason you watch the show. Characters- This is the strongest catagory of Blood+. These characters are some of the most dynamic characters I have seen in any show. After the events of the show are over, you get a very different set of people than you started with. Each character changes when they face adversity, learn more about their past, or go through development into an adult. These character changes make a lot of impact on the story itself. Especially on our main charater Saya who is forced to make many moral decisions throughout the series. Not only the characters themselves, but the character relationships are some of the strongest I've seen in any anime to date. The relationships between characters is easily one of the most interesting pieces that puts together Blood+. The players of the series make the loudest impact on the show through their interactions between eachother. Conclusion- This show is not for everyone, for it is strongly a drama. If you exclusively enjoy action, ecci, or comedy anime, then the odds of you liking this show is very slim. If you enjoy drama anime at least a little bit, you will appreciate this show as much as I do. If you consider the commitment by making it through the not-so-exciting beginning, you could experience a very rich and enjoyable plot with characters that you'll fall in love with. The second half of the Blood+ series is the most enjoyable, the only question is, will you make it that far?
If you love vampires then Blood+ is surely one of the best anime around for new comers and lovers alike. The story begins by introducing our protagonist Saya Otonashi who seems to be your normal high school student with just one problem she has amnesiac resulting in forgotten memories of the past. Adopted by her beloved farther George Miyagusuku Saya lives a happy life alongside her adoptive elder brother Kai Miyagusuku somewhat of a baseball nut and adoptive younger brother Riku Miyagusuku. However this all to normal life is quickly brought crashing around her and she is attacked by a Chiropteran resulting in her learning that she is the own person capable of defeating these monsters with help of her special katana and chevalier Hagi.
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