In a post-apocalyptic future, Abel Nightroad does occasional dangerous work for the Vatican, to whom he is extremely loyal. While the apocalyptic war has long been over, humanity is still entrenched in a shadow war against the vampires. Lady Catherine, the leader of his operations group "AX," seeks to prevent a renewed full-scale conflict, but there are many forces on both sides bent towards war. As Abel and the rest of AX try to stop this, he encounters a young girl who will be the key to humanity's survival or demise. Now, Abel must not only fight for humanity, but also try to face his regrettable past...
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.
Trinity Blood has to do with vampires that emerge after a major disaster struck Earth. And no, I am confusing it with Seraph of the End even if they are both equally bad series. It is trying to imitate the style of Trigun, meaning to start in a very comedic and easy going way before becoming darker and depressing, but never manages to be as good for a number of reasons. The prime reason is the animation, which is done by studio Gonzo, notorious for its crude CGI. Yes, cancer CGI is an issue even today (Berserk anyone?) but GONZO was the one abusing it the most at a time when studios were still staying away from it, or at least bothered to hide it better so it won’t look like PS1 cut scenes.It’s very hard to be invested in a show that does scene transitions with a fade out and makes everything move in a mechanical way; characters included. It’s as if they slide instead of running and attacks don’t have impact because each moving object is a separate layer. There is no uniformity in battle choreography because every fighter exists in his own universe.Anyways, the story is about an overpowered vampire eater working for the Vatican in fending off vampire threats in a semi-episodic fashion. It’s basically Hellsing with crappy animation and not much rule of cool. To its credit, the setting has a lot of details regarding technology and the different factions at war. They put a lot of work in fleshing out the world and it’s a real shame they didn’t do much with it. It’s one of those cases where you need to read the novels to get the terminology and history. They were also not serious about it; I mean, look how the nuns are dressed. That doesn’t seem very Christian, does it now? This is still nothing compared to the dreaded infodumps. In the first half, every mission needed to be completed in a single episode, and most of it was spent on people talking about the evil masterplan of the week. This left very little duration for what the good guys can do about it. It was usually coming down to one of them finally deciding to fight the vampires instead of standing still, listening to them gloating about how strong they are, before he kills them in seconds. Meaning, the payoff is not worth it because most of the damage the villains are causing results from the good guys procrastinating for the sake of listening to a bunch of stuff we will never see again after the episode ends.This becomes extra annoying when the protagonist decides to be one of those obnoxious Rurouni Kenshin pacifist type of heroes, who all of a sudden does not want to kill his enemies anymore. He prefers to let them go, even though they killed millions exactly because he was standing still listening to them talking instead of going to the offence right away. Anyways, the show becomes a bit less crappy in the second half, when missions last way more than a single episode, and have suspense in the form of who is a traitor or what hidden weapon they are going to use. Even then, the writing is still pretty crappy since it’s always about the vampires trying to kill the pope, and every twist is always some lazy asspull of the sort “Haha, you thought you killed me but it was only a look-alike” or “Haha, he is not evil, I am just controlling him mind” or even “Haha, I was disguised to look like a different person, so he will get all the blame”. This is stuff for 8 year olds. As a whole, Trinity Blood was just ideas taken from better titles that got mashed together with low budget, in an attempt to cash in on the fame of Hellsing and Trigun from the early 2000s. They didn’t even bother to adapt the whole story so you are not given any reason to at least seek closure. You won’t miss anything if you skip it besides confirming once again why GONZO is a terrible studio.
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. -Brian McAfee
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