Blood Lad

Vol: 17; Ch: 85
2009 - 2016
3.943 out of 5 from 1,705 votes
Rank #5,701
Blood Lad

Staz isn’t what you’d call a traditional vampire. He’s fascinated by human culture - especially anime, manga and video games - and unlike his brethren, he has no interest in sucking people dry. As a prominent street boss in the demon world, Staz has never desired to go to to the human world. But when a human girl accidentally wanders into his territory, is eaten by a carnivorous plant and comes back as a ghost, Staz makes a life-changing decision: he’ll help resurrect this lovely lady any way he can, even if it means heading to Earth! But the path won’t be easy, what with having no idea how to complete the task and his own laziness standing in the way.

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Blood Lad presents a whimsical premise within the supernatural realm but falls short in delivering a satisfying experience due to its reliance on otaku pandering. Despite showcasing promising elements, the manga is plagued by significant narrative and character flaws, along with an overemphasis on generic otaku tropes.One of the most prominent issues with Blood Lad is its fragmented storytelling. The manga struggles to establish a cohesive narrative structure, opting instead for episodic arcs that often lack a strong connection to the overarching plot. This disjointedness not only disrupts the flow of the story but also hampers the development of a compelling narrative arc. As a result, readers are left feeling detached and disconnected from the world the manga attempts to construct.Furthermore, Blood Lad succumbs to excessive otaku pandering by heavily relying on overused tropes that appeal to the otaku demographic. The manga incorporates familiar elements such as the 'otaku protagonist' archetype, embodied by Staz, the vampire with a preference for manga over blood. While this concept initially presents an intriguing premise, it quickly becomes evident that the manga fails to explore the potential conflicts and complexities that could arise from this unique trait. Instead, Staz's otaku nature is used as a shallow gimmick, reducing his character to a mere vessel for otaku wish-fulfillment rather than a fully realised and relatable individual.The overemphasis on otaku pandering extends to the humour in Blood Lad as well. The comedy predominantly relies on repetitive gags and predictable otaku referential humour, catering to a specific audience without offering significant innovation or depth. This approach detracts from the potential for genuine wit and cleverness that could have elevated the manga's humor. By frequently resorting to generic self-deprecating otaku humour, Blood Lad fails to broaden its appeal beyond a niche readership.Although Staz's otaku nature is meant to be a defining aspect of his character, it is disappointingly underutilised throughout the manga. The supporting characters also often conform to familiar tropes, lacking depth and genuine growth. This reliance on pre-existing character archetypes prevents the manga from delivering compelling and unique character arcs that would have added depth and emotional resonance to the story.Despite these flaws, Blood Lad manages to capture the essence of silly supernatural adventures reminiscent of series like Soul Eater. The manga infuses its narrative with whimsy and humour, resulting in an entertaining read. The world-building, while not as intricate as some other supernatural manga, still creates an engaging backdrop for the story. The presence of demons, vampires, and mystical creatures offers ample opportunities for comedic situations and imaginative scenarios.The artwork in Blood Lad, while remaining mediocre, possesses a certain charm that contributes to the overall experience. The character designs exhibit visually distinct features and unique quirks that enhance the manga's silly nature. Protagonist Staz, with his laid-back and nonchalant attitude, embodies the manga's carefree spirit, and the interactions between the characters, their comedic banter, and exaggerated expressions further contribute to the manga's overall appeal.However, Blood Lad falls short in exploring the supernatural realm in a profound and engaging manner. The manga introduces various supernatural creatures and realms but fails to fully flesh them out or delve into their intricacies. Many of these elements merely serve as backdrops or convenient plot devices, further diminishing the potential for rich world-building and immersive storytelling.Blood Lad offers an entertaining blend of unapologetic fanservice and a lighthearted approach to supernatural storytelling. While its heavy reliance on otaku elements and fragmented storytelling hinder its potential, the manga's execution of fanservice, presented in a playful and visually appealing manner, adds an extra layer of enjoyment. Its reminiscent nature, akin to Atsushi Ookubo's silly and whimsical series like Soul Eater and Fire Force, further enhances its appeal. Nonetheless, the inconsistent storytelling and occasional prioritisation of fanservice over character and narrative depth are notable drawbacks.

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