Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Anime review: "Blood Lad"

Few months ago I saw an announcement for the "Blood Lad" and got an impression of some vampire-otaku comedy, which sounded nice, so I decided to add it to my wishlist. In the meantime I saw few good review of this series and I gave it a try last week.

"Blood Lad" starts with showing Staz, the main character, loosing time. He is a boss of a province in the demon-world and a vampire. But more important for the show, at least in the beginning, he is obsessed with Japanese culture, plays eroge, collect figurines and reads manga. So when his underling brings him news that alive Japanese girl, Fuyumi, is wondering his section of demon-world, he is in frenzy to meet her. Coincidentally, during this encounter he gets challenged by some upstart and while he has no problem in defeating him, unfortunately Fuyumui loses her life and becomes a ghost. Staz, being more or less a good guy, promises to bring her back to life, which will put him in line against female space-jumpers, his estranged and sadistic brother, demon world's aristocracy, etc.

"Blood Lad" starts very shounen and slapstick, and it stays like this during whole this season. So if you don't enjoy first one or two episodes, you will not like it later. You know the recipe: powering ups, big fights, lots of falling down, crazy costumes or character's designs... But for me, it hits the spot. It stays goofy, but it does get more serious later, as more complex plot elements start, so it can be enjoyed by more mature viewers. On the other hand, if has some pretty violent scenes. There are few nice jokes referencing other anime, manga and games - like "Dragon Ball".

Plot starts very simple, with Staz's quest to restore Fuyumi to life, but it soon becomes apparent that there are deeper currents going around. Not that Staz is necessarily aware of them. Unfortunately, the season ends when it starts to get very interesting. So I join the other reviewers - give us another season! I watched the OVA - it is direct continuation of the series, but also doesn't give a satisfactory (or any) conclusion.

There is not much to say about characters. They are typical for shounen anime: shallow, one-dimensional, somewhat ridiculous. But that is exactly what you need sometimes. There are constant additions, so we will have to wait for next season to see how they hold up.

When I started watching "Blood Lad", one of my first questions was "boing?". Yes, it definitely is. But even though this show has all female characters drawn anatomically dubious and it gives occasional fan service scene, it is far from ecchi.

I really like the visual side of this anime: bright, vibrant colors, good design of characters, fast-flowing animation. But here, voice acting is also very good! I especially liked Braz, who has a great voice - like a real vampire, low, quiet and snake-like.

To summarize, if you like wacky shounen anime with some fights and fanservice, "Blood Lad" is an anime for you. Especially that it has only 10 episodes, so you can finish it in a day or two.

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