Strange, bat-like monsters appearing from nowhere start to terrorize the island of Okinawa. There the teenage girl Saya, the foster child of a former American G.I., lives together with his two sons. Their quiet family life is thrown into turmoil when a strange organization named Red Shield approaches her, saying she is the only one with the power to stop the monsters known only as Chiroptera as her blood is poisonous to them. Taking up the fight, Saya quickly learns that there is more to these Chiroptera than meets the eye, and this isn’t the first time she has stood against them…
summary by Taleweaver
Highs: Great music; good production values; some interesting characters
Lows: Too many side plots; hardly any confrontations resolved; power level inconsistencies galore
Many have voiced their disappointment with Production IG’s original Blood: The Last Vampire: too short, pointless, essentially little more than a trailer. Many praised the great animation and the attention to the little details, but as Shakespeare might have put it, love’s labor’s lost when you only have 50 minutes of screen time. So what happens when you take the main theme of girl-fights-monsters-with-samurai-sword-and give it a series of 50 roaring episodes?
Ask Production IG this question and you get Blood+, which is action, intrigue, romance and more man-bat monsters than you can swing a katana at. The production values are still high (if not quite top-notch), and the accompanying music is as good as it gets… which doesn’t come as a surprise as the two composers of the original score are Hollywood pros: Hans Zimmer (Gladiator) and Mark Mancina (Speed). Add to that some decent cinematography and you have a pretty solid foundation for a good action series.
Unfortunately, Blood+ tries hard to be more drama than action, and fails miserably. It’s not that the characters don’t have dramatic potential; many of them are well-rounded and have desires and agendas of their own that make them very real, believable people. The problem is the main plot, or rather the lack thereof. There are just too many things happening at once: political intrigue, secret scientific research, espionage, war and romance, and all of these happen in so many side plots that it’s really hard to follow what is happening where. The really bad part of this plot jumble appears, unfortunately, every time that conflicting interests clash. There are battles galore, but hardly any of them ever resolve anything. Most of the time, confrontations end with both sides just retreating without having accomplished anything, and the reason they ended up fighting one another just disappears from the plot.
At least the action is decent most of the time, the exception being when some characters suddenly gain or lose powers without further explanation or are shown to have much more fighting potential than before just because it’s convenient for the script. Dragonball Z‘s battles were probably cheesier, but at least you knew who was able to kick whose butt.
If Blood: The Last Vampire was a disappointment because of its bite-size story, then Blood+ is a disappointment because it fails at telling a coherent story. At 50 episodes, I would have expected Production IG to come up with a real epic, not 15 different side stories that all amount to nothing in the end. Action lovers can get a kick from the series if they’re willing to overlook the battles that end without resolution. To everybody else, especially those that expected more than just tidbits from the first movie, it’s a waste of time.
Blood+ can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.