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Blood+ (Episodes 1-2) PDF Print E-mail
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Now in Japan
Tuesday, 29 November 2005 00:00
Blood+ - Title CardBlood+ is the follow-on to 2000's movie Blood: The Last Vampire, a film famous for being particularly, well, bloody.  Making the move from big screen to small requires a certain toning down (although there's still plenty of the red stuff), while there are some changes to the lead girl's personality that have upset some fans - but that doesn't mean this isn't a good series...

1 - First Kiss
Saya Otonashi has a problem - much as she may seem the ordinary high school girl, she can only remember the past year of her life.  She's being cared for by a local family, whose son Kai has taken on an "older brother" role for her, and apart from her missing memories she has pretty much an ideal life - until a tune played on a cello begins to trigger memories within her.  Later in the day, Saya is approached by the cello player, who seems to know her.  Their meeting is the beginning of a huge change in Saya's life - or is that a reversion to normal? - as a monster appears, killing one of Saya's teachers in a brief moment.  The cello player helps Saya escape from the monster before explaining that the monster is a Yokushu, a creature that feeds on the life force of others, before forcing her to drink some of his own blood  From there, a drastic change comes over Saya...

Blood+ - Oooh.  Shoujo-ai...Blood+ - Awakening

2 - Magical Words
The blood of Haji (the cello player) causes Saya's true self to awaken - and that true self is a lethal killer with blood-red eyes.  Sensing the change in her, the Yokushu attacks, but it's no match for Saya's combat abilities and is quickly dispatched.  With the monster killed, she reverts to her "normal" self and collapses, horrified at what has happened to her.  Kai, who has been watching events, confronts the cello player about what he's done to Saya, but they're interrupted by the arrival of the US military and have to quickly leave the school grounds.  When Saya awakes, she initially has no memories of what's happened, but slowly they begin to come back to her.  Her foster father seems to be aware of her past ond her true nature, but when the military ask for Saya to be handed over to them he refuses - the military see her as only a weapon, and he's not about to allow her to be used in that fashion, but Saya overhears their conversation...

Blood+ - Meanwhile, back in the lab...Blood+ - Back to normality?

Seems the US military are quite heavily involved in whatever it is that's going on - they've been paying Saya's foster parents to take care of her and still see her as 'property'.  If the initial scenes of episode one are anything to go by, she's someone you really don't want to meet when she's been fully awakened, either - definitely the complete opposite of the cute & sweet girl she "normally" is.  Quotes used as it looks like "normal" for Saya involves heavy swords and lots of blood.

I've never seen Blood: The Last Vampire, so I don't have any preconceptions formed by the movie.  One of the biggest complaints I've seen so far is the schoolgirl-Saya just isn't in keeping with the tone of the series - she's meant to be a psychopathic killer all the time - but 52 episodes of that (yes, this is set to be a long series) would be too much.  The contrast between schoolgirl-Saya and awakened-Saya was part of the appeal of these two episodes, and I hope she retains her "normal" form as much as possible.  Given she seems to remember what she's done while "awakened", there should be some interesting psychological damage to explore as a result, too.

So far, so good, though.  Perhaps a bit on the slow side, but with so many episodes to work with there's no need to rush the setup of the characters & setting.  Animation's of a high quality - so far, at least - and the background music is pretty good too.  I'll definitely be watching Blood+ for a while at least...