Blood+ has One of The Best Anime Soundtrack!

Story – 7

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you lost all the memories of your past? Without any clue to who you are (and in this case what you are), would you be willing to seek your identity? Would the truth make you happier?

Blood + has much to offer in terms of originality, and storyline.

Blood + follows the journeys of Saya, a vampire who seeks her true identity and her place in the world of humanity. Saya is suddenly taken away from her common life as a school girl and thrown into a world where she is forced to kill or be killed. Like a newborn child, she finds comfort and protection in a mysterious cellist, Haji that acts as her guardian and protector.

The most distinctive aspect of Blood + was that the anime started with the viewer having a very limited perspective towards to the events unfolding in front of their eyes. Personally, I was left to ponder and make alot of guesses on the underlying reasons to what was happening in beginning of the story. In the first ten episodes, the level of ambiguity was almost as severe as Ergo Proxy!

It surely would have helped to have clearly defined the relationship between Saya, David, and the Red Shield early in the series, rather than keeping viewers in the dark far so long.

Luckily, the originality of the storyline in Blood + was a huge bonus for the story’s rating. Instead of the normal blood-sucking, super strong and seemingly undefeatable vampire, like Alucard in Hellsing and Abel Nightroad in Trinity Blood, Blood + focuses instead on the various challenges and response of a vampire trying to lead a normal life in a human world.

Animation – 8

The animation quality of Blood + was generally good from my point of view. Battle scenes like those between Haji and the Schiff went on with smooth transitions and more importantly with the realistic effects of collateral damage. The view of cities and the countryside were pleasing to the eye and had quite a good level of detail in them.

They were however, some distortion in the faces of the characters when seen from different angles. But these were minor problems and would mostly pass unnoticed. Worth mentioning was the flashback scenes that were most beautifully done with the manipulation of static sceneries (like those when Saya ran along a hallway to a secret door on top of a tower)

The designs of the chiropterans were the reason why I could not give this anime a higher rating. Some of them were designed rather crudely and did not look as harmful as they should be. Furthermore, the differences between one species of chiropteran and another species made them look unrelated to each other. Take for example how the skinny bat-like chiropterans differed greatly from their wingless and gorilla-like cousins.

Sound – 9

Blood + managed to garner a high score for sound. The intro songs was very fitting for the entire theme of the show with a tinge of sorrow, and yet a gleam of hope. Generally all the music in Blood + derives from orchestra based music that blends in with the surrounding and the mood. We have notable composers Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer to thank for that!

Both of them composed music pieces that were suitable to the general pace and mood of the story. They also manipulated variations of the same pieces to portray different parts of the story. The music that was played during the character’s daily life was also of excellent quality and compatible with the occasion.

Also present were cello classics composed by Johann Sebastian Bach played by Haji throughout the show that I felt reflected the general expression that the anime was trying to bring out. The major flaw in the audio of Blood + was the performance of the voice actor for Kai that pulled down the rating I have given for sound (more of that later).

Characters – 7

There were a lot of character development in Blood +. Flashbacks and minor conflicts between characters in the story provided a good and general basis to evaluate their personalities and the challenges they were facing in the show.

The protagonist’s character was particularly well developed compared to most of the supporting characters. The character Kai in the story was particularly nerve-wracking as it reminded me of Emiya Shirou in Fate/Stay Night and also Raki in Claymore. All three characters had the most annoying voices and personalities (not to mention how all of them stubbornly survived throughout the series).

Luckily, Kai ages faster than both Emiya and Raki, thus becoming less of a nuisance later on in the story when his vocal cords changed. Another notable mention would be the character development of Haji that was comparable to Kuchiki Byakuya in Bleach. Both characters had a cold personality on the outside and a softer more caring personality within themselves. I would say that the character Haji was essential to the entire plot as it provides the link between Saya’s past and future.

Similarly, there were only a small number of characters that exists only for the continuation of the story. Expect some character development for all characters even minor ones like the Schiff as the storyline matures.

Overall – 7

The reason Blood + could not be given a higher rating was generally because of its poor storytelling style that did not create enough suspense and anticipation on my part. This was extremely evident in the beginning of the story whereby the snail-paced storytelling would put a human in hibernation mode!

While both animation and audio greatly helped the general impression of Blood +, both elements were unable to totally offset the adverse effects of poor storytelling. I felt very disappointed that the combination of a good storyline, high quality animation and elegant music would be ruined solely by the terrible pacing and execution of its story.

In my opinion, more details of Saya’s unique characteristics should be revealed in the beginning of the story. Furthermore, the reason for the existence of the Red Shield organization should be presented with clarity before Saya went for the mission in Hanoi. Both informative revelations would have kept viewers more acutely aware as to what is actually going on.

To be fair, Blood + should still be given a chance. People who want to watch this anime would have to be prepared to endure until the later part of the story (the second season) where things would start to shift into high gear.



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