Initial Impressions : Blood + ep. 1-5

Synopsis : Saya is a fairly normal high school girl except that she can’t remember the last year of her life. Meanwhile, a serial killer has been going around draining the blood of various victims. When Saya has a run-in with this monster, her entire life gets turned upside down and she finds out that she’s the only person who can kill these creatures.

Review – First, I have to say I went into this series not expecting much. How much more can the Japenese do with vampires that they haven’t already. Especially when it involves people mutating into monsters. They’ve done it well (Elfen Lied) and they’ve done it poorly (Knight Hunters).

Boy was I surprised how good it was. Based on the movie Blood: The Last Vampire, the story continues where I presume the movie left off. There’s so much that happens plotwise in these first five episodes that I can’t even say without ruining it. Needless to say, there are enough creepy people and plots and counterplots and brooding angst to power a spy novel.

Even better than that, the story takes place in Okinawa. Any anime series that manages to not be based in Tokyo scores points with me, but Okinawa is probably my favorite hot spot for political tension. And this show uses it to good effect, showing the problems that exist between the base and the citizens of the city.

The animation and character designs are also interesting. The fight scenes are fluid and dynamic and don’t have any really long pauses while the two characters size each other up. The Americans look like Americans, the Okinawans looks like Okinawans (yes there is a difference) and except for the super-pale creepy guy there isn’t the same “stupid American gaijin” stuff that you see in shows like Ghost in Shell: Standalone Complex.

The soundtrack also is really amazing too. Adding creepiness to the scenes that need to be creepy and not killing the tension at all.

Initial verdict: If you can’t tell by now, I’m really excited about this one. I just want Sony to bring it out now!

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