Funimation has released the entire series of Black Blood Brothers in
a nice, compact slipcased set. This vampires vs. humans story set
in the future has some nice twists, a great protagonist, and features electrifying
fight sequences that offer plenty of entertainment. If you missed
the series when it was originally released, now's a great time to pick
A decade ago the humans and vampires were at war, a conflict that nearly
destroyed both sides. This was caused by a new blood line of Vampire,
the Kowloon Children. In this world vampires play by Anne Rice's
rules, where a human has to be feed vampire blood in order to be turned
into an unloving creature. The Kowloon Children weren't like that
however. They were like the classic vampire who could turn a person
with just a bite. Not only that, they were aggressive and more violent,
and were set on taking over the world.
That's all in the past now. After the war it was thought that
none of the Kowloon Bloodline survived and as time went on that hope was
considered to be proven when none of them turned up.
Ten years have passed since the war and now vampires live openly together
with humans in the Special Zone. Jiro, a 100-year-old vampire who
is near the last of his line, is traveling with his younger brother Kotaro
to the Special Zone for some important but not fully explained reasons.
They start their journey becoming stowaways aboard a cargo ship and staying
in their coffins, but they had no idea that they weren't the only ones
undead on the ship. Another group of vampires are on board too and
soldiers from The Company are looking for them. When Kotaro gets
caught in the crossfire, Jiro has no choice but to arise himself.
Faced with an old and powerful vampire, the soldiers stand no chance until
Kotaro falls overboard and has to be rescued.
Once on the mainland, Jiro is aided by Mimiko, a Compromiser from the
Mediator department of The Company. Her job is to help vampires live
in peace and to keep their continued existence a secret from the rest of
humanity. Together the three people trek off to the Special Zone,
but things aren't that easy. The Companies goons are still following
them, and though they hook up with a group of other vampires heading in
the same direction, one of their number turns out to be a Kowloon Child.
Once in the Special Zone, things don't go well either. Jiro is
well known for the work that he did for the humans during the war, but
he also has the reputation of being a trouble magnet. Not only does
he have a problem finding a place to live, but there are people out to
kill him. Old acquaintances pop up and things that happened in the
war come back to haunt the old vampire. There's obviously something
going on, some sort of conspiracy, but can Jiro figure out just what's
happening before he's killed?
This was a very good show. The action was fun and exciting but
the background story was also enticing. The show just gives glimpses
of what occurred during the Kowloon war and which makes the mystery of
what happened all the more enticing. Piecing the story together from
flashbacks scattered through the episodes is one of the fun things about
There's a lot of continuity and some fun and interesting characters.
The program also has some exciting action scenes. Jiro's had 100
years to perfect his fighting technique and so the battles he's in are
always dynamic and explosive. There is a problem with the show however
and that's the fact that it's only 12 episodes long. They really
try to cram too much into the short space and that makes the show feel
rushed and hurried. Even so, it's well worth checking out.
Viewers have the choice between the original Japanese audio and an English
dub, both in stereo. I alternated audio tracks as I often do and
found both of the two choices fine. There isn't much use of the soundstage
with much of the action centered on the screen. There is a
bit of directionality and panning but not as much as I was expecting.
I was also surprised that there wasn't a 5.1 track for the English dub
too. There's a good amount of action in the show and it would have
been helped by a more engulfing track. There weren't any audio defects
worth noting and both tracks are solid.
This show comes with a 1.78:1 anamorphic image that looks really nice.
The colors are strong and the lines are nice and tight. Aliasing,
something that has plagued anime releases in the past, is very minor on
this disc and the only other defect I could notice was some minor banding
in a few scenes. Otherwise this disc looks great.
This disc comes with some solid extras. First off I was surprised
to see that commentary tracks by the Japanese production staff were included.
It's in Japanese, of course, but their comments are translated with subtitles.
I know this has been done before, the Revolutionary Girl Utena Movie comes
to mind, but it's pretty rare. Now I'm not a big fan of commentary
tracks by the English voice actors, but I found these to be a little more
rewarding. They could actually talk about the production of the anime
instead of just goofing around in a sound studio.
There's also a clean opening and closing and some TV spots for the show.
This was a fun show that was over too quickly. Moving at a fairly
fast clip, the show feels rushed in parts, but that's a minor complaint
at best. The enjoyable action show comes with a solid recommendation.