At last it's here.
Over a year and a half ago Sony released the first Blood + set,
reviewed at the time and really enjoyed.
Individual volumes of the series were released after that but
half of the series was no where to be found.
Many otaku, myself included, figured that they weren't ever
release the final 25 episodes in a collected set, but we were wrong. Blood+
Collection 2 has finally come out, and
the wait was worth it.
This program about a young girl who is the only one in the
world who can kill vampire-like monsters is very good.
With multiple story lines going at the same
time, first-rate animation, and some exciting plot twists, this is a
otaku should at least check out.
In the middle of a fire fight in Viet Nam during the war, a
monsters start attacking the soldiers, slaughtering them
indiscriminately. Suddenly a young girl,
her eyes glowing red,
swoops in and starts killing the demons with a samurai sword. Bloodlust overcomes her however, and she
doesn't stop at killing the monsters.
Anything that gets in her way, including a pre-teen girl, gets
Fast forward to the present day. Saya
Otonashi is a seemingly typical school
girl who is suffering from amnesia and lives with her adopted family: George, her father, and his two sons Kai and
they form a loving family until the Chiroptera
Chiroptera are vampire-like demons who need to suck the
blood out of humans survive. They are
nearly invulnerable, with the most powerful guns only slowing them down
bit. When a Chiropteran attacks her
school, a quite man named Haji appears, gives Saya a sword and slightly
her finger on it. As her blood travels
down channels in the sword, Saya seems to be taken over by another
personality. She quickly kills the
monster that turns to dust when Saya's blood enters his veins.
After her family is attacked and wounded, Saya sets off to
discover just who or what the Chipoptera are and why she's the only one
stop them. It turns out that the man Haji
is Saya's chevalier, a faithful body guard and aide who has some
abilities of his own and he follows Saya wherever she goes. Kai insists on coming along too, and Riku can
do nothing but follow along.
This starts a roller coaster ride of a story. Searching
for their father, and then other Chiropterans,
especially one powerful one named Diva, Saya travels the globe always
one step behind what she's searching for.
Things pick up right where they left off, with Saya and the friends
and family in a lot of trouble. Riku had
been drained of much of his blood by Diva at the end of the last set. Nearly dead, the only way to save his life is
for Red Shield, an organization committed to killing Diva and
turn him into a Chevalier. This brings
about several changes in the boy, many of which worry Kai.
his blood has also caused Diva to take an interest in the boy, but not
healthy one. She becomes a bit obsessed
with him and that starts some events that will have a major impact on
and his friends.
Saya also discovers a lot about her past, including what
really happened back in Viet Nam and why she has
the powers that she
does. These revelations aren't necessarily
what she wants to hear though, and the realization of just who and what
changes the young girl.
When I popped in the first disc from this set, it took an
episode or two for everything to come back to me. It's
been such a long time since the first
set was released that I had forgotten a lot of the characters and what
what was going on. It's too bad the
first episode wasn't one of those dreaded clip shows.
That would have been handy. It all
came back rather quickly though, and I
was soon immersed once again in the world of Blood+. It's a good,
action-filled show with some unexpected twists and turns that keeps the
guessing, which is nice. The show is
wonderfully textured too. There are
several storylines that intertwine themselves together very nicely, and
plot thread has a different tone.
The show is definitely more than a typical monster of the
week show. Though there are plenty of
battles, the mystery about Saya's past and the origins of the
the plot more than the battles. With
several chevaliers, and very mysterious Schiff who want to kill people
sides of the battle, there's plenty going on in this show.
The final 25 episodes of this program come on five DVDs.
The discs are packaged in three double
thin-pack cases which are housed in a thick board case that opens from
top. The three cases take up only half
of the space in the case, leaving plenty of room for the rest of the
which is a bit odd since the first collection did the same thing. If you buy both of these you'll end up with
an extra box.
This show comes with the original Japanese audio track as
well as an English dub. Unfortunately
these tracks are only available in stereo.
This show would have really benefited from a DD 5.1 track,
during the frequent fight scenes where people run and jump all over the
while screaming and slicing away with swords.
It's too bad Sony didn't see fit to include a surround track.
As for what we get, both tracks sound fine. The
Japanese track sound a bit more
'natural', which only makes sense, but the English voice actors did a
too. Both audio tracks have a fair
amount of panning and directionality along with good range. An acceptable set of audio tracks, though the
show would have been helped by a surround track.
I was astounded when I popped this disc in and discovered
that the image had a 1.33:1 aspect ratio.
Most recent shows, like this one, are in widescreen and this
show would have benefited from a wider picture.
In any case, the image looked very good.
The lines are tight and the detail is fine.
A wide color palate is used with strong,
clean tones that really help to bring the show alive.
On the digital side of things, the discs also
look wonderful. There are no common
defects; aliasing and blocking are totally absent.
All in all this is a nice looking set of
Inside of the outer case, in addition to the five DVDs, is a
Blood+ one-size-fits-all hat and a short excerpt from the manga.
The video extras are all found on the fifth disc, a series
of interviews with the Japanese voice cast and the director that's
Blood+ Part Two. These run over an hour
all together but are only mildly interesting.
The actors mainly discuss their take on their characters and
too many surprising revelations.
This is a great show.
The plot moves along quickly and takes several unexpected turns
these final 25 episodes, and the ending works well too.
Add to that the wonderful animation and
you've got a winner of a show. Highly