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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Blood+: Part Two
Blood+: Part Two
Sony Pictures // Unrated // October 20, 2009
List Price: $119.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted October 27, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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The Series:
At last it's here.  Over a year and a half ago Sony released the first Blood + set, which I reviewed at the time and really enjoyed.  Individual volumes of the series were released after that but the second half of the series was no where to be found.  Many otaku, myself included, figured that they weren't ever going to 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 show all otaku should at least check out.
Series background:
In the middle of a fire fight in Viet Nam during the war, a group of 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 sliced.
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 Riku.   Together they form a loving family until the Chiroptera appear.
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 a bit.  When a Chiropteran attacks her school, a quite man named Haji appears, gives Saya a sword and slightly cuts 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 who can stop them.  It turns out that the man Haji is Saya's chevalier, a faithful body guard and aide who has some special 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 seemingly one step behind what she's searching for.
This set:
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 Chipopera, to turn him into a Chevalier.  This brings about several changes in the boy, many of which worry Kai.   Drinking his blood has also caused Diva to take an interest in the boy, but not a healthy one.  She becomes a bit obsessed with him and that starts some events that will have a major impact on both Riku 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 she is 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 just 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 viewer guessing, which is nice.   The show is wonderfully textured too.  There are several storylines that intertwine themselves together very nicely, and each 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 Chiroptera drive the plot more than the battles.  With Chiroptera, several chevaliers, and very mysterious Schiff who want to kill people on both sides of the battle, there's plenty going on in this show.
The DVD:

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 the top.  The three cases take up only half of the space in the case, leaving plenty of room for the rest of the series, 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, especially during the frequent fight scenes where people run and jump all over the place 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 solid job 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 particular 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 discs.
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 labeled Inside 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 there weren't too many surprising revelations. 
Final Thoughts:
This is a great show.  The plot moves along quickly and takes several unexpected turns over 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 Recommended.
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