Thursday, June 2, 2011

Movie Review: Blood

So I said that today I would have either and anime or a movie to review and it ended up being a very short, anime movie, that wasn't completely on purpose I swear. Actually, Production IG is creating another anime for their Blood franchise which caught my eye since the manga group CLAMP is going to be helping write the script and that's making me about hesitant. I think that having other people involved with the script will correct my major problem with Tsusbasa: Reservoir Chronicles and xxxHolic (only one of the members knew the plot and wouldn't tell the others and you simply can't make an anime without other people knowing the whole plot) and so I decided to try out the original Blood movie and try and get a feel for the franchise before this reboot comes out in July  

Blood The Last Vampire

Summary: Saya, an angsty Japanese who doesn't speak much, fights vampire like creatures on the American air base in Yokota on Halloween, 1966.

The Good: The short run time means the story has to keep moving and none of the scenes are wasted. It's an action packed movie, almost every scene that doesn't have a fight in it is tension filled, the story moves along very quickly and flows easily. There honestly isn't much of a plot (there are monsters, Saya needs to kill them) but the story is still executed well and does manage to have a good beginning (an interesting and grabbing beginning too), middle and end.

The Bad: The movie (really an OVA) goes by just so quickly (it's just under 50 minutes long) that it's hard to connect to any of the characters and no background is given, it's all up to the viewers to pick it up on the go. Saya is incredibly hard to sympathize with (almost nothing is given about her background except that she's quiet, sullen, and not easy to get along with), there's no explanation about the chiropterans (vampires) at all (are they just wild animals or is there something more to them?) and the movie simply feels more like a pilot to a tv series than a self-contained movie. It's a self-contained episode but it really feels like it should be part of a larger overall story. 

The Art: The art style Production IG was probably going for was a more realistic style but it merely succeeds in making all the characters look incredibly ugly (and, given the number of characters that appear, one of them should have at least looked decent). It's also obvious that this movie is a more than a few years old (2000) since Production IG was clearly experimenting with using more CGI and, unfortuantly, decided to try and use CGI for the characters at points which makes everything look a little off (C-CONTROL is also doing that today if you want to look up a more recent example for why you shouldn't switch between traditional and CGI animation for characters). The fights do look fairly nice throughout the film but this movie cannot be described as "a feast for the eyes." 

The Music: The most dramatic music in the movie is easily the music that appears during the opening and closing credits but what's more interesting is the language. All the Americans on base, the students, and Saya when she's talking to her handlers speak English and then all the Japanese characters (and Saya when she's speaking to Japanese characters) sound Japanese. The English, while technically is correct, comes off as very wooden, at first I was surprised at how low quality the "dub" was but, knowing now that the English was done in Japan as well, it makes more sense. I have heard much better English in anime but at least it makes sense for why the English bits are subpar.

So it wasn't exactly my cup of tea but I'm still going to check out the new tv series (Blood-C) in July and maybe I'll have time to check out one or two of the other installments in the series before then. Maybe, got a lot of stuff to watch right now.....

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