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Blood: The Last Vampire is a 2000 anime film produced by Production I.G and Aniplex and directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo. The film premiered in theaters in Japan on November 18, 2000. A single-volume manga sequel, Blood: The Last Vampire 2000 written by Benkyo Tamaoki, was published in Japan in 2001 by Kadokawa Shoten, and in English by Viz Media in November 2002 with the title slightly modified to Blood: The Last Vampire 2002. Three Japanese light novel adaptations have also been released for the series, along with a video game. It also spawned a fifty-episode anime series, Blood+, which is an alternate universe story. A live-action adaptation of the film with the same title was released in May 2009.

Saya, the last true vampire, battles the bloodthirsty demons attacking an American base in Japan during the Vietnam War. Much of the story takes place during the late afternoon and evening, and the artists use shadows, reflections, and light with exceptional skill: the look of the film is more interesting than the underdeveloped story. Saya wields a deadly sword and pursues her foes with chilling ferocity, but she's silent and sullen and fails to develop as a character: the viewer has no idea how she views her deadly occupation. Albeit a visually striking film, this dark, violent work fails to live up to its billing as "Japan's first fully digital animated feature film": the three-dimensional objects and effects are digital, but the two-dimensional characters are hand-drawn. Nor is the film really "from the creators of Ghost in the Shell." Blood came out of a group that Ghost director Mamoru Oshii organized to encourage young talent, but he didn't direct it. And at 48 minutes, it's very short for a feature, although this edition includes a rambling 21-minute making-of film and a 3-minute trailer. It seems unlikely that Blood "will transform Japanese animation," but other artists may use its visual style to tell more compelling stories with better-developed characters. Unrated; suitable for ages 17 and up for profanity, brief nudity, and considerable violence.--Charles Solomon

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CastSaemi Nakamura, Youki Kudoh, Rebecca Forstadt, Joe Romersa, Stuart Robinson
DirectorHiroyuki Kitakubo
Genre:  Action, Animation, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
Release Date:  July 29, 2000
MPAA Rating:  Unrated
Screen WriterKenji Kamiyama
Runtime:  48 minutes
Studio:  Production I.G, Manga Entertainment, Starz / Anchor Bay
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review by . May 16, 2009
Blood: The Last Vampire
Production I.G., for whatever reason, has created an interesting formula for "feature films": offer the same production and story quality of a big budget animation, but truncate the runtime to about half. Not sure how many other of their films fit this template, but so far I've watched "Blood" and "Kai Doh Maru" in succession of each other and they are almost exactly the same duration.      For the most part these Featurettes work. Especially for "Blood", where the story and …
review by . April 07, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Animation, language decision     Cons: Purpose?     The Bottom Line: Mmm, abrupt horror that's interesting and entertaining.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. Well, it’s 1am, so what does that mean? That’s right, your random anime movie review. There are actually two other non-anime movies I should review, but I’m lazy and they’re complex (film class screenings), so I’m …
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