Blood+, pronounced as "Blood Plus", is an anime series produced by Production I.G and Aniplex and directed by Junichi Fujisaku. The series premiered in Japan on Sony's anime satellite channel, Animax, as well as on terrestrial networks … see full wiki
Taking place in Okinawa, a young girl by the name of Saya is living comfortably with her foster father and two foster brothers. They appear to have formed the perfect family and Saya couldn't be any happier. Later, when monsters appear killing people and leaving them drained of blood, Saya finds herself in battle with one, and she's given a sword by a mysterious figure, who appears to be either an old servant or a friend. Next, a man named David appears revealing that Saya is the only one capable of killing these creatures. Who or what is Saya? And who or what are these creatures appearing that she must do battle with?
Saya's younger foster brother Riku survives the attack from the queen of chiropterans Diva, who is none other than Saya's younger sister. Barely surviving the battle herself, Saya regroups on the flagship of the organization called the Red Shield, who's mission is to exterminate chiropterans and to kill Diva. Things become more complicated when another faction joins the fray seeking Saya's blood, and Diva's bigger plan comes to light. -summary
Blood+ Part Twocontains the last 25 episodes out of 50 of Blood+. This second story arc continues to stick with the formula found in the first arc, which is far more drama than action. And like the previous arc it features side stories and characters galore. It also runs into the same problem as the previous arc; trying to accurately juggle all these things without giving off an incoherent feel. Everything does work out and make sense by the end, but due to the pacing issues, and certain characters who seriously just needed to go away, numerous times, I found myself pretty bored and impatiently waiting for this story to end.
The plot follows Saya and her servant Hagi, as they seek to confront and kill Diva, putting an end to the Chiropteran menace. Along the way new alliances are formed, characters are killed off, and sides are switched. Everything soon leads into a huge showdown between the groups with the fate of the world at stake.
Blood+ focuses heavily on drama and its characters, and it works out here most of the time since a majority of the characters are very well written, possessing plenty of potential for drama ability which makes them into believable people. Their drives are very realistic and I enjoyed how this worked into the main story, providing an ample amount of suspense and plot twist. It's quite amazing how this large list of characters were developed well enough. One can easily find themselves attached to many, and very concerned on where their chosen paths take them. The character interactions have moments, very, very, good moments of excitement and intrigue, and this also plays very well into the ending. Blood+ definitely ends on a strong note making the trip somewhat worth it.
Now the rest of the anime is a mixed bag at best, since it does suffer from some pacing issues. There are way too many side plots taking place, and finding time for all these events and character interactions were sometimes distracting. I think several characters and situations could have been left on the cutting room floor, and this would have helped the story move a lot more fluid. I understand that a lot of these things played into Saya's character development, but this was one of those cases of too much character development, and as a result, it gave away Saya's actions in the final cut. The foreshadowing was so strong to the point where it heavily took away from the "deciding moment". I praised the series for its use of drama, however, due to the obvious I felt that a certain dramatic moment wasn't as strong as it should have been. In additon, some of these elements began to repeat themselves over and over, as if the point wasn't made clear the first couple of times.
Even though the drama and characters are the main focus, there's plenty of action to be found here, and the scenes are still violent and brutal, with lots of sword play resulting in dismemberment's. The battles are a welcome treat no doubt. However, they can also be the series weakness. There are too many confrontations that ends with both sides withdrawing, and eventually I got sick and tired of seeing the same faces battling over and over. On the plus side, at least the battles had a point, and they delivered small parts of the story that would either play into the big picture or tie up side stories. Still though, after awhile they began to bore me. One thing about the battles that really annoyed me was Saya. As a lead protagonist, when concerning her skills in battle, I don't like her at all. Her weakness reminded too much ofMiyu from Vampire Princess Miyu, a very weak character who always relied on her servant. I need my heroes to be strong, and I need them to hold their own in battle. It's fine to come away from battle scathed, but I have an issue when the hero appears to be weaker than everyone.
The production values are still outstanding with some amazing visuals. There are some very beautiful backgrounds, and the night time and sunsets are simply gorgeous. There are some very nice character designs, and some of the more powerful chiropterans have freakish appearances. The animation during the battles are very good with nice choreography. Unfortunately, there are various shortcuts taken straight out of Dragonball Z, with the super speed and unseen action garbage, and I didn't like that at all. The soundtrack is still nice, but the songs are the same ones found in the previous arc, which it's made up of piano laden backgrounds and synthesized scores.
Blood+ could have been an amazing anime. It's far from a bad title, and it heavily makes up for the original movie. However, due to several issues in its storyline, it just comes off as an average title. I've seen far better in the action/drama genre. There are plenty of other action filled series out there to choose from. I only recommend this to serious anime fans.
Pros: -Ending, production values, some interesting characters
Cons: -Pacing issues that bogs down the middle portion