24 October 2006

Ink Blots XXXV - Blood: The Last Vampire

Blood: The Last Vampire is an anime produced in 2000 by a division of Sony. I want to be clear that there is nothing wrong with a film being short (or long for that matter) as long as the run-time is justified by its contents. At 48 minutes, Blood is dang short considering the number of unaddressed plot points left lingering. Now, not everything always needs to be wrapped up with a nice little bow on top, but in the case of Blood, the film was intentionally and abruptly cut short to pave the way for a sequel on the Sony Playstation 2. That sort of drug-dealer mentality of giving a cheap first fix, then jacking up the price does not sit well for me. Even if I wanted to see the continuation of the saga, I would be out of luck since I am currently Playstationless. Anyhow, I will go ahead and give my thoughts on the 48 minute "feature."

The film takes place in a school on an American military base in Japan in 1966, during the Vietnam War. The mysterious Saya (who never gets any development) is a Vampire that works with agents to hunt down shapeshifting demons, which in this film, happen to be posing as high school girls preparing for the big Halloween bash. Posing as a student, Saya tracks down these creatures and unleashes her katana on them in a gory blood splashing showdown.

Blood looks fantastic. The realistic animation style seamlessly incorporates 2D and 3D animation. The images are quite gruesome, but there is mostly blood shown and not too many guts. The action of this film is great, but there is no plot in between. Also, the first 5 to 10 minutes of the film raise a lot of points that are never dealt with. In the beginning, much is made of one of Saya's hits being human, not a demon. But then the scene just breaks. It really would be nice to have learned a bit about this supposed "Last Vampire," but basically, we only ever learn her name. We never even see her vamp out, she might as well be a werewolf, or even a plain old ninja.

One notable thing about this film is that the dialogue is split between English and Japanese, making for a sense of realism given the setting. Overall, Blood: The Last Vampire was interesting to watch, and pretty intense though ultimately it was unfulfilling. I would love to score Blood a high grade, but I have to offer up a mere B-.

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