Modern Germany is plagued by an outbreak of "Amalgams." Existing solely to wreak havoc, these cybernetic entities spawn from rotting flesh and can fuse with technology to gain new abilities. With society left in the wake of their destruction, the Xenogenesis Assault Team (XAT) is formed to suppress the threat. Alongside its primary mission to protect against the Amalgam attacks, the organization is also researching the newly discovered "amalgamated" humans which possess rational thought and are far deadlier than their non-sentient counterparts.
Joseph Jobson is one such amalgamated human who has full control over his powers. Although successful in his line of work as a lone warrior, an unfortunate encounter with the recently-turned-Amalgam Gerd Frentzen makes him a priority target of the XAT. As he eludes the organization and seeks new allies, Joseph is transformed into the Blassreiter—a being heralded as the strongest Amalgam in existence. Now, he must fight back with his newfound powers to uncover the truth behind not only his past, but also the entire Amalgam conflict.
Blassreiter is not among the highest rated animes on MAL, and for a reason.
But that reason has nothing to do with any supposed inferiority of the series, nor is it about any glaring fault in the show - Blassreiter is a good anime. It's also understandable why many haven't considered it great, or not even all that good.
The biggest fault in the show is it's seemingly lack of any clear direction or plot. In the first few episodes we see a bunch of these weird, robot-ish, human-like creatures running around causing havoc, including turning a motorcyclist idol into one of them. Along with the infected
Gerd Frentzen the other main cast of Amanda Werner, a hot pinkette with a cool and professional attitude, her hot-headed partner Hermann Saltza, and the dark and mysterious Joseph Jobson, whose unimpressive screen time at the beginning of the show wouldn't at first suggest him to be a main cast member.
As many of you may have already figured out from the short descriptions above, a cast of unique and compelling characters is not one of the show's merits. Amanda is again one of your typical strong female-type of character whose usually calm and collected at her job, but, oh so surprisingly, is capable of showing a good bout of defiance and passion when it comes to her loved ones and what she sees as just. Hermann is almost her polar opposite, doing his job with personal feelings constantly at the surface and always, quite loudly if I may add, questioning his orders when they contradict his sense of right and wrong. Joseph is there to heavily add on the show's gloom and doom with his brooding air of a misunderstood hero who secretly fights for the good guys despite everyone thinking of him as a villain.
A good portion of the show's dark air stems from the characters' feel of guilt and responsibility over, well, various things. Amanda feels she hasn't been quite the big sis she should've been for her adopted brother Malek (the angsty crybaby), Sasha for creating some pretty damn advanced technology that just got used the wrong way, Joseph for pretty much everything, and so on. The constant, over-the-top blaming for one's self over matters beyond their control is nothing new in fictional characters who're supposed to appear heroic; an aspect that sure as hell isn't any less annoying in Blassreiter. On more than one occasion I found myself cringing at the characters' angsty antics, which did little to help the show's enjoyability.
"Mature storyline", boasts the show's summary. As the show goes on it becomes evident that by mature, they mean shitty. Not the storyline itself, but rather the pasts and circumstances of each character. Shit seems to be the share of especially the poor and foreign folk in the show's fictional German society. We see this through Malek and Joseph, mainly, who both have been the target of some truly hideous cruelty for no other reason than that they're not as well-off as the people around 'em. The series does make a powerful attempt at gaining the viewers' sympathies for the characters by showing us in great detail and abundance the torment they've been through. Unfortunately some of this effort was lost on me, for the "harsh reality" card being played as clumsily as it sometimes was in this anime has a way of making me laugh rather than weep. Sure the poor have always been looked down on at some level, but come on. A poor kid getting beat up by a rich one time and again to ensure his church keeps getting donations, and in a modern society no less? Okay.
In the same vein of showing how crappy the world is for some, Blassreiter seems to take every chance it gets to jab at Christianity. Shit happens, people pray, and God does nothing. Blah blah blah. Never think of me as a vigorously religious person, but to me nowadays trashing religion is like most of black metal. Immature and silly. Perhaps I'm just too sensitive about the Japanese trying to depict the western way of life or something.
So why, after all this bitching, do I think Blassreiter was good, you ask? Short answer: it just was. The longer one? Well...
On the occasions I actually bothered to tune it on (I'm a rather lazy anime watcher nowadays), Blassreiter kept me entertained. It wasn't an anime that rushed through its plot 1000000mph, but let the events roll at their own pace. It's not like I would especially mind fast-paced anime (TTGL ftw), but I do tend to appreciate it when a story takes its time to tell whatever story it has to tell. And though Blassreiter went through its story at a moderate pace, it didn't exactly lapse into sluggishness either; there was something going on in each episode to keep the viewer on their toes. Also the complete turnover the series takes around halfway through was, though sudden, an interesting twist.
The artwork of Blassreiter is also worth mentioning here on the plus-side, even with the fact that most anime is a parade of eye-candy. The machinery depicted in the anime is generally really neat looking, though flying motorbikes and such quirks tended to appear more amusing than cool. A big hand to the character designs as well; I could stare at Amanda's shiny green eyes and luscious lips forever. Also, I hope you like cleavage shots. You'll be having a hard time watching Blassreiter if you don't.
Though I spent a good while beating on the show's forced realism with cruelty, the aspect does accentuate the fact that Blassreiter is not your heap of moe-blob BS. Which is always a plus in my book. And no matter how much I'd think that gluttoning with harshness is just plain lame, a scene of a poor boy confessing crimes he didn't do with his hand on a bible while the true culprits sneer around him did clutch my innards. Always a good sign for an anime to be able to do that.
So yeah. Wanna see a solid, serious anime that'll keep you entertained till the end but with which you don't have to fear it'll shatter the earth below you? Grab Blassreiter.
All right, this is to be my first anime review for myanimelist.net so inexperience is to be expected:)
Blassreiter or "Pale rider" is newest addition to list of Gonzo's works (done in collaboration with Nitro+). Elements of contemporary anime are clearly shown in this series like extensive use of CGI, futuristic setting focusing on technological advances and moral/ethic consequences arising from it degrading humanity in process. This could be summarised as the main theme of series around which plot revolves. Classical motives of redemption, friendship, duty, loyalty and love are also present in the plot driving character actions in certain way or other.
Story in short revolves
around nanomachine virus spreading across Germany infecting humans which after infection become Demoniacs-demon like creatures stripped of humanity. Although premise isn't new or epochal it is executed great with many twists and turns keeping tension high. Only a few anime could do that "I must watch next episode...NOW!" feeling. Melancholy, dramatic, painful and tragic elements are indeed intensive spicing things up and stirring viewers emotions. Great!
Now onto characters! They are truly the stars of this show! I humbly think that everyone could find some character he could establish a bond with! Driven by their inner thoughts, wishes and their past they are diverese but also sharing common concepts like grief, burden and friendship. All I can say further without spoiling something is: superb!
Art, although debated is IMHO a milestone! Great presentation, action sequences, camera angles, design of characters and tech stuff like vehicles, mechas... Demoniacs are done entirely in CG which is quite nice giving their details and crazy fight scenes it couldn't be pulled off by a conventional animation! Now i think also it is a matter of taste, especially art&design (some love e. g. Miyazaki or some other style and some don't but it has no implications on quality of that style whatsoever). Quality in Blassreiter is evident! Excellent!
Music. Highest grades here also! Strong soundtrack was a pure enjoyment beginning from opening themes ("Unripe Hero" was one of the best I've heard in a long time) and great moving battle action backgrounds, through character themes (Xargin theme's also one of best ever composed, heights achieved by the ones of like Aeris theme from FFVII). "Wish for the stars" was beautiful and fitted perfectly! Overall: great!
In the end...enjoyment review. While not a masterpiece (although short by a little in my standards) this series won't disappoint! Fans of quality action SF anime will (should) be pleased as I think will majority who decides to dive into Blassreiter's world! As far as I'm concerned Blassreiter will always be high in my book being one of my top 10!
I didn't really expect much going into this, and I have to say that was a good thing.
Don't take me wrong, there were a few times where this show actually shined, but aside from those times, it felt mostly boring.
Many characters felt somewhat predictable (with the exception of Amanda, but that's mostly because after a bit of development she remains the same for the entirety of the show...).
As a positive note, they did focus on many characters (which is nice if you like a diverse cast).
While watching the episodes, you'll soon notice something quite annoying, which may be a minor point to some of
you, but it may also make you *sigh* because there's no point to it.
There are some intervals during the half of each episode, it's just a splash scene with some of the characters and some sound, however, the music played here is bad (specially during the 2nd half of the series), and this also servers no point. It's just a useless gimmick.
Something I thought I should say - I usually have a very high tolerance to the shows I pick to watch, even if they are bad, and I usually marathon them. However, with Blassreiter, I found myself wanting to do other things and simply not come back to it.
One last thing before I continue, there is gore on this anime, and the general theme is grim.
Now that I got that out of the way, let me go over some specific points (art, sound etc).
The music is mediocre IMO. The OP and ED are forgettable, and I found myself skipping over them after the very first episode. This is not to mention the 2nd OP/ED, which are even worse. Sound effects are okaysih, nothing to praise or hate. I have to mention yet again the cringey splash screen which you'll be seeing every episode (not too bad during the first 12 episodes, but gets ridiculous later on).
This is the first thing you'll notice, and if you're like me, this will bother you a lot -
BAD CGI. Now, when I say bad, it's really bad. The art assets animated through CGI seem like something you'd see in a 1998's movie or so, it's glaring and annoying. Of course, art isn't the end all be all of anime, many more seasoned anime viewers know this, but for a show that doesn't really deliver anything special on many fronts, this is a big problem. I'd much have preferred traditional animation here but ah well... The only good thing I can say about the art is what I already said earlier, there's very diverse set of characters, so you'll most likely find one you can identify with.
I'm giving this a 7/10 for creativity, the premise is something I hadn't seen before, even though you'll find some cliches here and there. The problem is, there isn't anything new in the way it was executed, in fact it was quite predictable who would turn out to be a bad/good guy, when someone would sacrifice him/herself etc.
Also - the ending felt rushed in some ways, but I don't want to go into much detail because I'm not really sure how to convey what I mean with this without spoiling it, so I'll leave it at that.
I didn't enjoy this that much. It was so-so, but there were times when I wasn't really sure I could endure it for much longer, and I just wanted to play games/study do something else instead of watching it.
Overall, this wasn't actually bad, but it also wasn't good. Which is why I'm giving it an overall score of 6/10.
If you have nothing else to watch, then maybe you should pick this up, given that you are willing to deal with bad soundtracks/CGI/gore, if not, then don't even come close to this one.
I hope this review was helpful to you, thanks for reading, and sorry about any grammar mistakes!
Alright, I don't normally write reviews, but I've got a lot to say about Blassreiter.
Blassreiter was one of the worst anime I've ever seen in my lifetime. But let me give it the benefit of the doubt and start off with what's good about it. (TL;DR below)
Pros: The story pacing overall is fairly decent. Not too slow, not too fast. The story itself has nothing wrong with it, in fact it's not half bad. They don't try to pump it full of different genre's that don't mix.
Now onto the cons!
Cons: This is the type of anime that tries waaaay too hard to make you feel
sad about a character's death despite the fact the character is so underdeveloped they only count as a supporting character because of the extra screen time.
The character development overall is some of the worst I've ever seen. Bringing up plot devices and killing them off in the same episode in order to force development on the main characters.
Speaking of the main characters. Think you know who they are? Well you don't. Because for half the anime the main character acts more like a side character. The biggest plot twist of the entire anime is finding out who the actual main character is.
Have you ever watched an anime where they bring up suspense devices that hold no meaning to you? Well I hope you like anime like that because this one has a ton of it. You'll be hearing lines like "Oh no it's the X377. How dare they use that? if we don't stop it we're all doomed!". And the name X377 holds more meaning that some of the suspense devices they use in this anime.
Do you like cliche character architypes? Well I sure hope so because every single one of these characters could be the face of the word "cliche". Want more proof? How about Villains who yell "How dare you!" or "This is impossible!" when they're losing?
Have you ever watched an anime where the flashbacks/backstories are more interesting than the main story? You haven't? Well you will when you watch Blassreiter.
How about Bullsh*t endings that try to force closure in without you noticing how dumb it is? Hope you like that, because that's what you're gonna get at the end.
Do you like watching anime where halfway through about 5 characters you don't know show up and the badguy is suddenly an ally and with NO explanation at all? Well if you do, then you should watch Blassreiter, you'll love it.
Despite the endless amounts of skin tight mecha suits, big boobs, that one nude scene, and tons of blood gore and action... It was extremely boring and hard to watch. I mean some of the action was good, but after it was over you were still bored.
So to summarize and for those TL;DR readers out there... This anime is so bad that not only is it the first anime I considered below 5/10 in rating, but it's also so bad that it convinced me to write and entire review about it. Do not watch.
Nothing gets the blood pumping like a high-intensity race, be it in a car, bike, or even mecha suit. Youthful passion and energy fuel these shows about drivers, pilots and athletes all striving for that #1 spot. As Ricky Bobby once famously said, "If you ain't first, you're last".