Staz Charlie Blood is a powerful vampire who rules the Eastern district of Demon World. According to rumors, he is a bloodthirsty and merciless monster, but in reality, Staz is just an otaku obsessed with Japanese culture and completely uninterested in human blood. Leaving the management of his territory to his underlings, Staz spends his days lazing around, indulging in anime, manga, and games.
When Fuyumi Yanagi, a Japanese girl, accidentally wanders through a portal leading into the demon world, Staz is overjoyed. But just as he is starting to feel an unusual attraction to her, his territory is attacked, resulting in Fuyumi's untimely death. She turns into a wandering ghost and the crestfallen Staz vows to resurrect her as this would mean being able to travel to the human world, something he has always dreamed of.
Blood Lad follows Staz and Fuyumi, soon joined by the spatial magician Bell and the half-werewolf Wolf, as they travel to find a magic that can bring humans back to life.
Blood Lad is a classic example of taking a typical genre type and applying a currently popular twist on it; in this case you end up with yet another supernatural comedy Most titles that fall under this category are barely passable, but Blood Lad seemed to stand out from the rest of the crowd so I gave it a chance. I mean a vampire boss that is more interested in the otaku culture of Japan over fresh human blood… that doesn’t sound too unoriginal and downright unbearable, right? Well I’m going to tell you why I was neither right nor wrong in Blood Lad’s case.
The story follows Staz, a vampire boss of the demon world. He is feared across the demon world for being one of the most powerful bosses around and is also known for always accomplishing any goal he sets out for. So when Fuyumi, a young and big-breasted Japanese girl, accidentally makes it into the demon world and is killed, Staz decides he’ll help bring her back to life. Already two typical character types have been established: an overpowered hero and a big-breasted, clumsy heroine. So, if it sounds to you like a pretty typical hero saves damsel-in-distress story then you’re absolutely right—because that’s what it is. But that is not all it is. Let me explain.
One of the best things about this series was the comedy. It wasn’t forced, it wasn’t complicated, the references to Japanese culture were easy to understand for any anime fan, it was not overused and it was just downright hilarious. But the credibility of the series cannot be justified by just one aspect of the plot even if the show is prominently defined by this aspect—and that is where Blood Lad quickly let itself down. At first, the comedy held up the dialogue in a good way but it soon became hard to overlook the lacking parts of the rest of the dialogue. The comedy became repetitive and started to let down the dialogue and eventually the plot also. Where Blood Lad’s story went wrong is when they failed at mixing bad drama and action with good comedy—and then tried to patch up their faults with more good comedy. After this much repetition, the good comedy became bad comedy and the plot became even less comprehensible because of the overuse of unneeded gags.
Just like the story, Blood Lad’s art started out great but was relatively let down by a certain aspect. Prominently the most annoying part of Blood Lad’s art was the obscure and abstract changing of colours, backgrounds and art within certain scenes at an attempt to pair with the comedic side of the plot. At first it worked well but this soon enough, just like the use of comedy, became forced and overused. Apart from this annoyance, Blood Lad’s art was actually one of the series’ strong points. The animation was always fluid, the art was consistent, the character designs and the design of the Japan influenced ‘demon world’ worked very well together and over all the animation, when not overused, matched the mood of the series and the genre by having simple and somewhat goofy character designs like typical comedy series do but also mixing it with typical shounen character designs, this caused a nice blend of the comedy and action. Apart from the certain abstract scenes mentioned before, the art was far from an eyesore and actually helped maintain the series when it began to fail.
The soundtrack goes with the series in a pleasurable but non-memorable way. The opening song did a great job of giving me a positive view when I started the anime and when I started the new episode every week. Even when I knew the anime that was starting after the minute and a half song was far from perfect. The soundtrack worked well in matching the moods of different scenes and didn’t separate the viewer from the voice acting but instead accompanied the seiyuu’s dialogue well.
The characters in Blood Lad all play a relatively necessary role in the show but the way some of these roles were developed is probably the weakest point of the series. In some cases there is no development at all, they are simply placed in the series for the short time they are needed then used later on for gags. But, with it being a 10 episode series and of the comedy genre, which doesn’t typically have or need much character development, I do take into account that it would be very hard to develop all the characters they introduced. So I’ll only be judging the development of the main characters. Staz, obviously, has the most development as a character throughout the series and for a comedy series this should have been absolutely fine, here’s the problem though-- it didn’t feel like enough. The flashbacks and dialogue he’s involved in don’t provide enough substance to give me a reason to care about him. Little character development in a comedy series is acceptable but if it is not handled well, which in this case it wasn’t, it makes you care about the character less. If you don’t care about the main character then it is hard to care about anything he or she is involved in, which in a main character’s case is usually everything to do with the series. The biggest let down of the series was the underdevelopment of Staz, if you can’t get your viewer to care about the main character then the anime falls apart.
Blood Lad was a show that let itself down more than it let the viewers down, because it could have been much more than it ended up as.
But after all this negativity in this piece of writing I can honestly say that I still really enjoyed Blood Lad. No it didn’t impress me as much as I was expecting, yes it had a lot of flaws, but the overall charm of the series kept me watching. If you’re a fan of this anime I can understand why and I can also say I am a fan. If I can’t point out the flaws in a series then how can I properly call myself a fan? Blood Lad was a fun experience and I still hold to my previous comment that it was neither unbearable and unoriginal nor bearable and original, because honestly from a critical standpoint Blood Lad didn’t impress me or frustrate me—it just gave me enjoyment.
After reading this review I hope you have a good idea on all the flaws of Blood Lad. But if you were interested in this series like I was I encourage you to look past the flaws and have fun with this anime, it might not be the most empowering, impressive, revolutionary anime in existence but it is great for some enjoyable watching and sometimes that’s all that matters. If you can look past that fact then who knows you might really enjoy this anime. Give it a shot. read more
Vampires are overrated these days. The idea of them being in anime series isn't a new concept either. In fact, there's plenty of them already like Vampire Knight, Shiki, Rosario + Vampire, etc. Most of them involves some sort of strange faithful day event when the vampire gets caught up with a human in their world and then certain twists come that ties them to some sort of relationship. Only this time, it's a little a bit different. In Blood Lad, the vampire actually wants to help the human. Rather than treating them as a slave or food, this series takes a twist as our vampiric friend Vlad Charlie Staz embarks on a journey to restore a human back to their mortal selves after a tragic event. (by tragic, I mean as in getting eaten alive)
Blood Lad is an anime adapted series based off the manga of the same name written by Yuuki Kodama. The series takes the vampire theme idea and twists it into a humorous tale. That's because our otaku friend Staz has never met a human girl before. So, what happens when a young, pretty, and shy Japanese girl accidentally wonders into his territory? All hell breaks loose. Or rather for Staz, it's like the dream of a life time. After all, he's never met a human before. More so, Fuyumi Yanagi happens to be a girl with a Japanese background. It's a fun journey and one hell of a ride, for both our main characters.
For starters, we know that Staz is a vampire but also a boss of sorts at his own territory. He has his own underlings for dirty work. Judging by his appearance, Staz also seems to be unemployed and is literally an otaku with the stuff he has hanging around his room. More interesting factors about his character reveals that despite being a vampire, he doesn't seem to have an appetite for human blood. Oddly enough though, he does have a bit of bloodlust towards Fuyumi. This spells out a sort of trouble for Fuyumi because Staz's lack of common sense. In fact, we can see that Staz only seems to lust after Fuyumi in the beginning because of her fresh scent of blood and body. Strangely though, his lust disappears after Fuyumi's death. But the fact that he still cares enough to help Fuyumi return to her normal life shows his sincerity. It almost seems to be human like for Staz because the lengths he goes to help Fyumi throughout the series despite numerous dangers that puts his own life at risk. Fuyumi on the other hand plays the role more of the eye-candy but also at times encourages Staz to be himself. It's an odd relationship between the duo but they sure stand out as entertainment.
The other characters plays their part to fulfill the entertainment part as well. We got mad scientists, a witch, and werewolf that adds to the package of this series. Their diversity and abilities adds more flavor to the series that is not only tasty but also spices up some troubles for both Staz and Fuyumi. For instance, there's a rivalry between Staz and Wolf beyond just going at each other with fists. Then, there's also some sibling trouble for Staz later on that adds even more dangers to himself. It's a fun take to this series because Staz has to learn how to adjust without depending on others. It's the fact that Fuyumi depends on him this time as Staz learns more about humanity as well as himself.
Despite the series having a relevant plot, it usually maintains more of a lighthearted and humorous atmosphere. This is evidenced by the various parodies in the beginning such as the stuff in Staz's room or the way that Fuyumi is killed. Even though she is dead, Fuyumi returns as a cute ghost and her method of death can also be surprisingly amusing. The show also plays on Staz's character by portraying him as a character with little knowledge of what's really there. For example, there are numerous times when Staz uses ideas he gets from Japanese manga which he reads from rather than common sense. On a more serious note, there's some revelations revealed later on that might surprise some viewers.
Blood Lad also presents the supernatural relevantly well. Although not as grim as some series such as Shiki, this anime portrays Staz as a vampire with supernatural abilities. This is evidenced in the beginning as he is able to do various things that a normal human cannot. Then, there's the other characters too who displays their own sides of supernatural traits such as Wolf and his expertise in the boxing field or Hydrabell with her magic. Needless to say, the series' characters and setting combines elements of both the real world and the supernatural.
Fan service is also an overused word but Blood Lad doesn't avoid it. In fact, there's plenty of those for both girls and the guys. Fuyumi fulfills the role of fanservice with her body structure as well as being stark naked from the very first episode after her fate. In fact, the way she looks must also been a trigger for Staz's bloodlust for her. It doesn't stop there either though as she has to depend on Staz in order to remain existent. To do, there's the finger sucking along with the baby bottles. Furthermore, she is often dressed in skimpy ways or in lascivious outfits. Even for the female audience, there's some service to offer when Staz and Wolf gets into a fight in their outfits. It's service for the fans and at times, they do get out of hand.
Because the series defies any realism, expect some strange twists as well. It also doesn't fit within some vampire themes since Staz is shown to be stronger than the typical vampire with his resistance to certain weaknesses. Fuyumi also seems to play along with her new adjusted life even though she wants to return to her human life. The fact that the duo has gotten used to each other shows how much they value their relationship even if it's completely on bizarreness. It's what Blood Lad is anyways, a bizarre yet entertaining anime with more than just a love triangle or thirst for vengeance.
Visuals wise, Brain Base does an alright job with its elements although some of the characters' designs looks rather generic. Fuyumi in particular is designed to look busty with girlish traits while Staz is more of the bad boy role. The characters all have some taste of their supernatural traits though whether it's a werewolf, vampire, etc. The supernatural world doesn't look as grim or too unusual compare to our own. On the other side, some of the monsters are portrayed as looking dangerous. The production values are decent though with style. Staz's sunglasses, Liz's headgear, and Wolf's silver hair are reflection of this in a humorous way.
The soundtrack for Blood Lad is above par. The OP song "ViViD" by May'n has a rocky style with its presentation. Then, there's the action and comedy scenes where music matches its style. True to its premise, Blood Lad also has its occasionally eerie-like soundtrack playing during some of the more scenes fitting within this vampiric theme series. Staz's VA Ryota Osaka (Valvrave the Liberator: Haruto, Rozen Maiden: Jun, Hataraku Maou-sama: Sadao) recently began to play parts relating to young teenagers whose life is changed dramatically. Thus expect his talent to come in this series as well in the shoes of our vampire. On the other hand, Fuyumi's shy voice reflects her character in the new situation she is in.
Overall, Blood Lad is a very fun series to watch and enjoy. To me, it shouldn't be taken serious despite its premise. In fact, there are many moments in this series where the fights and moments are portrayed as parody rather than anything too serious. However, Staz is serious about his mission to help Fuyumi return to being mortal once again. If I was entirely serious though, most of the series should be absorbed as fun and a different take on the vampire genre. It's not just about falling in love or achieving vengeance. Rather, Blood Lad plays on the values of a relationship between a human and a vampire to see how far they come. It's a journey that will quench your thirst if you're looking for some fun. read more
Ok, time to make my review of this 10 episode anime thing....then again, I think I should just quit beating around the bush and state by ratings for each of this anime's category.
Story: mediocre 5.
Ok, so vampires plots are overrated, and this anime follow the same path as that of the main character which has some similarities from "Hataraku Maou-sama" which is about a underworld big boss who doesn't wanna be a big boss anymore and desires a simple life in another place, in fact the plot is almost the same as the mentioned anime. Only the execution is different and it is almost ( and I do mean "ALMOST") like a remake.
Art: good 7.
Ok, I'm gonna give the credit to Fuyumi and Hydra bell, co'z I like the way how they're illustrated.
Sound: fair 6.
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, Oh sorry I doze off, ok on this part I'm gonna refer to the main character's diction, intonation, enunciation, and tone as some what, ZZZZZZZZZ, eh! Ok so their voice seemly has that lack of sleep thing in it that one would make you want to doze off or it has the sleepy effect as if the character's themselves and I'm referring to Staz and Braz's who have been deprived of sleep for a very long time. However, I give this anime's category a 6 co'z I like the way Fuyumi's VA who delivers a sweet tone on to her character. As for the op and ed....I hate them both.
Character, Enjoyment and Overall: poor 3.
Character- It's all on Staz, everything about the character is too cliche especially when everything was place on him, other character's here are just antagonist waiting to be tamed by him, Fuyumi on the other hand is more of a sexy mascot than a damsel in distress as for Hydra Bell... I kind hate her dichotomy character which she's this liberated evil bitch in one hand which you wouldn't wanna bring home to mom and on the other hand she want's to be loved.
Enjoyment- The enjoyment part of this anime is pretty stupid, in fact I can compared it to opening a safe where one wasted a lot of time and effort only to find out that the combination is just 12345. Just like this anime Staz when into a lot of effort to make Fuyumi a human again only to be flustered us audience that Fuyumi simply has to go back to her world to be human again, then again it also conflicts earlier episodes were Fuyumi and Staz did went into the human world and Fuyumi is still a ghost. It would have had a smart ending if Staz forces that Frankenstein doctor in his world to clone Fuyumi's body and have her soul posses it just like what Braz did to his father in the final part of the last episode.
Overall- Brain Base, didn't do a good job of presenting this anime, then again, it was a good thing that they limit it to just 10 episodes. Overall, this series should be better off as a manga than an anime. Season 2? I wouldn't suggest it.
"Every vampire fiction reinvents vampires to its own needs. You take what you want."
When and why did vampires become so popular in the past few years? The only conclusion that I could really come to was the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. It's the series that sucked the blood (and money for that matter) out of adolescent girls everywhere. Why? Somewhere along the line I think our society forgot what vampires are supposed to be. The premise of ‘Vampires’ were originally made to be terrifying beings that were both intimidating and powerful. If you don't know what I'm talking about regarding what a vampire ideally should be, I would promptly direct you to Hellsing Ultimate where you may bask in the bloody goodness that is Alucard.
The story of Blood Lad is pretty unoriginal. Vampire meets a human girl, the human girl gets into trouble, and the vampire becomes the hero to save her. Pretty cliché. The plot of Blood Lad, however, is pretty good. The demon world is interesting in itself based on the premise of the 'bosses' that control territories, the hierarchy of demons, and the Demon Acropolis (where top tier demons reside). Material is presented at a good pace that keeps the audience interested rather than confused; at a ten episode run, that's quite a feat. One last thing that I want to mention is that Blood Lad is lined with constant references to other anime and anime characters. If you're like me and enjoy knowing what is being referenced, you'll think or say something to the equivalent of, "Fuck yeah! I got that reference. Sweet!" as you give yourself a high five.
The art/animation of Blood Lad is good. It's an anime of 2013 and thus there it's essentially a basic standard to have good animation and art. The action scenes look nice, the characters look good, and everything flows well overall. Nothing to complain about here, but also nothing to brag about. The sound portion is decent enough. The OP and ED are both pretty good; I enjoyed them both, but they aren't something that warrants watching and listening to every episode. There are a wide array of voices for the characters and I liked how fitting they were for their respective characters.
I enjoyed watching the characters of Blood Lad interact. Each of them is interesting in their own sense of the word. Staz, the main protagonist, is a vampire of prestigious class/breed and 'boss' of a territory in the demon world. He’s also and an otaku that aims to quench his thirst for something that isn’t blood; he's infatuated with all things from the human world, but mainly things from Japan. He collects anime, manga, video games, Japanese attire, and becomes entranced by anything new from the human world. This is also part of the reason he is attracted to Fuyumi, the female lead. Fuyumi is a human girl from Japan who ends up wandering into the demon world accidently and subsequently turned into a ghost after dying. She entrusts her future to Staz in hopes that he can return her back to being human. She's really shy, quiet, and humble for the most part. Bell, a spatial magic sorceress, acts like a second female lead. She's provides quite a few comedic moments and often teases Staz. She's clever and deceptive, but also is also quite the softie. While those three are the really prevalent characters, many other characters take up their fair share of screen time such as Wolf, Braz, and Liz. I don't think there was a character I legitimately didn't like in the whole series, however there also wasn't much meaningful development for the series’ characters either.
Overall Blood Lad is entertaining to say the least. I enjoyed what it had to offer for a story about vampires and the supernatural. Fan service is really prevalent in this series and did become slightly a nuisance for me; it seems they took every opportunity to showcase cleavage and added it in. The series runs for only ten episodes, which is a shame because it leaves a lot of questions unanswered and feels rather incomplete. If you're looking for a fun, simple show to watch, Blood Lad might be what you're looking for; just don't expect any deep themes or depth that makes a series great. read more