60 years ago, a strange case of insomnia struck the population, forcing them to stay awake for more than a full week. The victims, completely sleep deprived, all went mad. To cure this illness, a new medicine was produced, but the side effects turned the patients into vampires. Humanity went to war against this new species and triumphed, but some of the vampires managed to survive. Born from a Human and a Vampire, the main character Mi Liu, "The Child of Hope," is to represent the new hope that will connect the two species. Ringleader of a bank robbery, Mi Liu is arrested and transferred to a special prison of the National Defense Agency that monitors Vampires. Trying to break free with Anji, Mi Liu is attacked by strange monsters and he finds out that the prison location corresponds to the birthplace of Vampires, the old capital "Blue Town." Why are Vampires trapped in Blue Town? What are those strange monsters attacking them? Our heroes must fight to solve those mysteries.
I decided to watch this anime based on the plot listed on CrunchyRoll, and seriously regret that decision. The plot, from the description, seemed fairly interesting, but boy did they drop the ball on this anime.
~~~ SPOILERS POSSIBLY~~~
Lets start with the characters;
Mi Lui: Generic "badass" with a winning personality. He's so predictable its sad. He also seems to be able to make these leaps in logic that make no sense unless you were the writer of this character.
Anji: The tits of the operation. That's it. She has large tits and is almost entirely useless.
Chen Fong: Doesn't wear a shirt. Cries a lot.
Looks like a girl.
Lee Shin: An assassin who's afraid of women? What?
Yaya: Introduced to be... cute? I think? Nothing cute about her. She's annoying and unnecessary to the plot.
What even is a plot? That's the question I assume the creator of this dumpster heap asked himself before penning this trash. He takes elements that COULD be interesting and then ignores what MAKES them interesting.
Magic holographic computer that has info about where the characters are? Used twice. Only used the second time to ham-fist the ending into place.
Bomb collars that detonate if you kill another person but give you one more day to live if you kill a monster? Never really touched on.
The MC's trying to save the orphanage they grew up in by robbing a bank? The orphanage has been closed for a while now and the director died. But whatever.
The prison is a destroyed city displaced in time? MC figures that out in the first day. Also; no explanation why.
Vampires? Lets make them less interesting than Twilight's vampires!
The quality of the animation is fine, I suppose. Its pretty much what you'd expect of an anime from the 2010's + time. There are moments when it seems the animation is 'off,' like they just could get the animation to match the scene properly.
In the end, don't watch this anime. Just, don't. Save yourself the time and watch something that's worth it. I hope and pray this anime dies in with the first season.
For me, Bloodivores is the most magnificent dumpster fire of the season. There is plenty on this season that is not great and boring, but this at least does you the courtesy of being actively interesting in its seemingly utter ineptitude. In brief:
Incomprehensible? A group of vampires with Battle Royale collars around their necks are trapped in a prison with scary monsters, only some of them have secret super powers. I find myself unable to say if there is an overarching plot or if it is just a series of beige set pieces that the characters wander between because that is where the script says
Our main character Mi Lu, is a vampire/superhero/computer. He receives 0 character development. This is reminiscent of the rest of the characters, all of whom sport unlikable personalities, bland design, and little to no explanation of backgrounds or motivations. It's almost like they skipped this part and were just like "mmm you figure it out."
There is also the most annoying child to darken a screen since Newt from Aliens. God help us all, she's awful.
Art: Not that I've seen so far.
Sound Design: See "Art"
Enjoyment: A whole bunch. If something is going to fail, it should fail as explosively as this show seems to be doing. I find myself both completely perplexed and thoroughly charmed by the idea that this show got both funded and made. It's like watching a small child fall on its face: it's horrible, and you feel terrible about yourself after, but damn if it not entertaining as hell.
To be honest I’m not too sure where to start with this review so I guess I’ll just dive in.
Bloodivores is, in my opinion, a beautiful work of half-assed animation that either tried to hard or didn’t try hard enough. Personally, I like the landscapes and inane amount of detail regarding small insignificant things, like the intricate cracks in the cement and old buildings. It makes it feel like someone really worked hard on this series. Sadly, I think that was the only thing they worked hard on.
I will say out right that the concept and ideas behind Bloodivores is intriguing to me.
It’s your typical survival game but with quite a few twists. There’s some possible ‘in game’ stuff going on. Some apocalypse feels going on, fantasy, and supernatural all bundled up into this one little package. Had it succeeded, I think it would have gotten an 8 or at the least a 7 on MAL. Sadly, none of these were looked into in depth during the 12 episodes. In fact, the whole thing kind of feels like a mega long series with how slow it develops but it is developing, just, in creepy crawly standards.
Now, for what you’ve all been waiting for- the good, the bad, and most importantly, the ugly! (Totally kidding, but I just had to say it.)
First up – Story/Plot
As I stated before, this series had some serious potential hidden beneath the ridiculous layers of ‘WTF is this’ and other nonsense. Had the time been given to the actual plot and not to the animation (which still pretty much failed in my opinion) I think we could have bumped this series up a few points on the MAL Scale. It pretty much feels like something that got a huge budget but then they didn’t know what to do with all that money so they were just like – “Landscapes?” “Landscapes.” “Spend all the money!” Lots of stuff is going on in Bloodivores and I like that a lot of information is just there and there isn’t a narrative (though I do like those). Sadly, with a hundred theories and ideas going and none actually being proved right or wrong you just end up with this huge ball of possibilities but nothing to honestly work with. There are a million little mysteries in Bloodivores and once you think you’ve figured one out they either drop it like a hot potato (in which you never get an answer) or your theory is completely shut down. There really isn’t an in-between for Bloodivores. You know, you think you know, and you don’t know. End of story.
Number 2 – Art
Moving on. The landscapes and scenery in general were pretty meticulous so it felt like it was a good high quality anime at times however, art is only one small part of an anime and thus just because you have awesome art doesn’t mean you have an awesome anime. Everything else was pretty half-assed. (Spoiler warning!) For instance, that lovely scene with what’s his face walking around with a freaking sword in his shoulder! I cannot even begin to describe my dismay when half the scenes didn’t show any blood on him. Like “whoops guys we’re running out of time here!” “Skip the blood, no one will notice!” “Are you sure, I feel like they’ll notice?” “I’m positive.” (I swear it must have happened.) So, let’s be honest here – no one gets up with a sword in their freaking shoulder and just walks the F around without any grimacing or hunching over! Doesn’t happen! And another thing! I feel like the monsters from this series had been taken from somewhere else, I’m thinking Blood + or something like that, so they weren’t surprising to me (though I suppose occasionally leaving behind a small human shaped concentrated crystal of blood is interesting). Fight scenes could be a bit on the lame side but I felt they were decent enough.
Champion number 3 – Character
Ho, Ho, Ho WTF! I’m all for a good hysterical cry once in a while in a SOL anime or one of those heart-wrenching tragedies like Tokyo Ghoul. As long as I can understand why the hell a character is crying and I can feel that pain with them, I have no qualms. (I mean who doesn’t want to cry when they see beautiful Kaneki carrying Hide down the street, ya know?) Anyways….whopsies…carrying on. The characters are really generic and while there’s a small amount of backstory for one or two there’s nothing for anyone else. You don’t understand what motivates them to do what they do or why they act the way they act. They’re complete strangers that you’re simply observing as they survive this death like game. The MC at least looks and acts a little cool however, I do prefer assassin dude since he’s actually badass. Anju…bitch please…stop crying all the time. The hysterics…OMG no. Just no. Way too much. Helloooo, check for a freaking pulse before you give people up for dead, yeah? Tch. Needless to say, she was a pain in the ass the entire series and honestly I don’t see how the series could have felt her loss, in fact, I know they would have been just fine. I was ecstatic when she died…and then she was no longer dead (seriously you’re worst choice this whole series guys). There is ZERO character development. Anju seems to make a comeback in episode 12 but honestly, she was just as annoying as she was before and since there was no progressive development it feels fake and being the last episode didn’t help matters. It was just an utter fail.
Numba 4 – Enjoyment
Eh. Ehhhhhhh. EEEhh. I can’t believe I just wasted all that time on one series that mounted to a handful of WTFs and an ‘Oh, that could have been cool.’ It was pretty to look at sometimes but overall it was more frustrating. There are lots of ideas and theories going on in the background with Bloodivores but sadly none of them are expounded upon so you end up with a whole lot of possibilities but nothing solid. And seriously, what was up with that after credits BS? You planning on making a second season or something? Let dead things stay dead please…(unless they’re characters I loved, then you’re welcome to bring them back).
What's worse?, that this anime actually HAS cohesion, or that LA just doesn't care about ANYTHING about this anime?.
Bloodivores is the start of the Japanese-Chinese collaboration animations and it's already has a bad reputation, this is the anime that solidifies this statement.
Ok, right down to the technical shall we and we have A LOT to unpack in this one...strap in and start boring yourself through this sludge-fest.
Let's get to it's flaws for this anime. Let's start with it's characters, the entire cast are entirely stock with one type of personality you kinda expect from a shounen "horror" anime. From Mi Liu voiced by Kenji Akabane
the main protagonist and the "Child of Peace" being both half human and half bloodivore and he's your typical nice guy hero that does no wrong, Win Chao voiced by Shouhei Yamaguchi the asshole and the naive idiot, Anji Zo voiced by Eri Kitamura, the token female and local damsel in distress and Chen Fong voiced by Mitsuhiro Ichiki......ummm the other nice guy???. Yeah you probably know what LA's beef is with our main cast...their stereotypical and not much else that makes ANY of these characters interesting even with their backstory it doesn't help. For minor characters or villains, the minor cast are nothing but support characters that tag along with the main cast or just disappears then REAPPEARS out of nowhere, if anything the minor characters either stall for time to bring us already known information or just faffs around (those being Lee Shin voiced by Takuya Satou, Cho Ifen voiced by Natsue Sasamoto, Lai voiced by Tadashi Miyazawa and Yaya voiced by Arisa Nakada), villains?, there is "one" by the name of Yao Lou voiced by Show Hayami, but him being a "threat" to the main cast is only through a power struggle that NEVER comes to a proper battle and he's merely "evil" for evils sake with a smug bastard personality and OP as hell character just to emphasize his "evil villain" status . With this kind of a scope of the characters.....do you blame LA by saying that LA doesn't give a crap about any of the characters one way or the other?.
Next would be the plot itself and the plot is as erratic as it's pacing. For one, we get dumped right into a bank robbery and then into a prison, then it becomes a survival game with monsters out for blood to the inmates stuck in this space-time prison the main protagonist just SOMEHOW knows this, then we go into backstories for the main cast with some deaths for "suspense"...LA pretty much explained the first HALF of the anime in a SENTENCE. This kind of pacing doesn't help the characters as they are more reacting to the plot than acting on their own accord to it. The plot doesn't have a good mystery hook either, because if your expecting the many questions like what the space-time prison Aori is?, What does this have to do with the Child of Peace Mi Liu?, Why are the monsters attacking and killing the inmates for and what the entire survival game is about?, What is the mystery link to Anji to the space-time prison?, Who's Yaya?...YUP NONE are answered by the anime's run utterly killing any notion LA would try to get interested in the plot AT ALL. Ohh and to add salt to the wounds, expect the main cast to just blurt exposition just to fit into their circumstances like the anime is literally making it up as it's going along and the more obvious flaw is the ending NEVER resolving ANY of the mysteries it brought to the plate and it just DID NOT EXPLAIN ANY OF IT, instead it wanted to faff around with a different subplot that has NOTHING to do with the main cast or it's mysteries. The ONLY thing the ending managed to explain was the bank robbery but that seriously does not suffice as the ending resolved ONE plotline...only to bring in even more questions by the end of it AND to bitchslap you in the face, the ending...left on a cliffhanger, no fucking seriously, like Bloodivores had an inkling of a chance it's gonna get a second season...HA HA HA.
Next and finally is the animation done by Creators in Pack and NAMU Animation aaaaaaand it's animation is bland to the BEST LA can say about it. LA doesn't know, the character designs are distinct at best but with LA not giving a crap about ANY of the characters is a sliver lining that the characters are distinguishable. The animation especially the latter 3/4's CLEARLY shows animation derps from it's facial expressions to just awkward scenes. The animation also has tendencies to both linger its shots FAR too much, like 3 to 4 seconds far too long (and this happens mind you during TRANSITION SHOTS or when characters just finished speaking making it all the more easier to bring attention the lingering moments!) like the animation is barely trying to keep the quota of 20 minutes and this heavily affects the battle scenes where it becomes increasingly stiff and breaks the tension of the majority of the fights because it's just slow or stiff in it's movements when fighting and some physics defying battles because FUCK IT bloodivores doesn't mean vampires...it's just another fancy name for humans with double-edged superpowers...no seriously.
OK.....with the unpacking of the flaws...it's not gonna be too hard to say what little strengths this anime has and that is.....
The voice acting is passable though it's not saying much. The anime had "out of sync" moments, but THAT is only because of the Chinese-first dubbing, thus "some" moments tended to be slightly off sync compared to the "original dub" in Chinese where the Japanese vocals ends quicker than the mouth flaps only adding to the lingering moments but not in the good way. But that can be given some grace though sometimes the syncing is really terrible at times. The entire voice cast is still ok at best, from Kenji Akabane, Shouhei Yamaguchi, Mitsuhiro Ichiki and Show Hayami but Eri Kitamura had it in the worst position as Anji, what with her damsel in distress status, she was tolerable...albeit annoying but be it Eri Kitamura or the voice cast, it's not the voice actors fault...it's their bland characters.
The story is cohesive, now LA isn't saying that the story is brilliant because of it's cohesiveness, no the characters do and say some stupid shit and the plot feels like it loses focus away from the bigger picture and mysteries it never gets to be unraveled, no the simplest praise LA will give it is that Bloodivores manages to make the story very easy to know what's going with all the connections it has made..............-sigh- you know where the problem lies in this defense and it's the obvious that the cohesiveness of all the connections never actually connects or hell the anime never tells us, but still it's one little strength LA found in the deluge of boring material LA found...so that's something right?...ohh who is LA kidding!?!?!???!?!?!?!?.
For this being a Japanses-Chinese collaboration foray, it already gave a bad first impression on LA (though technically SECOND what with Soul Busters and THAT eyesore, but that was an anime short, Bloodivores is a FULL length 20 minute, 12 episode anime...but semantics and you get LA's point)...from the stiff and lingering animation, the animation derps aplenty, bland to easily despisable characters, erratic pacing and mood-whiplashing moments and LA's nail in the coffin with this anime being that the anime NEVER answered ANY of LA's questions that could get LA interested in the world or characters, the anime's ok voice cast and the story cohesion isn't obviously enough for this anime to be "so good it's bad", as it is just boring. Considering there is more of these Japanese-Chinese collaboration animes on the way, LA isn't expecting much...let alone sees this kind of collaboration a "good idea" and Bloodivores as a defense isn't helping in the slightest.
Interested in what LA said about Bloodivores?, or is slightly curious?, then don't....watch Deadman Wonderland instead...it has a MUCH better prison-survival-style anime plot, with better horror elements, better mysteries and main characters that matters in the long run. LA needs to put an addendum to LA's Fall 2016 anime, Bloodivores might as well be running mates to with Soul Busters as the 2nd WORST anime for Fall 2016.