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.
What do you think happens when you try to smash a thousand ideas into one pot? Yes, if it's undercooked, the dish will give you not only food poisoning but will also taste horrible if used ingredients that do not mix well with each other.
And thus, Bloodivores was born. (TLDR at the bottom if you dont want to read this stupid block of complaints ahead)
The idea behind Bloodivores isn't actually that bad. Survival game is a nice idea and will usually gather the interest of many people. Instead, if executed correctly it can be quite good. But what we are dealing here with is a survival game mixed with superpowers, mystery, a bit of romance (?), time travel, vampires and a few other elements that aren't exactly the most easiest ones to execute.
Now what was the doom of Bloodivores? Mostly bad execution and mediocre animation. You can't escape the facts that all the action scenes are a bit off-putting, the mystery element feels bland, the time travel concept is too messy (though is not the center plot of the story) and the characters are what they are.
As the story progressess and our main characters are put into this survival game, the plot just kinda falls apart. Each episode we are introduced to a new element of the show (time travel, super powers, etc.) and the story just doesn't progress that much. If the series would have more episodes to go with, I think it would have greatly improved the end result since there simply isn't enough time to explore all the things Bloodivores tries to achieve.
Characters have so far been quite bland. Every one of them is just stupid, too confused of what's going on or just full of bloodlust and none of the character's personalities really appeal to me at all. Even our main cast is ridiculous.
The main character, Mi Liu is the typical "chosen one" with super high adaptability and a superpower which makes him different from the other main characters.
Then we have the main female lead, Anju, the typical damsel in distress who just needs to be rescued and protected all the time. Don't get me wrong, this isn't on its own a bad archeotype but so far Anju has brought nothing new to the show.
Our two other side male leads are presented as quick tempered, a bit stupid and so far useless bunch. After five episodes I don't even remember their names..
The concept of the show is cool and I think that the show's point is for the main characters to survive this ridiculous survival game, find answers for why they were put in the survival game and probably expose some underground government organization. It seems pretty simple on paper and could make a really interesting story but instead we are given this half-assed story with little to no interesting moments in the first half of the show. Okay maybe there may have been a few good characters but they are completely put off because they are not the main focus of the story. (I am talking about the guy who woke up in the same cell as Mi Liu in the second episode).
Overall this series is a hot mess and it will be hard for it to redeem itself in the latter half of the show. Concept is cool, execution bad. Mediocre characters and no interesting motives that drive the characters are found or explained at all. Bloodivores is a mediocre show at best but if you are really into the show, I admit that it may have some appeal and possibility to shine if polished well..
It's official: Chinese cartoons now means Chinese cartoons. While the Chinese market has been becoming increasingly important to the Japanese animation industry for a couple of years now, 2016 has seen the first fruits of Chinese-Japanese co-productions as well as some original Chinese works getting released in the Japanese, & thus the worlds, anime market. Will we one day live in a world where Chinese cartoons rule supreme in the same way Japanese cinema has been almost completely eclipsed by South Korea? Maybe. Though judging by Bloodivores, we're a way's off yet.
If judged purely on the first episode, Bloodivores seemed to have some promise & potential. While the execution is rather sloppy, it looked to be setting up an interesting world &, perhaps more importantly, doing so without the bane of anime: the info dump. Rather than an opening narration detailing how the world came to have an underclass of vampires, or characters telling each other what they would already know about the world they live in; the information is seeded through the episode via a news report on a pharmaceutical company being punished for inadvertently creating them, then later the bank manager being held hostage by the main characters pleading that he doesn't agree with the discrimination. As someone who thinks anime has got exceedingly lazy with its expository delivery, this was a refreshing change to say the least.
The world Bloodivores appeared to be setting up also seemed more interesting than in you're typical YA fantasy anime. While the high speed chase & bank heist made it look like another YA action series & the main characters seemed rather cliché YA archetypes, the way it presented a world where the fantasy characters are the underclass instead of the super powered badasses made it look like Bloodivores would avoid the problem of series like Gangsta, Tokyo Ghoul etc. where there is no clear reason -apart from the fantasy of being the overpowered underdog- why these superhuman characters would be in the inferior situation they seem to find themselves in. The vampires in Bloodivores at first seem to just be humans who have accidentally mutated to crave human blood. If anyone has seen the BBC series In the Flesh (stop reading & do so right now if you haven't), Bloodivores initially seemed like it might have been setting up for a much simpler & less subtle but similar combination of genre fiction & social commentary.
More fool me for expecting something better, because then episode two began & it's all gone to sh*t since.
It seems to be a shared view among many in the anime community that the mid-late 2000's produced some of the greatest anime of all time. That may well be true, but it seems those shows didn't make it to China. Both Bloodivores & Namu's summer 2016 title The Outcast both look like they were made in the mid 2000s, but the title that I'm most reminded of is 2006's Tokko. Nothing good comes from being reminded of that. Since the end of episode one wants what happens next to seem like a “twist” (even if MA'Ls plot synopsis spoils it) I'll avoid specifics for spoilers sake. Suffice to say, any promise of something more subtle or smarter goes out the window, any potential for characters to be more than tired old archetypes vanish & it's become a tedious survival game mystery, full badly directed action scenes, magic power ups & monsters that look like they were designed with the Spore Creature Creator (although credit to them for not using random CGI shapes for the monsters like today's anime often do).
When I say Bloodivores looks like it was made in the mid-2000s, I mean it to the point that I'm wondering if Namu is actually a front for Japanese animation studios to release the series they thought too bad to make public at the time, under the guise of them being Chinese cartoons. However, unlike The Outcast, which was just boring, Bloodivores so far has teetered on that fine line between unwatchably bad & unskippable schlock. It's become so stupid, incoherently directed & amusingly cliché, while still seeming like it takes itself seriously; which has made each ridiculous new twist or character revelation great if you're the kind of person who enjoys laughing, groaning or shouting at bad TV. The three episodes since the “twist” have been almost constant action of some form or another, ensuring that there hasn't been time to get bored. This might well change, but for now Bloodivores is looking like Fall 2016's Big Order, Triage X or Isuca, entertaining despite its best efforts not to be.read more
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? As of 7 episodes I find myself unable to tell 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 they are.
0 Development, unlikable personalities, bland design, 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."
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. read more
While the series is still ongoing, I am writing a review for it. To me this series seems to be leaving a lot of the plot to the viewers to explore and figure out. While a lot of people may disagree and say that it is simply a plot-less mess or another show trying to fit too many genres into a single show, I would humbly disagree. Nothing particularly significant seems to be happening or being mentioned, but a lot of plot pieces have been laid out for the puzzle. Pieces are thrown in to random dialogue and make no sense on their own, but by continuing to watch you slowly begin putting it together, things start unraveling and you can begin to speculate for yourself on where it all is headed. It's not exactly what most people want in anime since it isn't necessarily mindless and it doesn't offer instant gratification like most shows. In my opinion though it is an interesting anime that has left me longing to see how the season ends, whether that be in disappointment over finding out that my conjecture is wrong or in a good mood after seeing my thoughts and speculation being turned into reality. read more