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.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS: I WOULD RECOMMEND FIRST WATCHING THIS ANIME FIRST TO UNDERSTAND MY REVIEW
Bloodivores seemed to be the seasonal scrap-iron scarecrow of anime, attracting many dissenters who had gripes with understanding what Bloodivores is about. Admittedly, from this very reasonable mindset of trying to understand what exactly you are consuming, Bloodivores can't get very far. Given this, I feel compelled to write a review to justify my high score of a 7. However, even though I personally gave this anime a 7, I'm still internally stalemated as to whether it should be an 8, or even a 9. (If I go by averages,
it gets 8.6/10, rounded up to 9/10 -- 6/10 story, 9/10 art, 9/10 sound, 10/10 char, 9/10 enjoyment for reference)
Art and sound are both fine; nothing too much out of the ordinary. I will mention that I really liked the opening song and therefore gave sound a 9/10 overall. The complexity of the violin against the simplistic drumming / vocal line is especially masterful. I didn't really get to judge the OSTs because I was focused on the Japanese words the characters were saying. Once again, art was fairly normal and wasn't atrocious like in one of those older anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion; similar to sound, 9/10.
We now move onto the more contentious areas: story and characters. Admittedly, the story is where this anime is the weakest. I personally used the special routing of episode 1 -> 2 -> 7 through to 12. This streamlined the efficiency of my viewing and really increased enjoyment, at the small cost of not knowing who Cho Ifen was. This special routing also allowed me to believe that the story was set up so that the main characters got out of the warehouse after only one episode. However, given these circumstances, I feel that a 6 is warranted because one should not have to resort to such external measures to enjoy the story.
External notes on story which would have brought the score higher if it wasn't for my penalty imposed for external routing:
Once at episode 7, I was hooked and was impatiently waiting a new episode every week. Apparently, Lee Shin became a human beyblade who at the time, I thought could put up a challenge to the brokenly overpowered Lou Yao (he couldn't). Mi Liu also learnt how to fly and later, it's revealed that Anji became the female version of Shikamaru from Naruto. These extra elements allows for the viewer to feel that their central characters have a better chance at survival and it's like when your Grovyle learns leaf blade at level 29 in R/S/E; late, but you feel good that you finally have a move that isn't bad.
Episode 12 was especially good at setting up tension. Apparently they wanted to save Yaya (I don't know why, but one does not need to know why in order to appreciate their attempt, just like one does not need to know why Vladimir and Estragon must wait for Godot in order to share their oppression) so Mi Liu goes to bomb a building. Him getting distracted had me internally yelling at the monitor (anyone who actually yells at their monitor while watching an anime is lying or needs an evaluation from an external source) "WHAT ARE YOU DOING, SET THE BOMB AND GET OUT". I am much reminded of situations where the reader is placed into a situation where they must watch a tragedy unfold caused by the character's lack of cautiousness (example: Guan Yu's Jingzhou campaign from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, followed by Liu Bei's Jingzhou / Eastern Wu campaign from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, followed by the rest of Romance of the Three Kingdoms). The use of an age-old technique in some dramatic irony was appreciated, though thankfully, Mi Liu manages to avert the disaster of getting eaten by monsters.
Characters were really well created. I feel that many of my learned anime scholars failed to appreciate them because they could not understand the clever references each of them were making. For those who were without references, they had a special / memorable quality. Since this review is already long, I'll just list them and say that I was really engaged by this writer's character creation:
Mi Liu -> Liu Bei
Win Chao -> Zhao Yun (For those who don't get it, "Chao" and "Zhao" have similar pronunciations in Chinese)
Lou Yao -> No reference but broken fist fighter
Chen Fong -> dude who (MAJOR SPOILER) doesn't put on a shirt
Anji -> Shikamaru
Lee Shin -> Blind Monk / Superstar Jungler Lee Sin
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.
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).