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!
While the story is lacking, as you progress through the series, it becomes more clear. Blassreiter is a severely underrated anime,my recommendation is to give this anime a chance.Personally, i enjoyed this a lot. If you want an anime that's different this is the one for you.
The story extremely interesting in the sense that it evolves from small incidents to macrosmic effects. In the first few episodes, one couldn't really tell where the story was going, who the main characters were and just what was going to happen next. However, slowly, but surely the dam broke and plot flowed to swamp us. We are
placed in an out of Japan setting with the familiar plot of demons rising to attack humanity, but suddenly we can't be sure whether that's all there is to it. I look forward to seeing it grow as the recent episodes seem to hold an extremely promising future for this series.
I really like Gonzo's animation. The artwork of Blassreiter is clear. The settings are quite well done, living up to standards of being set in a small German town. The action scenes are generally well done, if a bit confused. Most of you'll enjoy it, but don't expect Last Exile or Gankutsuou level animation or artwork.
Perhaps the weakest point in the series. Both OP and ED are really good, particularly the ED (first time, I ever downloaded an anime ending of Gendou).
This series's characters are hands down one of the most realistic and powerfully depicted personalities this season. You may think I'm lying, but I'm not. You will learn to HATE Jill Hoffman. You will feel Malek's pain even though you may not have lost someone close to you. You may find yourself questioning Gerd's intentions and wondering just who the hell Beatrice is. Development of characters is rapid, but also realistic. There personalities may not be thoroughly distinct, but you will find that they may be like one of you: A sister in confusion about her brother's actions or a disillusioned man trying revive his hero's faith or a lone wolf watching from afar, living day by day for revenge. Sounds far fetched, but see for yourself.
Blassreiter managed to keep me awake until 3 am (where I'm living anyway) every Saturday or Sunday, just to get a chance to see a new episode. I am enjoying the series quite a bit. It beats your general run-of-the-mill shonen that gets over 200 episodes, but barely achieves anything in that time a million times over. It's sad that this must end at 24 episodes, but then again, maybe its one of those animes that have to end there. Those are generally the good ones.
Whew, I thought this was going to short. I'm glad if you've read this far. My advice to you is, don't look at the top anime score. That's what people thought when they watched the first couple episodes. This is a heavily underrated series and I hope that this review convinces you to watch it too. Thank you for reading.
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!
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".