One of the most impressive animated films in 2000, garnering a Grand Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival, Blood: The Last Vampire is a beautiful dark anime that is lauded for its extravagant production values. But, of course, when the animation studio has the caliber of Production I.G.
In the beginning, we are introduced to Saya on a deserted train. She sits very still, unmoving. Then all of a sudden, the train stops and the lights go out. What follows next is a one-minute action sequence that is guaranteed to take your breath away and give you an idea just how bloody marvelous this film
is when it comes to top-notch animation quality. And as though recognizing that this is, in fact, the film's main draw, the makers do not scrimp and we all get treated to fabulous shots that are pure animation genius.
Story-wise, the film falls a bit short. We don't get to find out what Saya's real nature is or why she does what she does. Admittedly, the film does not explain a lot of things about itself. Much is merely suggested and audiences are often left to speculate and figure things out for themselves.
Because of that, the entire film feels like an hour-long teaser trailer. A beautiful, 2D-3D film quality, mind-blowing trailer, that is. And in a way, it is only just a trailer, as more of Saya's story is expounded on in a later spin-off series, Blood+, another Production I.G. masterpiece.
All in all, Blood: The Last Vampire makes for an entertaining visual dessert. All sweets and sugars but very little body. I kind of like it because of that.