When i think back to my earliest days of watching anime, It is shows like Black blood brothers that come to mind; taking into consideration the anime that first molded my thoughts on anime, i remember watching the trailer to this series, along with the first Full metal alchemist movie, and basically feeding off of screen shots and Wikipedia pages to satiate my hunger for anime.
I was really looking forward to watching black blood brothers the first opportunity i got to watch anime and, watching it sometime later, i have to say i was disappointed that the anime that was portrayed in the trailers wasn’t the anime that i got.
Ten years after the Holy War in Hong Kong, Mochizuki Jirou, the Silver Blade, the hero who fought and defeated the Kowloon Children, the losing his lover in turn, returns to Japan with his young brother, Mochizuki Kotarou. The two quickly discover that the Kowloon Children who survived the Holy War are seeking to infiltrate the "Special Zone" , a thriving vampire city protected by an invisible barrier that will not allow their entrance unless invited.
The term red Bloods refers to the humans; Black Bloods are the vampires, and the Mochizuki Brothers are Old Blood, the last descendants of an elite clan of vampires. When Kotarou is abducted by one of the Kowloon Children, Jirou has no choice but to fight once more.
This is why i do not trust trailers. Black blood brothers painted a a pretty false picture of what the series would be about. Or maybe it is my expectations that where too high. I was expected something more than what i got, a dark supernatural story, filled with ancient vampires that, rather than mere immortality, where endowed with a myriad of super powers with which they waged war.
I was expecting dark and gritty stories about ancient noble clans engaging in war against the corrupted Kowloon children, of a powerful hero in
Jirou, extraordinary even among the vampires, and the skills he could unleash with his silver blade. Black blood brothers wasn’t any of those th
ings. Sure we got a love story, about Jirou and his relationship with the ancient vampire than sired him into an ancient and noble clan, their best friend’s betrayal which then led to her death, instigating Jiro’s sorrow and thirst for revenge, even its link to his brother Kotarou; but it feels like something was missing.
Most of those stories were not really fleshed out and i cannot say i felt the impact of Jirou’s past and these old characters from his past that made the rarest of appearances.
Even the cool vampire characters with even cooler powers that i was waiting to see never really materialized. Instead Black blood brothers turned out to not be nearly as dark as i expected, with very little vampire atmosphere; maybe it was the cheery attitude and the bright colors that just didn’t work for me. Truth be told i was expecting something within the realm of Hellsing but better (i didn’t enjoy that anime either) or even something similar to Blood+.
Black blood instead proved to be quite lackluster; the comedy was…alright i guess, yet very unnecessary and most of the time the characters felt like the had absolutely nothing to do besides wondering about and getting into all sorts of trouble. And the vampire action was simply…lacking.
As far as vampire series go, this is one of those that just missed the mark for me; sure there was a decent attempt to weave a decent mythology, yet the series failed to develop the story to its full potential, making for a very mediocre finale, with very little resolved.
Fortunately the animation was top notch and so was the music, very fitting for a vampire story. But other than that, it was just episode after episode of Jiro, Kotaro and their human guide Mimiko running around. I loved some of the political aspects, especially the bit about the special Zone, a special city within a human citymonopolized by vampires, and the lord that is empowered to lift the invisible barrier than guards it against the advent of Kowloon children by opening his constantly closed eyes.
Seriously i can see where this show could have gone, the maintenance of a city wholly occupied by vampires, the struggle against the evil and savage Kowloon-basically rabid vampires infected by a virus; but the series simply didn’t expand on these aspects.
--Character development- 2/5.
--Overall-6/10- could have been better, should have been better.
Black Blood Brothers is a 12 episode anime adapted from a light novel written by Kouhei Azano, illustrated by Yuuya Kusaka between 2004 and 2006, running for 11 volumes and six short stories. The anime, produced by Group TAC and Studio live, was directed by Kiroaki Yoshikawa and released in 2006.
Highlights- The battle of Hong Kong, introducing Jiro’s character as the Hero of the war with the Kowloon children, was pretty impressive, and so was the first scene in the present day, on the ship transporting Jiro and Kotaro to the city. It was strange that Jiro’s weakness was water.
Finally Magi makes a return after its two week hiatus, and truth be told i feel a little underwhelmed by its first two chapters. Not that they were bad; but i am just that impatient to get to the summit between Sinbad and Koeun.
But i suppose things are going to be slow going for a while now; i mean we haven’t event gotten back to Balbad yet, and once there who knows what mischief Kouen is going to get up to. It might be up to ten chapters before we get into the thick of the arc.
As the summit draws near Kouen sends a delegation to Sindira, requesting Alibaba and Aladdin to escort him and his house to the meeting point, the rules set and which bar the use of metal vessels within the vicinity of the meeting point restricting the entire party to the sea. Sinbad smells a trap, Kouen possibly attempting to wring the secrets out of Aladdin before the summit. Alibaba volunteers to make the trip, Toto, Olba and Mori volunteering to accompany him.
Along the way Alibaba is dogged by fears and doubts over returning to Balbad. The crew is confronted by pirates armed with weapons from Magnostadht; after expressing loyalty to Alibaba, Toto and Olba are accepted into into his household by Amon, defeating the pirates with their new found powers. Aladdin gets a new wand.
Two decent chapters, each furthering the story in its own way. Chapter 201 set the pace for the approaching summit, with kouen showing his devious side. We can expect considerable chaos at the summit; because even if Sinbad believed that Kouen craved knowledge too much to try anything with Aladdin even if he had gone to Balbad with Alibaba, he doesn’t believe the empire will approach the summit without its metal vessels as promised.
And with Kouen set to sabotage things with his arrogance, and Sinbad putting counter measures in place, we can expect the confrontation we have been waiting for between Sinbad and Kouen. The question is what does Aladdin have to tell these two that we don’t already know? Sure we know what happened with regards to Alma Toran, but i have a feeling Aladdin is going to reveal more on that day than has been told to us.
The question is how Hakuryuu and his corrupted Magi will fit into the arc; technically hakuryuu isn’t evil, after all he wants to destroy the Ko empire, which would serve the world’s interests. The problem will probably arise with how he chooses to go about it.
It was interesting watching Alibaba doubt himself, regarding how he might have abandoned Balbad; but more so his fears about reaching home and finding that Balbad has prospered without his assistance. It was an honest desire he expressed, the need to play a part in his home’s prosperity and future and how haunted he was by the idea that the opportunity had slipped by as he journeyed with Aladdin.
Now Alibaba has his own household, or at least the first three members of what should be an interesting crew. I look forward to watching this young prince develop and grow, mentally and physically as Aladdin’s chosen king.
RATING: 3/5, decent amount of story, though i am anxiously anticipating the coming summit.
Highlights: Olba and Toto.
Mod Edit: Takashichea - 11-3-13
Removed fan scanlation watermarks.
Mod Edit: Takashichea - 11-1-13
Removed fan scanlation watermarks.