Released Year : July 8, 2013 to September 9, 2013
No of Episodes : 10
Genre : Comedy,Demons,Seinen,Supernatural,Vampire
Plot : Staz is the vampire boss of a section of the demon world, but he has little interest in human blood. He's more infatuated with Japanese culture. When he learns that Yanagi Fuyumi, a Japanese teenage girl, accidentally wanders into the demon city, he jumps to the occasion. However, while Staz deals with an intruder on his turf, the oblivious Fuyumi is killed by a monster and becomes a wandering ghost. The disappointed Staz vows to her that he will find a way to bring Fuyumi back to life. (Source: MU)
Our Review : Blood Lad is a classic example of taking a typical genre type and applying a currently popular twist on it; in this case you end up with yet another supernatural comedy Most titles that fall under this category are barely passable, but Blood Lad seemed to stand out from the rest of the crowd so I gave it a chance. I mean a vampire boss that is more interested in the otaku culture of Japan over fresh human blood… that doesn’t sound too unoriginal and downright unbearable, right? Well I’m going to tell you why I was neither right nor wrong in Blood Lad’s case.
The story follows Staz, a vampire boss of the demon world. He is feared across the demon world for being one of the most powerful bosses around and is also known for always accomplishing any goal he sets out for. So when Fuyumi, a young and big-breasted Japanese girl, accidentally makes it into the demon world and is killed, Staz decides he’ll help bring her back to life. Already two typical character types have been established: an overpowered hero and a big-breasted, clumsy heroine. So, if it sounds to you like a pretty typical hero saves damsel-in-distress story then you’re absolutely right—because that’s what it is. But that is not all it is. Let me explain.
One of the best things about this series was the comedy. It wasn’t forced, it wasn’t complicated, the references to Japanese culture were easy to understand for any anime fan, it was not overused and it was just downright hilarious. But the credibility of the series cannot be justified by just one aspect of the plot even if the show is prominently defined by this aspect—and that is where Blood Lad quickly let itself down. At first, the comedy held up the dialogue in a good way but it soon became hard to overlook the lacking parts of the rest of the dialogue. The comedy became repetitive and started to let down the dialogue and eventually the plot also. Where Blood Lad’s story went wrong is when they failed at mixing bad drama and action with good comedy—and then tried to patch up their faults with more good comedy. After this much repetition, the good comedy became bad comedy and the plot became even less comprehensible because of the overuse of unneeded gags.
Just like the story, Blood Lad’s art started out great but was relatively let down by a certain aspect. Prominently the most annoying part of Blood Lad’s art was the obscure and abstract changing of colours, backgrounds and art within certain scenes at an attempt to pair with the comedic side of the plot. At first it worked well but this soon enough, just like the use of comedy, became forced and overused. Apart from this annoyance, Blood Lad’s art was actually one of the series’ strong points. The animation was always fluid, the art was consistent, the character designs and the design of the Japan influenced ‘demon world’ worked very well together and over all the animation, when not overused, matched the mood of the series and the genre by having simple and somewhat goofy character designs like typical comedy series do but also mixing it with typical shounen character designs, this caused a nice blend of the comedy and action. Apart from the certain abstract scenes mentioned before, the art was far from an eyesore and actually helped maintain the series when it began to fail.
The soundtrack goes with the series in a pleasurable but non-memorable way. The opening song did a great job of giving me a positive view when I started the anime and when I started the new episode every week. Even when I knew the anime that was starting after the minute and a half song was far from perfect. The soundtrack worked well in matching the moods of different scenes and didn’t separate the viewer from the voice acting but instead accompanied the seiyuu’s dialogue well.
The characters in Blood Lad all play a relatively necessary role in the show but the way some of these roles were developed is probably the weakest point of the series. In some cases there is no development at all, they are simply placed in the series for the short time they are needed then used later on for gags. But, with it being a 10 episode series and of the comedy genre, which doesn’t typically have or need much character development, I do take into account that it would be very hard to develop all the characters they introduced. So I’ll only be judging the development of the main characters. Staz, obviously, has the most development as a character throughout the series and for a comedy series this should have been absolutely fine, here’s the problem though-- it didn’t feel like enough. The flashbacks and dialogue he’s involved in don’t provide enough substance to give me a reason to care about him. Little character development in a comedy series is acceptable but if it is not handled well, which in this case it wasn’t, it makes you care about the character less. If you don’t care about the main character then it is hard to care about anything he or she is involved in, which in a main character’s case is usually everything to do with the series. The biggest let down of the series was the underdevelopment of Staz, if you can’t get your viewer to care about the main character then the anime falls apart.
Blood Lad was a show that let itself down more than it let the viewers down, because it could have been much more than it ended up as.
But after all this negativity in this piece of writing I can honestly say that I still really enjoyed Blood Lad. No it didn’t impress me as much as I was expecting, yes it had a lot of flaws, but the overall charm of the series kept me watching. If you’re a fan of this anime I can understand why and I can also say I am a fan. If I can’t point out the flaws in a series then how can I properly call myself a fan? Blood Lad was a fun experience and I still hold to my previous comment that it was neither unbearable and unoriginal nor bearable and original, because honestly from a critical standpoint Blood Lad didn’t impress me or frustrate me—it just gave me enjoyment.
After reading this review I hope you have a good idea on all the flaws of Blood Lad. But if you were interested in this series like I was I encourage you to look past the flaws and have fun with this anime, it might not be the most empowering, impressive, revolutionary anime in existence but it is great for some enjoyable watching and sometimes that’s all that matters. If you can look past that fact then who knows you might really enjoy this anime. Give it a shot.