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16 Apr, 2008
Black Blood Brothers, Volume Two
Posted by: Rachel In: Anime Reviews
Charming and dangerous vampires fight for survival in Volume Two of Black Blood Brothers.
Far from finding the peace they sought, Jiro and his brother Kotaro are in more danger now than when they first entered the Special Zone. Although the Company compromiser, Mimiko, assured the two vampire brothers they’d be welcome in the Special Zone, they’re anything but.
In order to successfully survive in the Zone, new vampires must approach one of the affiliated vampire houses and ask for membership. This is harder to achieve than Jiro could imagine, and much more dangerous as well.
Some of the obstacles he must overcome are from past ties and acquaintances, but there’s also a fresh threat from the Kowloon Children. Facing either old friends or new enemies, Jiro is still determined to find a safe haven for his bloodline. But will the Special Zone ever be safe with Jiro around?
The world of Black Blood Brothers doesn’t feel recycled. Maybe it’s because the sorry state of the world is due to mutant vampires and not bombs or some other man-made catastrophe. It could be because vampires are the secret allies of humans and both fight a common enemy. It could also be because there aren’tany angst ridden fifteen year old heroes saving the day. Whatever the reason, the setting doesn’t seem stale.
The ideas aren’t new by a long shot; supernatural hero in red with sad past tries to move on by saving the world. But the combination and dosage of the ideas feel pretty fresh.
The story treatment of vampires in Black Blood Brothers is also a contributing factor to the fresh appeal of the anime. Vampires in this world are almost human, but follow their own code and formalities. They can even walk during the day, but will dissolve (not die) in water. They don’t turn human victims into vampires with just a bite, either. To the contrary, humans get quite a rise out of being bitten. It’s the ultimate pleasure.
If I have any negative comments on the series, it’s the hentai-ish manner these vampire-human scenes are handled. They’re visual softcore speed bumps which add nothing to the story. I prefer to “see” these things offstage. Leaving some things to the imagination is a good policy in such instances. Geez.
Things got interesting quick in this volume. Tiny flashbacks at the beginning of the episodes started to fill in the blanks to Jiro’s checkered past. Jiro’s relationship to Lord Dragon, Cain and Cassa are becoming fleshed out by bits. Jiro’s history as a trouble-magnet is being hinted at with casual remarks and pointed instances.
After the third episode, it’s evident what a name the Silver Sword really has for himself and why the poor guy can’t catch a break for himself and his bro.
The Kowloon threat is starting to develop as well, with the introduction of a character who until now has been in the offing. It’ll be interesting to see how far Jiro’s past is interwoven with the Kowloon Children.
Volume Two zipped by and was over before I knew it. So much was revealed, hinted and promised the time flew by, but the anime was never rushed or cramped. There’re only four more episodes left to BBB so it’s understandable why the story is zooming so fast. Black Blood Brothers gets big time credit for not cramming useless info (except those out of place bite scenes) into the series and for having excellent pacing. With interesting characters, unique situations and good pacing, Black Blood Brothers has an engaging bite.
Black Blood Brothers, Volume Two gets 3.5 outta 4 Hammies!
- Publisher: Funimation
- Release Date:March 25, 2008
- Retail Price: $29.98
- Number of discs:1
- Run Time: 100 minutes
- Rating: TV-MA
- Language: English, Japanese
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
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