Blood Lad Review (Anime)on February 2, 2015 by Mitch Jay
I’ve had my eye on Blood Lad for a while as I’ve enjoyed everything that Anime Limited has released to date, and being given the chance to review it was one I couldn’t say no to.
Blood Lad blends action and comedy together, with a pinch of romance, to deliver ten fast-paced episodes brimming with pretty much everything I want in an anime – a solid plot, likeable characters, wide-scale battles, great and unobtrusive references and a bit of fan-service in the form of demon girls. Ten episodes (not including the one OVA) pass as quickly as lightning, and it’s a shame that there’s no plans for a Season Two, especially with the massive cliffhanger than the last episode ends on.
Blood Lad follows Staz, one of the rulers of the east demon world, as he tries to bring Fuyumi back to life as she died in his care. Staz loves everything about the human world and takes this opportunity to visit it for himself in the hopes of buying manga, limited edition figures and to get a change of pace from the demon world. Trouble follows them everywhere due to Staz’s position and that everybody seems to want to steal Fuyumi away from him (which we can’t really blame them for as she’s pretty damn great), leaving Staz with his hands full with something other than Japanese merchandise.
The cast is both eccentric and enjoyable, and mainly focus on those who live in the demon world where the majority of the show is set. Along with the excitable and powerful Staz and the shy and kind Fuyumi, the rest of the main cast consists of Bell, a demon who specialises in transportation magic, Wolf, a hybrid werewolf who controls most of the west demon world and Braz, Staz’s intelligent older brother. I didn’t dislike anybody and felt that there was sufficient character development for only ten episodes, which is shorter than most anime.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Brain’s Base are capable of some terrific animation and Blood Lad is no different, even if it’s not my favourite work of theirs. It’s bright, colourful and the action packs a real punch, so Brain’s Base have given Blood Lad the overall love and care that it deserves. The character design is fairly simple but reflects the characters personalities well, and they still stand out among the hundreds of background characters.
Other than the fan-service, a glimpse of which you can see lower down in the review, the action plays a huge part in its visual brilliance. Although it’s a mostly cheery show, Brain’s Base weren’t afraid to show blood and violence including someone having hands thrust through their chest, and another person having their heart squashed with a popping sound. The battles can also be humourous too, such as when Staz starts powering up a kamehameha from Dragon Ball Z and talks about how Goku is the world’s greatest warrior – there’s also a great moment when Staz remarks on how Final Fantasy is anything but final as he has trouble getting all the latest game releases. Of course, all of this was crisp and clear on blu-ray – the difference in quality between anime on DVD and blu-ray is so highly noticeable that it’s no wonder that Anime Limited are pushing the blu-ray release.
You might be tired of hearing him by now, but there’s no denying that he’s a very good voice-actor worthy of his roles and I’m glad to hear Bryce Papenbrook voice Staz – more so as he gets to act excitable and loud whereas his other roles, such as Eren from Attack on Titan and Kirito from Sword Art Online, have him much moodier and serious. You’ll recognise many familiar voices though, including Patrick Seitz, Johnny Yong Bosch, Kira Buckland, Wendee Lee, Kyle Hebert and Cristina Vee, so do pay attention as they all deliver fantastic voice-acting in Blood Lad. If English Dub isn’t your cup of tea, then yes, you can select the Japanese voice-over which is also easy on the ears.
What’s an anime without a good OP and ED, right? When you recommend an anime, one of the things many people look towards are the OP’s and ED’s which are usually 90 seconds of what a show is about; if they don’t grip you, then there’s a good chance the entire show may not, although this isn’t always the case. Blood Lad’s OP excels both visually and musically, delivering a rock-fueled track and a colour, fast-paced video showcasing the characters and a good chunk of action. The ED is equally as good but is much calmer and focuses on Fuyumi and Bell.
There’s not much in the way of extra content, although I’m pleased that the OVA has been included which follows Staz and Fuyumi on their journey where she becomes addicted to drinking his blood; she does this so that her demon form doesn’t fade away due to her low amount of magical ability. It’s good fun and doesn’t add much to the story, but I enjoy seeing the two interact with each other as that was also one of my favourite things in the main series. Alongside the OVA there are clean versions of the OP and ED, an art gallery (which I think is exclusive to the blu-ray version) and English Dub outtakes.
So yeah, I really enjoyed Blood Lad. I wish it were longer, and I wish a second season was confirmed to be in the works, but sadly neither of these things are happening. Maybe, if this release of Blood Lad sells well, there might be enough interest to convince Brain’s Base to make another season as the manga is on-going and has a large fanbase. It’s convinced me to pick up the manga and if you’re interested in watching the blu-ray then, well, it releases today! Yay!