Plot: Set around Halloween in 1966, just before the Vietnam war, a mysterious girl named Saya is tasked by a military force to kill off the chiropterans, terrifying monsters that feed on human blood. However, Saya’s connection to the chiropterans runs so deep that it’s in her blood…
Reasons for Rating: Ah, one of the most well-known anime titles in existence; Blood the Last Vampire. What’s there really to say? It’s a really enjoyable albeit short movie about a kickass teenage girl killing monsters. The movie does a great job building a creepy atmosphere, even if it does lean into some cliches like shutting the door behind the hero and cutting the power….and killing the black guy.
Saya’s pretty abrasive, but then again she doesn’t seem like she’s meant to be all that sympathetic. She’s a dark cold silent type who only focuses on her mission, though the ending indicates something more to her.
It’s a shame that we don’t really explore this story much farther. I mean, I guess we really don’t need to as it works perfectly fine as a one-shot, but exploring more of Saya’s story as well as the origins and story of the chiropterans would’ve been nice.
The voice acting for the English dub was on and off. Some of the acting was pretty good, but there are quite a few spots that are just blech. However, I will give tons of points for actually switching back and forth between Japanese with subtitles and English where appropriate (because some of the movie takes place in Japan, the bulk in America and Saya is Japanese) and apparently the VA’s for Saya and the nurse were bilingual to help that even further, so friggin’ kudos, guys. Top notch.
On the topic of dialogue, however, the animation makes it even more apparent that the lip movements really hardly ever match the dialogue. Mostly for the English but also some spots in Japanese.
Finally, the art is……Okay, I know what they were going for with the art; something realistic with detail that also has a stylistic approach that creates an uneasy feeling, but this really only works during the horror segments for me. It is by no means ugly, but some shots just looked really bad to me, like when the nurse talks with that cop and we get that closeup of his face, it was just gaaaahhh. However, during the horror/action segments, it works really well and looks great. The background designs were incredible and very well detailed. The animation was extremely fluid, as expected of Production IG, though, again, some shots seemed off, like the scene with the band at the dance where they focus on the saxophone.
The music was really fitting and added well to the atmosphere.
All in all, a really enjoyable horror movie. And yes, there is the topic of Blood + and Blood -C as continuations, but technically Blood + is AU, meaning it doesn’t really have a foothold in being explored here and I haven’t even seen Blood -C, though I haven’t heard good things about it.
Additional Information and Notes:
Blood: The Last Vampire was written by Kenji Kamiyama, writer and director of the Ghost in the Shell movies and Eden of the East, directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo, director of Golden Boy, and produced by Production IG. It is currently licensed in English by Manga Entertainment.
Runtime: 45 minutes
Recommended Audience: No nudity or sex, but some swearing and obviously a bunch of blood and violence. I’ve seen worse though and it’s nothing too gruesome. 13 +