Blood Lad Series Anime Review
Your nose-digging skills are unparalleled.
This is a hard anime to review. The premise of Blood Lad is that Fuyumi, an ordinary human girl, wanders over into the Demon World. She ends up in the territory of a vampire called Staz, who is an otaku with a large collection of human games, manga, and anime. He’s thrilled to see her and starts talking to her about the human world. Instantly, he is attracted to her, probably because of her human blood. Through an accident, Fuyumi is eaten by a carnivorous plant and turns into a ghost. Staz vows to get her back to her human form, since he lost his attraction to her now that she is a human.
I actually encountered this as a manga written by Yuuki Kodama first. While the opening plot isn’t that unique, I thought I would give it a try. However, I grew a little bored by the pacing of the manga, and when I heard an anime would be airing, I stopped reading to watch.
Unfortunately, the anime exposes the flaws in the manga a lot more starkly. Its biggest flaw is Fuyumi, the main female character. She’s just your generic anime girl who is clueless and doesn’t have much to say, except when two guys are fighting over her. She’s incredibly boring. If I were to think of a word to describe her personality, I would draw a blank. She’s basically fanservice fodder with no impact on the plot, acting almost like an object. Even in the manga I disliked her as a main character, but at least she wasn’t given as much time on the pages as in the anime. Her frequent appearance in the anime was one of its biggest downfalls.
The other downfall was the main character Staz. I get that the mangaka was trying to mould Staz into one of the laidback heroes that are popular of late. However, unlike those characters, he is an unsympathetic one. Staz is downright rude to Fuyumi once she changed into a ghost form, and even though I don’t like Fuyumi, this behaviour just doesn’t paint him in a positive light. Sure, you could say that his behaviour is because she lost her human blood scent and he’s supposed to be a rude vampire, but it just doesn’t make logical sense, since he’s determined to change her back one day. And of course, like the good heroine she is, Fuyumi continues to take it. There were just so many missed comedy moments if Fuyumi had gotten mad instead of staying in her agreeable state.
We are similar in our neck boobs.
So why did I continue watching the show if the two main characters bombed so badly? Well, because of the side characters. All of the other side characters were more likeable, and had more personality in their singular self compared to Staz and Fuyumi combined.
Take Bell the treasure hunter. Her ability to manipulate space and the fantastic way she utilised those frames was a real delight to watch animated in the anime. I wanted to watch more of her and less of the two dolts. Plus, she isn’t like Fuyumi who takes getting killed without like a daily stroll in the park. Bell gets angry, and has complex emotions regarding her loyalties to her family or Staz. I guess if I had to name something good about Fuyumi, it would be that her presence made Bell shine even brighter.
It isn’t a one-off thing that the side character was more interesting than the two mains. Take a look at Mamejirou:
I’ll blast you with my third eye if you don’t shut up.
He runs the Third-Eye Cafe with Saty. He looks adorable and creepy at the same time. Gifted with clairvoyant powers, he helps Staz out. That is excellent character design, unique in its demonic third eye. Its so hard to find a cute character that isn’t some form of animal we already know. Or if it is, they’re usually just overtly cute instead of the cool cuteness that is Mamejirou. I really wanted to know more about Mamejirou and all the other side characters that inhabited this Demon World, including Staz’s brother, Braz.
Staz has an older brother and younger sister, Braz and Liz. The two of them still live in the Demon World Acropolis, and we got a bit of their backstory as to why the siblings split. Hearing their histories and why they became the way they were today, I wanted to know more and more about the other two Staz siblings, since their occupations and hobbies made them really entertaining to watch.
It is only near the end that we get a hint of the over-arcing power struggle the siblings are embroiled in. It isn’t a unique story, but the fact that Braz and Liz are involved in it that makes it interesting. Unfortunately, this short ten episode anime meant there wasn’t any time to get deeper into the political intrigue of the world. It ended up feeling like I ate through the crust of the pizza and took a single bite of the main ingredients before the whole pie was taken away from me.
And the comedy is as blunt as this paragraph is- hitting you on the head with it. There is no subtlety to the anime references or to any of Staz’s jokes. The mangaka and production team just don’t handle it well here.
Personally, I didn’t really like the colour palette chosen, which was a bit dull. It would have been nicer to have some brighter colours. The art style taken from the anime also didn’t sit well with me given how the girls had boobs that were too high up. However, the animation team did a commendable job in some of the transformation scenes. Like most anime of its small size, it suffers from a small budget allocated to the still scenes. Still, the opening was pretty catchy though the closing animations was cliche.
I don’t know if I want a second season of the anime. On the one hand, it feels like it might get more interesting now that the groundwork is laid. On the other, I have to spend more time with Staz and Fuyumi. However, I do like the side characters. I won’t continue to read the manga so the only way I would know what happens to Braz and Bell is to have another season. But I think Brain’s Base might do better to invest in something else instead.