- Genre : Action, comedy, supernatural, urban fantasy, science fiction.
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: Bones
Ahhh New York. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere! Except you can’t make it there anymore because 3 years ago a cataclysm opened a huge pandimensional rift in the city and its been sealed off since then. Now the people trapped inside have to coexist with a wide variety of aliens and other creatures, some of which can get pretty dangerous. And that’s if some random explosion or building collapse doesn’t take you down. But these are new yorkers. They’re used to stuff like that. Besides, they have the *brave* super men and women over at Libra to keep them safe. And starting today Leo Watch is one of them. But what can a normal boy with extraordinary eyes really contribute in this very bloody battle. Turns out, the one thing we all need the most.
Blood Blockade Battlefront is a silly title, isn’t it? Well, I think it is. I almost skipped over this show because of it. Then again I decided to watch it as part of my yearly Halloween round up because of it too so I guess it worked out in the end. I should say, Triple B is not, in fact, a horror anime, I would call it action comedy but it does feature a lot of Halloween-like elements and the first season even ends on Halloween complete with celebrations and jack-o’-lanterns, so I think it’s earned its place in my Halloween lead up.
Since I knew nothing of this show besides the name (and we’ve established I was unfairly judgy about that) I had pretty much no expectations going in. Aside from perhaps a certain shortage of quality. I was a bit of a jerk to this show. As such, when it became obviously apparent from the first episode that there was both money and talent behind this production, I was downright thrilled.
Blood Blockade Battlefront looks good! Real good. The characters designs are decent and very well executed but it’s in the environments that everything becomes impressive. The cityscapes are gorgeous and intricately detailed. Every scene is bursting with extras going about their day. The city is undeniably alive!
This goes a long way to making events just a touch more…ok so realistic is not the right word here. You just sort of feel the impact of what’s happening because you’ve been seeing all those people on screen, living their lives and going about their day. I guess, it makes the world complete in a way I’ve rarely seen.
And let’s talk about the animation. Because Blood Blockade Battlefront is one action-packed series. It’s almost in constant movement which could have been very annoying or at least confusing if the animation wasn’t so crisp and well-executed. You know what, while I’m just fangirling over the production here, let me throw in the voice acting. Actually great across the board. For my taste, not a single weak actor in the bunch.
I’m straining to say something negative about the technical merits. I guess the closest I can come up with is that it’s not that novel in either design or direction but you know what, that’s kind of a good thing. This is a weird story with way too much happening half the time. Overly creative production values would have overburdened it. It’s great as it is. Good job Bones. I’m being captain obvious here. Bones knows how to make an anime. I could have skipped all these paragraphs and just said: It was made by Bones…
Fine, let’s tackle the story. Or rather, let’s not. I’m just going to tell you what’s narratively wrong with Blood Blockade Battlefront. There’s too much action. As in, there’s not enough exposition. I actually had to look up the core background of the story just to properly understand the basis of the events happening. That’s not a good sign. I’ve watched the entire season and I’m still a little fuzzy on the details and rules of the universe.
Half the time I was just ambling along with the story, trying to catch up or giving up and going along for the ride. Never quite certain who exactly the bad guys were and why they were doing whatever they were doing. What the consequences of events would be. This is the type of thing that tends to really bother me in an anime. I really can’t get invested in a story unless I understand the basic foundations at least.
I had a ton of fun with Blood Blockade Battlefront season 1. I fully intend on watching season 2 soon. To be fair, I had managed to pick up enough by episode 7 or so to get emotionally involved in the finale and those last few episodes had a wonderful visceral impact on me. Still, I can’t deny that the narrative is just messy. With dropped threads here and there, forgotten explanations and setups that seemingly led nowhere. Yet I didn’t mind and after some thought, I realized why.
I loved these characters. And I mean all of them! Only a few got thoroughly established this season but even those we barely got to know (which was most of Libra, to be honest) still gave the impression of complete characters that simply didn’t have that big a role in this particular story, rather than underdeveloped ones.
Even the antagonists were compelling, layered and complex, even though this type of story could have easily gotten away with a simple bad guy who’s bad.
It should be noted that I have a soft spot for action comedies. For a while, Blood Blockade Battlefront really reminded me of Men in Black which is a good thing. But it goes beyond that. The slowly revealed characters of Black and White were so beautifully relatable and endearing that my pure interest in their fates alone would have kept me watching. The final episode is double the time (meaning somewhere around 45 minutes) and I didn’t notice. For reals. The only way I found out was the fact that I ended up with an abnormally huge amount of screencaps, otherwise, I would have never known. That’s how into it I had gotten. And even though it did get a bit cheesy by moments, I couldn’t care less. As far as I was concerned, the series had earned it by then.
This may not be a traditional horror anime to watch for Halloween but there is more than enough blood and beasties to fit the theme and it’s just a fun ride! I think the show is unfortunately underrated (although I’m not entirely sure what I’m basing this on). Unless the quality nosedives in the second season, I hope they keep making these.
Favorite character: K.K. cause hot and White cause… I just love White so much. She may be the best damsel in distress I’ve ever come across.The trope at it’s very best.
What this anime taught me: I wish I had siblings (again!)
I don’t pretend to be anything I’m not….except sober. I’ve had to pretend that a few times.
Suggested drink: Bloody Mary (it really couldn’t be anything else)
- Every time we see a newscast – take a sip
- Every time Leo uses his eyes – take a sip
- Every time eo and Zapp bicker – take a sip
- Every time there’s collateral damage – take a breath
- Every time anyone ends up in the hospital – raise your glass
- Every time anyone takes a picture – take a sip
- Every time Chain is perched on a high spot – take a sip
- Every time text appears across the screen (not subtitles!) – take a sip
Every time Zapp gets peat up – stretch
- if it’s by an ally – cheer
- Every time anyone says “huma” – take a sip
- Every time we see the King of Despair – gulp!