Blood Blockade Battlefront s1 – Beyond Black and White (Countdown to Halloween)

Blood Blockade s1

 

  • 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.

Blood blockade battlefront ep1 (1)

we’re off to a great start

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.

Blood blockade battlefront ep1 (3)

scale! it creates a great scene of scale!

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…

Blood Blockade Battlefront ep7 (12)

oh good

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.

Usually…

Blood Blockade Battlefront ep10-11 (28)

I’m just getting to that

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.

Blood Blockade Battlefront ep12 (11)

good point!

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.

Blood Blockade Battlefront ep8-9 (8)

hot right?

 

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!

Blood Blockade Battlefront ep12 (4)

It’s a quite pretty show. Looking over my screencaps, I’m struck by it again. Of course Pinterest, Imgur, yada yada…

 

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

You may also like...

9 Responses

  1. If you loved the characters here, you might love the second season even more. There are a lot more standalone episodes to flesh out the crew. This was a good review! This is legit one of my favorite shows of all time and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Dawnstorm says:

    Oh, Blood Blockade Battlefront is definitely a silly name (and also not one that suggests a show I’d enjoy – not one I’d hate either, though; it’s neutral silly for me). But I ended up enjoying it a lot. I’m pretty much with you that the main draw here is the visuals and setting. The characters are all lovable goofballs (for some you need to wait till season 2 to get to their goofy side), and the story is servicable. It may not be among my favourite shows ever, but I’m really fond of it.

    You mentioned both the things I liked the most about the show. The sense of scale is amazing, like when during a paperwork scene a giant insect flies by outside. I think the show’s sense of scale is nowhere near as obvious as in the monster truck episode (you thought you knew what a monster truck is? Hah!)

    And then there’s they way the utterly weird mingles with the mundane. I loved the episode where Leo bonded with the mushroom guy over burgers, for example. (Going out to eat is a bit of an adventure, because you can never be sure which side of the plate is food… On, and that fairy soup picture you posted…)

    For what it’s worth, I’m not entirely sure about this, but I think I heard that the story of Black and White is an anime original addition, penned by the director Rie Matsumoto. If you liked that, I’d definitely suggest you watch her original anime, Kyousogiga. There’s a one-shot ONA, an ONA that consists of many shorts, and a TV series. The TV series is all you need. The ONAs a fragments of the story that’s told in coherent form in the series. I watched the ONAs first, though, and the what-did-I-just-watch feeling was strong. I loved the utter chaos and that I had no idea what was going on. When they announced the TV series I was excited. I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s basically a straightforward (if a bit weird) story that incorporates all the disparate elements from the ONA (where every single installment seemed to be a different genre).

    Other than Kyousogiga and BBB, Matsumoto has done a lot of Precure, and not much else. (The second season of BBB isn’t directed by her. It shows, but the show doesn’t lose as much as I feared.) The last thing I heard from her is that she’s done a three minute commercial (for chocolate? I can’t remember). I’ll be waiting forever for another anime of hers, if I have to. Anime News Network says she’s a fan of Stanely Kubrick.

    • Irina says:

      I really liked Black and White as characters. Particularly White. And Kyousogiga is certainly striking. I hope I can find it

      • Dawnstorm says:

        It’s on Crunchyroll.

        • Dawnstorm says:

          And now I’m rewatching it myself, and, my, I’ve forgotten how awesome it is. And it’s even better when you know from the start what’s going on. You’re basically swamped with clues and references (some of which I couldn’t have gotten the first time round, knowing far less about Japanese culture).

          Kyousougiga aired the same year as the Eccentric Family. What a year for magical Kyouto!

          (Sorry. Too excited.)

  3. Bloody Mary for Triple B is a fun drink Idea. I should start making special drinks for different anime to match the themes.

Leave me a comment and make my day!

%d bloggers like this: