Blood Blockade Battleground and Beyond – If You Can Make it There…

 

Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyondbox art

 

  • Genre : Action, comedy, supernatural, urban fantasy, science fiction.
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Bones

 

Cities are like people. They’re living things with a mind and personality of their own. Some are calm and reserved, others brutish and loud. There are cities that are such powerful personalities that you can always tell when someone’s spent a little time there. Then there’s Hellsalem’s Lot, a city with such a powerful persona that a Hellsalem citizen can be spotted from a mile away. OK, half of them are weird looking aliens and the other half such hardened and blasé humans that they really should count as a distinct species. It’s an exciting place to be, without a second worth of boredom, if you can survive it. So what is a gentle soul like Leonardo Watch doing there? And how is it that in a city ruled by ruffians and overrun by monsters, a nice guy is slowly changing everything?

I randomly decided to pick up the first season of Blood Blockade Battlefront a bit before Halloween and was delighted to find that it had a Halloween specific episode to easily fit into my Halloween posting schedule. I just wrote the word Halloween a lot. I speak my posts in my head, so it’s starting to sound weird… I really enjoyed that first season and I knew I was going to watch the second one sooner rather than later. How awesome is it that the second season has a New Year’s and Holiday themed episode! Talk about kismet!

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I hate it when this happens

In many ways, I found that the second season of Blood Blockade Battlefront (and Beyond) felt more like a first season. As much on the production front as the narrative one. If you’ve read my review for season 1, you may remember that I considered it stunning. I still do. The scenery, the cityscapes and the wonderful framing and scale is still present. But the visuals do seem a little pared down this time around.

There are much fewer scenes with countless extras and background characters. The action is still as fluid, but art style gets a bit less detailed. It’s a beautiful looking series on its own, but when you compare it to the first season, it looks a touch less polished.

On the flipside though, the voice actors have clearly gotten more at ease with the characters and what I thought was a great sounding voice cast has turned into a wonderfully cohesive ensemble that seems to be truly enjoying the material. In fact, if visuals might have subjectively gone down a notch, sound design on all levels has improved. Except for the ED. I loved that season 1 ED!

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the city is still gorgous

And when I say the show feels like a season 1 in the narrative as well, that’s not a bad thing. The actual premise of the show was roughly established in the first season, although it’s a slightly messy show in that regard and the story always felt a bit disjointed. This season though has a much more focused narrative and actually started to establish the various characters in a way that truly got me to understand and are about everybody like never before.

So much of the world-building and character development happened this season rather than the last. And that may be brilliant.

I really enjoyed the storylines this time around. Although a bit more episodic in structure with narratives moving from one character to the next, establishing the personalities and history of each, rather than some larger overarching storyline, episodes somehow felt more connected to one another.

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connections are great!

In many ways, the theme of season 2 of Blood Blockade Battlefront (and Beyond) is perfect for a Christmas viewing, because, at its core, it’s a story about families. Biological, nuclear or found. It’s about the bonds that hold us together and how the people around us shape the person we become. And it was very pretty.

Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyond is a silly show that does everything at breakneck speed. It wears its name well as everything is dripping with blood and fighting but in a cartoony comedic way. Objectively, the body count must be astronomical, yet I would call it a feel-good show. But when it calms down a bit and concentrates on the characters, it truly shines and is often unexpectedly touching.

For instance, I don’t recall a series having quite so many working parents and honestly addressing the difficulties working mothers face in balancing home and career. We truly see that every member of Libra is a distinct individual, with their own set of values and beliefs and how those can be smoothly integrated into a working whole. And in a beautiful but of bookending, season 2 ends in the same way season 1 did. With a brother and sister who really love each other and want to save one another.

By balancing equal parts zany over the top action and small emotional human stories, Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyond ended up becoming an entertaining and joyful celebration of relationships in all forms that left me eager to celebrate the coming holidays with the ones I love (by watching anime if I can trick them into it!)

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K.K.’s husband also rocks – great ladies attract great men

Favourite character: KK (loved her before but now I actually know why) and Steven (we barely got to know him in season 1 but it turns out he may be the wildcard character of the ensemble)

What this anime taught me: It’s always worth giving a chance for people to betray you.

The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.

Suggested drink: Alexander’s Sister (close enough)

  • Every time Leo is having a bad day – take a sip
  • Every time there’s an instance of casual murder – take a sip
  • Every time we see Klaus’ cross – take a sip
  • Every time we see Michella – cheer
  • Every time there’s a cat – take a sip
  • Every time a member of Libra ends up all bandaged up – raise your glass
  • Every time anyone’s getting drunk – join them
  • Every time Chain lands on someone – take a sip
  • Every time Leo gets mugged – feel bad for him
  • Every time anyone mentions their kid – take a subtle sip

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I’ve decided to stick to Pinterest for my screencaps. It’s just more fun and easier to update for me.

 

 

Irina

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

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7 Responses

  1. Dawnstorm says:

    Really loved Chain this time round, but KK was awesome, too.

    The visuals would be pared down; it’s no longer Rie Matsumoto in the director’s seat, and she’s *very* good at visuals.

  2. Tiger says:

    I’m sold from just the featured image alone

  3. ashleycapes says:

    I was thrilled to get more back story for other characters in this season – more Chain! Though the constant bone breaking sounds in Gilbert’s episode were hard work to hear 😀

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