This week, I took a break from watching the epic length shonen anime “One Piece” and picked up the much shorter series “Blood Lad”. Ringing in at 10 episodes, Blood Lad is a great little palette cleanser if you’ve been binge watching another anime. It’s light hearted, fun, witty, visually stimulating, and short.
Blood Lad is an fast paced, action packed, comedic show that centers around Staz, a vampire who’s a territory boss in the demon world. One day he meets a human girl, Fuyumi Yanagi, who is transported to the Demon World and soon devoured by a carnivorous plant causing her to die and become a ghost. Being infatuated with Fuyumi (in her human form) Staz vows to resurrect her and the two set off together on a journey to find a way to do just that. The show really just introduces you to a lot of characters that Staz, or is friends/acquaintances already know. There are werewolves, doppelgangers, a Frankenstein, a hydra, etc, etc. The whole things is actually just a premise for the characters to find themselves in some random situations within the Demon World. Still, they somehow get it to completely make sense that, within a few episodes, there could be a boxing match and then a life or death fight against a Frankenstein monster. This show could be farther from taking itself seriously. I mean, there’s a moment when Staz actually tries to do a Kamehameha wave.
At the risk of repeating what I’ve said about other anime; the length of “Blood Lad” is its biggest weakness. The show brings you to the point in the story of the manga where it seems like the larger adventure is about to begin, and it ends at that point. Now, this is understandable because, at the time of writing this, the manga isn’t really much farther along than the anime was at its end. With the source material still being written it’s not really surprising that the show doesn’t continue farther into its story and it doesn’t seem like there will be subsequent seasons to continue the story. Reportedly, there is going to be an OVA but that’ll probably be it.
The show is over the top and zany, at moments it almost gives you a feeling of something like FLCL. The humor is great and it pokes fun at several things about anime and otaku culture. However, because of the length of the show and the large variety of situations they try to portray the whole thing can seem like one big non-sequitur if you stop paying attention for a couple of minutes or if you’re too hung up on trying to get everything to make sense. That’s not so much because the plot and writing of this show are bad, quite the opposite. It’s just the reality of what happens when you try to fit a lot into a small space. This show probably pulls that off better than any 10-13 episode show I’ve seen in recent memory. Even though the story isn’t completed you don’t really leave feeling like there are a ton of plot holes, just wondering what’s going to happen next.
I’d say give this show a watch if you need a quick change of pace. It’s animated and written well enough to take your mind away from other things and not so heavy that you’ll feel like you’ll get bogged down. Just remember that there’s not a lot of it to go around. So if you find yourself really enjoying it you’ll want to be prepared to find the manga (and hope it resolves well).