Reviews of yesteryear: Blood: The Last Vampire

You know, during my time doing these reviews I’ve looked at both Blood+ and Blood-C. Both of which had a lot of issues, but I felt were decent enough overall. The odd thing is that I’ve never seen the movie that inspired them before. This is one of those rare cases where the anime film wasn’t based on anything but had a manga, light novels and several anime based off of it. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good. It might be. It might exceed those works based on it. It could also be rather dreadful or just decent enough like the anime it spawned. Only one way to find out, this is Blood: The Last Vampire.

We open our story with Saya working hard to hunt chiropteran because… she can? It’s never really explained in the context of the movie. She’s sent to a school on an American base where chiropteran are suspected to lurk and that’s where the story elements mostly end and it becomes a long string of action sequences. This film does present some interesting ideas, the issue is that they aren’t quite there. The chiropteran seem like an interesting monster, but you don’t learn anything about them except that they feed on humans and can shapeshift. The organisation that Saya is working with seems like it could be really interesting, but you don’t learn anything about it, it’s just vaguely mysterious. It’s hinted that Saya has some connection with the chiropteran, but there are no details or clues about what it could be. What little plot you get is kind of a standard monster hunting story.

The characters aren’t very well developed in this either. Saya is just an archetypal action girl with unclear motivations. David is largely a blank slate character. He supports Saya in battle, whether it’s due to some sense of duty or a connection with her is never clear. Most of the remaining characters show up for one or two scenes before disappearing from the film. Except for the Nurse who pretty much just exists to get rescued.

The art is pretty good. There are a lot of good details in the backgrounds and the chiropteran do have interesting designs. The action sequences are well paced and intense as well. Of course, the blood in this works nothing like real blood, that seems to be an issue with the whole Blood franchise. The facial expressions are also off, frequently looking nothing like the emotion that’s supposed to be being expressed.

The voice acting is one of the weaker elements. Part of the problem is that they did a lot of the dialogue in English. Which makes sense in the context of the story but neither Kudou Youki nor Nakamura Saemi has a great sense of the language. You can tell they’re really trying, but a lot of the dialogue frequently sounds kind of stilted like they’re reading from a script and there are some lines where you can just hear them struggle. Kudou Youki only has noticeable problems with more complicated words like “jurisdiction” or “investigate.” Nakamura Saemi doesn’t fare that well and just about every English line she gets sounds really unnatural. Then you have Joe Romersa who, although he has no problems with the dialogue, is just awful when it comes to acting. The music, on the other hand, is fairly well done, although it’s nothing special.

The yuri factor is a 1/10. There’s no yuri in this.

My final rating for Blood: the last vampire is going to be a 4/10. It’s not a bad film and it obviously has some good ideas. However, the ideas aren’t quite there and the execution is riddled with problems. It’s kind of enjoyable in a generic action film way, but there’s very little in terms of substance. In the end, it’s a sub-par piece. 

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