I had watched this show last year while it was coming out in Japan. For some reason I had stopped watching it at episode 38 and had left it hanging until this week. I’m glad I did drop it when I did because it allowed me to watch it again, beginning to end without interruption, and watch it with the knowledge of things that were going to happen while focusing on the real part of the story. As such, Blood+ truly delivered. Spoiler: Diva is insane.

Blood+ is a 50 episode series that is kinda-sorta the sequel to the Blood: The Last Vampire movie. It follows Saya, a anemic Okinawan girl who cant remember anything since a year prior, as she has her quiet life shaken by the appearance of horrible, blood sucking monsters known only as the chiropetra. Attacked by one while returning to school one night, she is met by a strange man who throws her a sword and tells her to fight. Without thinking she draws the blade and kills the beast. The remainder of the 49 episodes left is Saya’s quest to learn about her past and defeat the woman who caused chiropera in the first place: Diva.

For a vampire anime the show doesn’t actually have any vampires. It is hinted at that the chiropetra are types of vampires but nothing aside from the blood sucking is the same as a vampire. The chiropetra are probably one of the more original creatures created in an anime. They have a organized structure. The chevaliers who serve the queens have abilities and responsibilities beyond simply those who serve the pure-breads. Only two things can kill them: Saya’s blood and massive blood loss (total drainage).

The story was actually very straight forward. Saya and her adopted family along with the organization known as Red Shield fight to the end to destroy Diva and the reign of terror the chiropetra have been causing in the shadows of the world. But there was an underlying story that I think is what the actual intention of Blood+ was really all about. The real story is about the characters and their acceptance of who they are. Saya has to confront the fact that she is not a normal human being but is actually the sister of Diva. Her brother Kai has to accept that he is normal and that he is powerless when it comes to fighting for Saya’s sake. Haji has a silent but emotional battle with himself throughout the show between his loyalty to Saya’s wishes and his desire to do what’s best for her. Even Deva grows to have a little humanity by the time the show ends.

To say the least, the characters of Blood+ are what make the show so good. Saya holds great responsibilities on her shoulders despite knowing that she herself is too weak to hold them. She allows this because she knows that only her blood is enough to kill Diva and end the fight. She is elegant and beautiful while not being overbearing in either respect. She is the kind of person you fall in love with even knowing what she really is. Kai is the anchor to the rest of the show. His family is torn apart by the changes the fight is bringing and he wrestles with his own inadequateness in being able to fight as well. He vows to become the only non-changing person in the group so that Saya will have a safe harbor to call home when all is finished. The minor characters also all develop in marvelous ways. The Sif learn to trust, the Chevaliers all show their true colors, and David stops being so dense.

A few words here on Diva. One of the main reasons I watched this show again, aside from Saya being a prime example of what I would want in a woman, is the character of her twin sister Diva. Diva is perhaps the most insane character in any anime I have every watched. The things she says and does are so inhuman and un-calculated that no one can predict or comprehend her motives. She kills a man because she thinks his shoes are a pretty color. She rapes and kills people to make others despair. She tortures her own “family” of chevaliers. And through all of this she has a childlike demeanor. Her eyes are unspeakably beautiful and yet terrifying to the core. Yet once you learn her story and what was done to her by someone close to her (you learn about it in an off handed manner so pay attention) you start feeling sorry for her. By the end of the show I was torn by the wish for Diva’s defeat or the possibility that she might decide that having a sister was more important.

The subject of eternity creeps up in this anime as well. I mentioned in my review of Otogizoushi that the last episode examined what it was like for immortals to live forever and what kind of thoughts they had. Blood+ has the same thing only in more depth. Not only do Saya and Haji have to deal with the pain of living forever, but more importantly Kai and the rest have to deal with Saya’s immortality coupled with her 30 year periods of sleep after 2-3 years of activity. The end of the show was a subtle but deep cutting sentimental act on the part of Kai that I don’t think I would have the strength in me to do. I cant say here what it was, but all I can say is he is a stronger man than I.

In all honesty, the hype surrounding Blood+’s greatness is ridiculous. The hype being that after the end of the Red Shield arc (the first 32 episodes) the show suddenly fails at being good. I find this to be absurd. The 32nd episode was a huge watershed moment and the events after the year break are consistent with the impact the events had had on the characters and the character’s personalities. So say the show stopped being good is a display of ignorance of what the show was about. Yes, the action slows down a lot. Yes, the characters’ emotions take precedence in the plot. This is intentional and it is the essence of what the show is about: what it means to be a family and what it means to come to grips with one’s self.

Overall, the show was fantastic. I honestly tried, because of the hype, to find something wrong with the show (only thing I could really find was that the 4th OP sucked). However, I knew from the time of episode 30 what rating it would probably have due to the fact I didn’t want to keep watching because I knew it would make me end the show sooner. I honestly didn’t want the show to end. Even now it is hard to think about Saya to keep from getting emotional. So, it gives me great pleasure to bestow on Blood+ the second ever Tsunami.No.Anime perfect score.

Rating: ★★★★★

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