“A breach between Earth and the netherworlds has opened up over the city of New York, trapping New Yorkers and creatures from other dimensions in an impenetrable bubble. They’ve lived together for years, in a world of crazy crime sci-fi sensibilities. Now someone is threatening to sever the bubble, and a group of stylish superhumans is working to keep it from happening.”
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
Started: March 13th, 2016
Finished: March 13th, 2016
Wine Pairing: Kokanee Beer and Ginerale – aka. Shanty (aah, so yummy)
Blood Blockade Battlefront is set in the fog enshrouded modern-day city of New York, where both humans and creatures of the Netherworld live in mostly peaceful coexistence.
At least, that’s what the posters tell you.
In all actuality, since the arrival of a portal between New York and the Netherworld three years prior, the city has been a war-zone for politics, economics, gangs, and cultures. The portal opened a rift in the middle of the city, where it descends down like a whirlpool into the Netherworld. Special humans in the world capable of using psi, called Castors, created a border to contain the rift from getting larger that left most of New York unblemished by anything more than the fog. The two worlds merged, and New York becomes the hot-spot for interesting combinations of human-creature inventions of food, fashion, and technology.
Leonardo Watch, aka. Leo, introduces us to this strange city, how he came there with his sister, and has yet to leave. After a chance encounter with a demon (?) and his sister, Leo is left with the guilt as his sister is blinded and he is gifted with the “All-Seeing Eyes of the Gods”. With more questions than he knows, he searches for Libra – an underground vigilante organization that helps keep the balance between humas (aka. humans) and creatures – whom he believes has the answers. Despite only having his “normality” working in his favour, he chances across Libra and joins them in their daily routine of saving New York City – just in time to stop the Kings of the Netherworld as they plot to ruin New York City yet again.
“Dammit! He’s normal!”
– Femt the King of Depravity
If you couldn’t tell by that description, I am exceptionally confused. There was too many open questions, things left un-explained, and an overwhelming disappointment at the sudden wrench in the plot’s direction. Where we are introduced to Leo and Michella in the beginning, we don’t learn much more about them after that. Half way through we meet White, a secondary character, and then Black who, while a main antagonist, becomes the main protagonist in the last few episodes. We switch character focus and were given a history lesson on different characters instead of details into the story that could have brought it into another Season. But throughout watching Blood Blockade Battlefront, I felt like a spectator behind a wall of glass – only perceiving half of the information and missing the preceding necessary information.
What is the purpose to the “All-Seeing Eyes of the Gods” other than to see through other creature’s bullshit and illusions? Does there always need to be one set of eyes in action? If Leo dies, does someone else earn them? And the demon/creature who gave Leo the eyes – what was that about? It approached Leo and Michella as though this “Taking” is a common occurrence, but none of this is explained to the viewers. The only other time we see something even close to that is with Black and White when the portal opened at the beginning, but Black didn’t have to give anything but his time and body usage temporarily – he got it all back (after a discussion or two, I’ve been told this may have been a translation error… Which would make a lot more sense, but it was still irritating).
I really did love the idea of this anime. I loved the characters, the world – I even love the notion of the story despite it’s many flaws. I’m holding on to the hope that the anime was a let down and hope to try my luck better with the manga because I’m not satisfied with how the anime ended. The first eight episodes were perfect even though there wasn’t much of a plot, and they could stand alone as a great anime with episode-to-episode stories. After that, it falls apart So watch 1-8 and you won’t regret it.
The Characters & Animation
The intro and outro for Blood Blockade Battlefront were sublime. Seriously, I could watch these on repeat all day. See for yourselves:
The animation style suited the characters beautifully. Their personalities were able to shine through with how they moved, how they appeared in the anime, and their own powers. I’m a sucker for a good fight scene and watching Klaus fight was obviously the best part of a given episode.
… Along with the outro:
Overall / TL;DR
In the end, I feel like Blood Blockade Battlefront is an anime adaptation that tried to fit too much in too little. The animation style was on point, and the story is interesting and could be the base for many more awesome episodes and developments. However with the ending as convoluted and unprecedented as it was, I’m just exceptionally confused about.. everything. Watch episodes 1-8 for a great anime, and ignore the ending to avoid unnecessary confusion and pain.
Huh? Oh, well, you know… I got tortured.
– Leonardo Watch