“Blood: The Last Vampire” is horror movie. Normally I don’t watch horror movies, but I watched this one because I read one of the light novel adaptations several months ago. My Dad got it out of the college library for some reason unknown to me, and then I read it after him. And I liked it well enough to want to watch the original film.
“Blood” offers a different spin on the vampire tale. The story is about a girl named Saya, who hunts huge bat-like creatures that live off human blood. And she’s the best at it, too. She doesn’t use guns, she uses a Katana the old-fashioned way!
The anime is set in 1960′ s Japan on the Yokota Air Base, a U.S. military installation in Tokyo, which may have become infested with the creatures. Saya is sent to investigate. Saya is herself a vampire, “the last remaining original.” She becomes distressed and angry at the sight of a cross or the mention of God.
A high school is located on the military base. Shape-shifting demons are popping up on the night of the school’s Halloween party. They appear normal until injured or killed, when they turn into some pretty freaky monsters.
Few teenage girls (actually, make that none), can wield a Katana with the level of skill that Saya displays, as evidenced in the stunning opening sequence aboard a moving train. The anime seamlessly mixes hand-drawn 2D characters with computer-animated 3D backgrounds, giving it a unique look that is constantly amazing.
When the bomber flies overhead to land at the airbase early on, the viewer not only sees it move in breathtaking detail but also hears the full effect of it on the stereo soundtrack. Since the film takes place on an American base, there is plenty of English dialogue. The Japanese bits are subtitled.
For additional Halloween-themed anime, check out:
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (R) – The action begins on Mars just before Halloween 2071. The climactic duel at the end is juxtaposed against the background of a Halloween carnival. There are plenty of pumpkin props and a villain dressed like a warlock; but unfortunately, there is also quite a bit of bloody violence.
Ghost Hunt (TV-14) – Telling ghost stories is a favorite pastime of Mai Taniyama and her high school friends. Then she meets 17-year-old Kazuya Shibuya, a prodigy ghost hunter studying paranormal activity, and learns that things really do go bump in the night. This anime is kind of like a more sophisticated “Scooby Doo” presented in an old-school detective format, with actual clues you can follow in order to determine the authenticity or fakery of a supernatural investigation.
Spirited Away (PG) – On the way to their new home, a girl named Chihiro and her parents find what they think is a deserted amusement park. But come nightfall, it turns into a resort for spirits. Thus, Chihiro gets pulled into a Japanese version of “Alice in Wonderland.” Despite lots of strange-looking creatures and some scary moments, this enchanting fantasy is suitable for all ages including children.
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