Monday, July 18, 2011

Vampire Awareness Month: Blood+ by Stavros

Blood Plus follows the supernatural exploits of a seemingly ordinary school girl, who just so happens to be a vampire, that hunts down and destroys Chiropterans. Chiropterans are bat-like, werewolf creatures that feed on human blood, and Saya Otonashi is the only one who can kill them. With merely faint allusions to the sensational 2000 anime movie, Blood - The Last Vampire, this half-hour anime television show isn’t a continuation of that story, but rather a full re-imagining. The name of the main character, Saya, remains the same and she hunts down these vicious metamorphosing killers, but there really is very little that would make anyone believe that she is a vampire…or that the show is a spin off from the noir horror classic.

To be fair to the show, I can not compare them. It would be like discerning the likes and dislikes of apples and oranges.  Blood+ isn’t bad. It’s rather awesome actually, but I want all die-hard fans of the anime movie to know up front and personal-like that the TV show is not like the movie…at all.

In this re-imaging Saya is an adopted teenager living with amnesia. Her adopted brothers Kai and Riku, and the faithful, cello-totting chevalier, Haji, aid her on her quests to make the world a safer place for a powerful organization known as Red Shield. Armed with her Katana, Saya must sacrifice her own blood onto the blade before it will kill the rancid beasts. Like any good anime the fight scenes are incredible, graphic, and taught with tension as Saya journeys to rediscover who and what she is.

My only beef with the show is that Saya was born in1833 and during the Vietnam War she entered a hypnotic blood trance and killed not only Chiropterans, but humans alike, thus starting her amnesic spell, and since then hasn’t aged. Okay, I get the part where it's cool to see a cutely drawn character in a school uniform kicking ass, but she’s been a teenager for well over a hundred and sixty years. Kinda smacks a little on the perverted Twilight side, if you ask me. But if you can get past the logistics of her age and the fact that she’s been in high school longer than Edward, then you are going to get involved in a great show. 

Blood+ is rich with drama, emotional strain, and endearing characters. It may not slip easily into the vampire genre, as Saya doesn’t conform to the traditional trappings of being nocturnal, having fangs, or needing to drink blood on a regular basis, it does, however, posses its own mythology. Though the show is geared more toward a younger audience, don’t let that put you off. Good anime is hard to find, and Blood+ delivers the goods. Available on Netflix and Hulu, all four seasons of Blood+ are bound into two self-contained parts, ready for streaming or home delivery. 

Written by Stavros

Stavros was a writer and editor for The Independent Underground Magazine. Raised in Southern Maryland, he fled the Chesapeake Bay area as soon as he was able, only to return, after spending years in the desert. His poetic works have been published in several online and print publications, including Central Avenue, The Sword That Cuts Through Stone, The Mynd, Imagine: Creative Arts Journal, and Bartleby, where he won a specialty award for his poem, "Blackbird".

He is a photographer and graphic designer; a musician, who has been writing and performing music his whole life. Stavros is the author of Blood Junky. He is currently penning the book’s upcoming sequels, as well as writing scripts for web-serials, independent films, and creating fascinating and original art.


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