Animé and Toons
Blade the Animated Series
By Hervé St-Louis
August 18, 2012 - 12:53
Studios: Superhero Anime Partners, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Madhouse
Writer(s): Waren Ellis
Directed by: Mitsuyuki Masuhara
Running Time: 282 minutes
Release Date: July 1 2012
Distributors: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Erik Brooks’ mother was a prostitute that was attacked by Deacon Frost a powerful vampire while she was almost ready to deliver her baby son. Blade was born a day walker, half human, half vampire but with vengeance in his heart as he wants to stop the man that transformed his mother into a vampire. Traveling to South East Asia, Blade with a few allies is on the trace of Frost who is creating an army from local vampires able to take on the pure bloods of European descent. Will Blade be able to stop both Frost and a civil war between vampires?
This is the third DVD release of the Marvel Anime series produced in 2010 by Sony Pictures and Japanese animation studios. The story starts with vampires attacking a drunken men right outside an illegal bar run by vampires just outside a port. From the beginning the story establishes that the vampires are everywhere and a real threat to humanity. They can be drunken girls fooling around with guys or police officers tasked with protecting civilians. Only Blade can step in and save the day. But before he does, he gets help from two local Japanese vampire hunters and the story is set in a twisted tale of betrayal and vengeance. Through the eyes of Makoto whose vampire-hunting father was transformed into a vampire by Deacon Frost and had to be put down by Blade, we discover this new world of mythological night creatures influenced by Asian stories of old.
I really like the exotic locales and the designs of the Asian vampires. They were much more innovative and unique than the European ones they were compared too in this series. It almost felt like the Japanese creators were poking fun at other popular vampire-based anime franchises by toying with the Asian-origins of their characters. Of course, the animation was impeccable with graphics pin ups of various signature combat techniques used by Blade. It felt fresh to see this popular Japanese way of illustrating fights with still frames used for Western character. I don’t believe any of the other Marvel anime series used that old Japanese animation staple.
If you are not familiar with Blade, as I admit I was, this story will explain everything about him and his main opponents. However, there are unexplained parts of the vampire lore introduced in this continuity. Some people can be turned into vampires, others not. It seems that if the person is not dead, it will it become a vampire. But very few characters were completely killed by vampires so it was hard to figure out. Also, the length it takes for one character to turn into a vampire was quite flexible and based on storytelling as opposed to any hard core rule. What I didn’t like was how vampires completely burn off and left no trace of their existence behind, including their clothing or gear, when they died.
There are two features on Blade as part of this DVD set which are quite entertaining and explain the character better. What watching this cartoon made me feel was how Marvel Comics is wasting a cool character such as Blade by not putting the best talent on a monthly series when they should? This animated series was quite entertaining and as the movies have proven, Blade can be one of Marvel Entertainment’s most popular characters, if there is dedication to seeing him succeed.
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