Kekkai Sensen – 04

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A third of the way into Spring ’15, Blood Blockade Battlefront is my number one. Nothing can match its scale and complexity, and creativity of its world(s), the swiftness and confidence of its storytelling, or its rapidly expanding yet increasingly diverse and charming cast, anchored by perhaps the weakest among them, possessing the strongest of weapons in their battle for balance.

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Elaborate action and effective comedy go hand in hand with Kekkai, as demonstrated when a big Libra party to let their hair down comes to screetching halt when Leo finally decides to say something, which happens to be his description of something he saw in the subway that matches the description of the greatest potential threat to humanity: blood breeds, AKA vampires.

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Just like that the stakes are raised significantly. We only got the smallest glimpse of what Angel Scale could do to the balance, but this feels like a much more existential threat. Vampires are taken seriously here; something I’m thankful for after seven seasons of True Blood, in which they did everything from play Wii Golf in their living rooms to have sex with their head turned around backwards. But they were never very frightening, nor are the ones in Owari no Seraph. The Blood Breeds of Kekkai are, because they’re strange and unknown and…er…variably corporeal.

That doesn’t mean the leading expert on them can be the hilariously lucky Blitz T. Abrams, who possesses a curse that only affects people (and vehicles) around him, meaning he’s never that fun to be around if you don’t like physical pain, even if it’s not his fault. It doesn’t bother Klaus, who sees Abrams as a mentor of sorts.

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With Leo’s eyes, Abrams is confident they can really get the lay of the vampire land (normally people aren’t able to see vamps unless they want to be seen.) So they plunge into the depths of Hell—on public transportation!—so Leo can take a good look at the “Edge of Nothingness” so Libra can get a better idea of what they’re up against.

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Like previous journeys to the Alterworld, this was another lush symphony of bizarre dreamscapes—I really dug the Final Fantasy vibe of the train station carved into a tree, below which is their ultimate destination. Along with all its narrative and character pros, this eye candy, and the eclectic soundtrack, are what pull Kekkai ahead of the rest.

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While there are a lot of bright sparks affecting his vision, Leo is still able to discern the blood breeds within the nothingness, and it’s not good: more than the 13 believed to exist, there are hundreds of them lurking down there, and if any one of them wanted to take human form and wreak havoc in Hellsalem’s Lot, they’d do plenty of damage indeed. And As the members of Libra back in Hellsalem report, that’s exactly what’s happening.

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When the traditional authorities prove not to be up to the challenge against elite vampires, “specialists” Steven and KK take over, and at least for a time, hold their own with their special abilities, before the female vampire brings the hammer down on them. Klaus, who is watching a live video stream courtesy of Chain (use of modern mobile tech is another neat aspect of Kekkai’s world-building), hops back on the train with Abrams and Zapp, and implores Leo to find those vamps’ weaknesses, because only he has the eyes to see them.

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Steve and KK weren’t sure if they’d survive the fight they were getting into. All they knew was that they had to buy as much time for Klaus and Leo as they could before being neutralized, trusting they’d come through. They do: Klaus makes almost as awesome an entrance as Abrams, and armed with the Vampire’s true name, seals her into a cyberpunk cross.

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Leo is amazed they made it, and weary that it took so much exertion to take out one elite blood breed when there are perhaps a thousand lurking in hell. But the lesson that sets him a little more at ease is as simple as the world he lives in is complicated: no one knows what’s coming tomorrow. Plenty of pain and suffering may be in store. But defeat is assured if one gives up.

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Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

8 thoughts on “Kekkai Sensen – 04”

  1. Looks like they’re going to skip some of the character building chapters and go for the big chapters. The male Blood Breed was a low ranking mafioso who was ‘volunteered’ by his boss to the Elder Blood Breed to be her companion. Too bad we didn’t get the characterization of Tonio. They’re also skipping the A Day in the life of Libra member chapter (concentrating on Leo, Chain and Stephen). Too bad that chapter sets up something with Chain that will come back big in later episode.

    Next up, Tremendous Blood Hammer. This is the part that Marvel may want to sue them for copyright infringement with Doug Hammer and Deldro Brody. But it’ll be a fun chapter.

    1. Yeah, they didn’t linger on the female vamp’s partner…I assumed Steven and KK took him out. He didn’t seem ELITE.

  2. I think Kalus casually crushed him before doing the elaborate sealing rituatl on the ELITE ELDER BLOOD. I did a double take and had to think for a second when that happened, then I figured he wasn’t on the same level as an Elder Blood etc.

    lol I really wonder about White though. Is she also a vampire/Elder blood? Her brother seems to be this GREAT KING OF DESPAIR etc. Also I think I figured out why she was laughing so much. She actually DOESN’T show up in Leo’s pictures, but because of his special eyes he can see her in them, and she’s loling because he doesn’t realize that. Or… at least that’s how I interpreted things.

    1. Regarding White, her bro (?) definitely has a vampire vibe about him. As for her saying “nice pictures!” To Leo, it makes sense (sorta?) that only he sees her in his pics. she has a kinda-evil vibe to her, but for now she’s not hostile to Leo, which is good.

  3. this would be such an extremely good anime if it wasnt for the fact that its visual and narrative pacing is a bit unpolished. Not to mention i dont like the way it handles exposition; it’s very inorganic to the narrative. Plenty of anime seem to struggle heavily with getting exposition right and BBB is no exception. Still, this series’ style is just oozing with creativity and it has diversity in its world’s with exuberant energy, making the show enjoyable even with those shortcomings; it’s just disappointing that they are so glaring in my opinion

    1. I’ll fully admit I don’t care for the cuts to the green CRT monitor that explains what things are. It’s a lot of telling without showing. Ditto the graphics that constantly splash over new character intros.

      1. yup; and i am a firm believer in the “show dont tell” policy. Dont get me wrong I find this show to be quite a decent series and i get a kick out of watching it but as i do think to myself: “it could be something more”. Time will tell as we get more eps

  4. This show would be my number one of the season if Ore Monogatari wasn’t killing it on all levels. XD I really enjoyed this episode, though, the new character was awesome. Speaking of which, I LOVE BBB’s humor! Without damaging the series tones, the show manages to be quite funny!

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