Blood Lad – 10 (Fin)

bloodlad10

Staz meets Heads Hydra, Bell’s dad and Neyn’s wife. Neyn wants to adopt Fuyumi, but Heads wants to give Fuyumi the choice of whether to stay with them or be brought back to life. He makes Staz pledge to do what Fuyumi says and not drink her blood without permission. Staz agrees, and he and Fuyumi are transported to Hydra’s exit. Meanwhile, Deku and Mimic protect Staz’s territory from interlopers, while Liz helps Braz escape from Goyle. Braz and Stein complete their work resurrecting Braz’s dad.

All of Staz’s and Fuyumi’s adventures have risen out of the original plan to bring her back to life. At first, Staz wanted to do this so he could drink her delicious human blood (Ever tried drinking ghost blood? Nothin’!), a selfish reason that didn’t have anything to do with Fuyumi’s well-being. But now that both he and Fuyumi are given a choice: give Fuyumi up to Neyn, or continue with the resurrection plans – his motives have changed from selfish to selfless. In the end, this is partly because Heads intimates that he might die of a curse if he harms or defies her (though that “curse” was merely a trick played with herbs.)

Heads was never a guy Staz had to fight, just a guy he had to convince he had Fuyumi’s interests at heart. Fuyumi decides she wants to be brought back to life, so they leave the comfort and safety of Hydra and will have to deal with Braz – who clearly has other priorities, along with some mysterious team of red-eyed baddies. But that will have to wait until next season or the OVA(s) or film or whatever. It was a very tentative ending. So…will we keep watching whenever it starts back up? Mmm…probably not. We didn’t dislike this series, but ten episodes was about right for us.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Advertisements

Blood Lad – 09

bloodlad9

Berros escorts Braz to the Demon King Wolf-Daddy’s palace, where the king gives him three days to return the remnants of his agent Pantomime (Akim) to him. Braz escapes from Berros, but is chased by her superior, Chief Goyle. In Hydra, Bell and Staz meet up with Nell and Fuyumi. Fuyumi meets Bell and Nell’s mother Neyn, who tells her she was Fuyumi’s mom’s demon doppelganger. When they met, the two women were fused into one, making Fuyumi and Bell sisters.

At first Yanagi Fuyumi’s presence in the demon world seemed like a random occurrence, but considering it was Hydra family “technology” that got her there, and all the revelations we learned this week, it’s starting to look more and more like her coming was no accident at all. The concept of demons having human counterparts – be it Fuyumi’s mom and Neyn Hydra or Fuyumi’s dad and the Hydras’ butler – suddenly makes Bell and Fuyumi family, and gets Staz thinking that there’s probably more to his intrinsic interest in Fuyumi than just her human blood.

Speaking of family, Braz reveals that he isn’t just into creating super-monsters for his own enjoyment. He literally watched the current king kill his father, the previous king, and he’s never been cool with that. Everything he’s done has been to dethrone Wolf-Daddy and replace him with a new, “worthy” king. Thing is, it sounds like next week is the last episode, so we can’t see any way of Braz completing this task, on top of the Hydra family and Staz/Fuyumi and Staz/Bell situations shaking out. We’re assuming there’ll be a second season of this at some point; something we don’t have a problem with.

7_very_good
Rating:7 (Very Good)

Blood Lad – 08

bloodlad81

Liz returns home, but is confronted by Officer Beros of the Acropolis Police, who arrests Braz for illegally leaving Acropolis. Fuyumi’s kidnapper slips up while feeding her, and she rings the bell Bell gave her. Bell intercepts the kidnapper, who is her brother, Nell Hydra, who says he’s only running an errand for their mom. Staz arrives, but Bell lets Nell escape to Hydra with Fuyumi and then shoots Staz, throwing him in her grid room.

Jealous of Staz’s devotion to Fuyumi, Bell challenges him to a fight to decide if she’ll take him to her. When she’s overly cocky he nearly takes her bottom half off, and she must abandon all the clothing attached to it. Before he reads her diary, she surrenders, and takes him to Hydra. Staz apologizes for causing her to be uptight, but won’t apologize, because he sees himself not as the hero, but the “bad guy.”

bloodlad82

If that synopsis was too long, here’s the tl;dr version: Staz goes looking for Fuyumi and runs into obstacles; the biggest among them Bell. She likes him, and it pisses her off that A.), he doesn’t notice, and B.), he’s so fixated on Fuyumi, and C.), he considers Fuyumi a rare and one-of-a-kind “collector’s item,” not an equal partner Bell could be to him. Their battle proves they’re on pretty equal footing power-wise, and FWIW, we’d choose Bell over Fuyumi every time.

Their battle is also a wonderful exercise in absurdity, as Bell gets caught with her pants down (literally!) and Staz is riddled with bullets to the point of needing to be pixelated (unlike Bell’s ass). Staz freely admits he’s not sure why Bell is so erratic around him, but he also tells her she’s welcome to take it all out on him, because he can take it, unknowingly endearing him to her even more. Even as she leads him to her home where he’s sure to meet her brother and mother on the way to retrieving her rival in love, she’s determined to keep her feelings hidden.

8_great
Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Blood Lad’s character designs are relatively simple, but fun and expressive, and the characters’ outfits change often (Bell’s in particular), keeping their looks fresh.
  • Now we know that crazy land with the planetoids/laputas in the ED is Bell’s home, Hydra.
  • Braz’s arrest by Berros shows us that, indeed, most people don’t really like him, which isn’t surprising.
  • Fuyumi seems to be a cooperative hostage as usual, but when the opportunity presents itself, she wisely rings the bell Bell gave her, setting everything into motion.

 

 

Blood Lad – 07

bloodlad7

Braz and Liz meet Fuyumi and Staz’s crew. Staz drinks Fuyumi’s last bottle of magical essence, so she has to drink his blood, which overwhelms her. After Staz takes a magical sample from her, he returns to the Acropolis to work his lab, but Liz stays behind. Staz learns she stayed to keep an eye on him, but after sampling Staz’s earth collection and hanging out with Fuyumi, Liz starts to warm to the place. The next morning Fuyumi has disappeared. Staz orders a search, suspecting she was abducted.

Liz is an emotionally damaged little girl. With both parents out of the picture and Staz quick to leave home, she ended up stuck with her big brother, who never paid any attention to her, but is constantly trying to attract it by being a good girl, which means serving as his henchman. She never experienced a normal childhood or love, for that matter. Fuyumi steps in to act as a big sis, feeding, bathing and generally doting upon her like the cute little kid she actually is (she also enjoys watching Castle in the Sky. Who doesn’t? Nobody, that’s who.)

Meanwhile, Staz oozes “up to something” from every pore in his body, stripping Fuyumi to take her magic sample, planting Liz as his spy, and planning to extract Staz’s magic from Fuyumi’s for lord-knows-what experiment, but it can’t be good. On top of that, some random blonde guy (who looks a little like Bell) abducts Fuyumi, which is bad because she needs Staz’s blood a regular intervals to stop from fading away. Perhaps in future Staz will consider implementing security measures, like, say, something…anything.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Blood Lad – 06

bloodlad6

As Bell, Fuyumi, and Mamejirou watch from a safe place, Wolf transforms and fights Akim, but tearing him to shreds has no effect, as Akim is able to reconstruct his body with magic. Staz arrives before Wolf runs out of magic, and easily defeats Akim with a variety of finishing moves. Braz and Liz arrive to take Franken and Akim into custody. Wolf demands a rematch with Staz, but loses again. Bra and Liz then use Bell to transport them to Staz’s location, in order to help resurrect Fuyumi.

Both Braz and Bell expect big things of Staz now that he’s regained his full noble vampire powers (which include some particularly un-vampiry moves), but where Akim sees beauty in strength, Staz just sees it as a burden. He’d rather be back in his territory goofing off, or visiting Japan. But with Fuyumi in danger, he makes the deal with his brother that will give him the best change of saving her, even if it means more responsibilities, because, among other reasons, he likes her.

To that end, Staz deals with Akim – built up as a terrifying boss and a major threat to the demon world – almost comically easily, after Wolf’s attacks prove futile. He does it in front of a big audience too (though Bell switches the “TV” off right when he’s about to ice Akim). Bell is touched that Staz has come to keep his promise, but she has to semi-betray him again by bringing his siblings to him. As usual, with more power come more problems, and the Ghibli Museum tour will have to wait until Fuyumi is all fixed up.

7_very_good
Rating:7 (Very Good)

Blood Lad – 05

bloodlad5

Staz is quickly beaten down by Liz’s zombies, but he keeps hitting the challenge button. The zombies report to Liz, who is with her older brother Braz, who learns she’s holding Staz. Braz agrees to teach Staz the secret to human resurrection if Staz lets him remove the bullet that sealed his power, which he shot into his heart to keep him from destroying himself. He wants Staz to dispose of Papladon Akim.

Akim is a creation of Franken Stein, who possesses numerous different demon magics, escaped his creator, and is now running amok in North Demon World. Stein agrees to keep Fuyumi alive if Wolf takes care of Akim. Meanwhile, Staz refuses to play ball, so Braz ends negotiations and sics the zombies on him, using Staz’s opening to remove the bullet. Staz easily dispatches the zombies with his newly awakened power.

bloodlad5t2

This week we finally meet the infamous Braz T. Blood (not Vlad), and the family reunion is complete. When we hear his side of the story, we learn that he doesn’t actually hate Staz after all, nor does Liz. Liz is simply jealous of the preferential treatment she deems Braz has always bestowed upon Staz while ignoring her, even after Staz left. She also threw him in jail because she misinterpreted his weakness at the time as proof he wasn’t really a true noble demon, unaware of the sealing bullet in his heart.

Braz, meanwhile, is a trickier story: he had no problem poking, prodding and experimenting on his little brother, but once he had done so, he, like Stein with Akim, got more than he bargained for. He released a power within Staz so strong his young body couldn’t take it. Sealing his power with that bullet was an act of mercy, not malice, but now he believes Staz’s return just days after Akim appeared on the scene to be destiny, and he’s not going to pass up the opportunity to finally see the fruits of his labor.

7_very_good
Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Considering his attempt to decieve Wolf (which would have succeeded had Bell not been there), we wouldn’t be surprised that if he were able to regain control of Akim (the way Braz controls Staz), he’d use Akim to gain power and become a bad guy. 
  • Or maybe he just made Akim simply because he could, with no ulterior motives in mind.
  • Wolf has definitely taken a shine to Fuyumi, and won’t accept any route that doesn’t see her restored to the way she was. Staz had better come on home before his girl’s stolen away…though her dream indicates Staz still has pull with her.
  • On that note, since Akim has already confronted Wolf (and freaked him out by exploding the boarlike North boss), we imagine Wolf getting beaten up until Staz shows up to aid him.
  • As usual, all the serious stuff is lightened up nicely with little bits of comedy here and there: Staz not being impressed with Braz’s slight of hand; Liz almost losing the mini-boulder, etc.

Blood Lad – 04

bloodlad4

Bell agrees to open a portal to the Demon World Acropolis, but Wolf kicks Staz in before she’s finished, and Staz ends up in her apartment. After taking showers, Staz tells Bell the story of how his brother Braz T. Vlad performed endless deadly experiments on him as a child, culminating in shooting him in the heart with a magic bullet that sealed his powers. Bell, attracted to men more powerful than her, wants Staz to make his brother remove the seal.

Meanwhile, Wolf and Mamejirou look after Fuyumi, but when she exhibits acute leprosy and starts to turn transparent, Wolf speeds her to a demon physician Frankenstein. After Bell drops Staz off outside the base of the Acropolis, he’s promptly ambushed by his little sister Liz T. Vlad, who throws him into her jail. He presses the “Challenge” button in his cell, and he’s sent to a room where Liz presents him with two powerful zombies he must defeat to be released.

bloodlad42

You can’t say Blood Lad offers you great bang for the buck, as quite a bit goes on, some new foes are introduced, and everyone is given something to do in this episode. We also liked the seamless blending of casually hanging out with more serious themes. About those foes; they’re technically Staz’s family, but they no longer acknowledge him as blood. Hell, Staz can’t even get near the castle, as his sister is determined to destroy him. While that’s going on, Wolf is babysitting Fuyumi, unaware that she needs regular infusions of Staz’s blood to stay solid.

When Staz and Bell and Wolf and Fuyumi split off, you get the feeling they’re pairing up, too. After all, Bell is well aware Staz is more powerful and less stupid than he lets on, and gains a lot of sympathy for him after hearing his harrowing tale. Wolf also seems to be into Fuyumi, and you have to wonder that whatever Frankenstein cooks up to halt her vanishing will clash with the original purpose of Staz’s quest: find out from Braz how to resurrect her.

8_great
Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • As proponents of the inclusion of people of all shapes and sizes in anime, we’re pleased with the fact that the two female leads aren’t model-thin, but have some curves on them, which Bell is certainly not afraid to flaunt.
  • Even Bell is a little disappointed in herself for only falling for guy who can kick her ass, or in Staz’s case, have the potential to
  • Always go out for sushi before starting a quest to revive a human and unlock one’s latent powers.
  • When her mask is on, Liz makes the exact same Darth Vader breathing sound.
  • An assist to Staz’s prisonmates, who throw pretty much every prisonmate cliche at Staz before he peaces-out with the red button.
  • Google translates Liz and Braz’s last name as “Vlad” and Charlie’s as “Blood”, so we’re sticking with those for the time being. It makes sense he’d change his name when he ran away.

Blood Lad – 03

bloodlad3

Staz wants Bell to help him get to West Demon World. She refuses, but he goes anyway with Fuyumi and Mamejirou, hiring a carriage that is stopped when Wolf himself slices it in half. Both their underlings are surprsied when they greet each other as friends. Wolf agrees to help him find the Book of Human Resurrection if he loses a bowling match, which is changed to a boxing match at the last minute. Staz embeds a tooth in Wolf that drains his magic, but a tearful Fuyumi puts an end to the match. Bell declares them both losers, then transports everyone to an isolated area. She gives Staz the book she had on her all along. No one is able to decipher it, and Staz is perturbed to learn it was written by his older brother, Braz T. Blood.

Yanagi Fuyumi may have changed Charlie Staz Blood more than even he’s aware. Both his underlings and his childhood friend/rival Wolf are surprised to the point of being caught off guard by his sudden devotion to a random human girl. Despite her actual death being relatively quick and silly, Staz is dead serious about bringing her back to life. That resolve is tested when he has to enter a powerful rival boss’s territory and fight him, but even moreso going forward when he’ll have to interact with his older brother, something he’s most certainly not looking forward to.

Fuyumi, meanwhile, ends her passive streak by stopping Staz from killing Wolf in her name. She won’t have friends fighting over her, and likely wouldn’t want to be resurrected if it meant hurting others. As for Bell Hydra, she takes on the role of puppet master, pitting the water of Staz against the fire of Wolf, apparently in an effort to test his strength and resolve. We’re still not sure about her motivations, but while she still doesn’t quite trust him, it seems logical she’d want his plan to save Fuyumi (whom she seems to like) to succeed. The Oni-Qlo clerk could also have a point about her liking him, and testing his worthiness to be her mate.

7_very_good
Rating:7 (Very Good)

Blood Lad – 02

Yanagi Fuyumi, Charlie Staz Blood, Bell Hydra

Staz and Fuyumi use the black curtain and enter the human world through Fuyumi’s spartan room. Her father is upset about her absence, but Staz sprays him and all other humans they encounter with his saliva to make them think nothing of it. This upsets Fuyumi, but Staz wants to keep the world as normal as possible if he’s to bring her back to life. She starts to disappear, and he gives her some of his blood to restore her; it ends up overwhelming her.

Wanting to rest up for Akiba tomorrow, Staz returns to the curtain with Fuyumi and finds its owner there, the treasure hunter Bell Hydra, who specializes in spatial magic. She takes Fuyumi hostage and makes Staz run an errand for her involving taking underwear from an underground ONIQLO demon store, but it was just a test of his power. Learning of Fuyumi’s plight, Bell tells them about a book that could save her – but it’s in Staz’s rival Wolf‘s territory.

bloodlad22

Whatever Yanagi Fuyumi lacks in personality, initiative or resourcefulness, the plucky tricksteress Bell Hydra makes up for it. She’s an opportunistic, independent young lady making her own way in the world (well, between them) and not doing too bad for herself. While her might abilities smack of parlor tricks, we wouldn’t want her as opponent, as she can be quite dangerous when she wants to be (she also has a gun). Her spatial magic would likely drive us up the wall on the way to defeating us. We also dig her character design, massive backpack and all.

Turns out she’s neither good nor evil, but merely deems the route of helping Staz and Fuyumi to be ultimately more profitable than selling the knowledge that Staz has abandoned his post to his rivals. About those rivals: next week we’ll meet the first one who isn’t just some random interloper. Until then, Staz and Fuyumi have a lead in their quest to resurrect her, and even when being sent on a wild goose chase to fight a guy for underpants, Staz shows he’s not one to be messed with.

7_very_good
Rating:7 (Very Good)

Car Cameos:

Blood Lad – 01

lad12

Charlie Staz Blood is a territory leader in the Demon World descended from vampires who loves manga, anime, and games from the human world. When a human girl, Yanagi Fuyumi, stumbles into his territory, he has his lieutenant Deku send her to him at once, and showers her with attention, even shrugging off an enemy challenge. When Yanagi herself suggests he deal with the enemy, he realizes he likes her and will do anything for her. After defeating the enemy, he returns to find she’s been eaten by a plant, with only her uniform and a skeleton remaining.

Just then, Yanagi appears naked in his bed, marked as a ghost. Staz vows to bring her back to life, and searches manga for the answer. She suggests they visit the spot where she first crossed over, a “black curtain” that leads to the human world. After sending her to Mamejirou and Saty to clear her for travel, and hires Mimic Yoshida, who can assume the form of anyone, to serve as his body double while he’s gone, Staz and Yanagi prepare to cross over to the human world.

lad1

Soul Eater. Ao no Exorcist. Accel World. All deal with other worlds and are all big, bold, and showy, and so is Blood Lad. It’s animation is really nothing special but the colors are fantastic; it’s a vivid, fun thing to watch and that goes a long way for us. But of all those series we listed, it’s also the least serious, at least so far. The nearly constant levity could have been jarring, but isn’t. It indirectly spoofs those more serious series while surging along with its story very swiftly and confidently.

Staz is not the brightest bulb but he’s neither bland not boring. As for the girl, while we can understand her novelty from Staz’s perspective, she came off as pretty weak, helpless, and passive. That said, both the OP and ED (and a short moment in the episode) show a girl who may well be her opposite in every way; perhaps they’ll complement each other later on. We’ll also see whether Staz can really restore her life, or if her current situation becomes the new normal, and the demon world her new home.

7_very_good
Rating:7 (Very Good)