Bloodivores – 01 (First Impressions)

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The Gist: 30 years ago, a vaccine for a virus caused some people to become vampires. After hundred of cases, the courts continue to hold the company accountable and the ‘Bloodvores’ are protesting. Also, occasionally attacking people for their blood.

Meanwhile, a group of Orphan Bloodvores rob a bank and are framed for 15 murders they did not commit. One of the kids is the sun of the director of BST, a commando group that deals with bloodvores (usually by beating them over the head with clubs) but he has daddy issues.

After a mock trial, the kids are driven away and shot by BST goons, but obvious not killed because they are the main characters…

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Bloodivores is almost so bad it’s funny but the animation is so poor I can not recommend watching it. Character movements are slow, filled with pauses, poorly framed (usually too close), and everything looks generic. 3D vehicle assets and backgrounds look like they were purchased from other shows or asset databases.

What almost works is how oblivious Bloodivores is of its try-hard terrible nature. Things like the TV News piece on ‘The Historical Side Effect Problem of Medicine,’ to the techno-babble about servers and a computer literally blink ‘hack,’ to the 90’s cool tench coats and broodie bad boys, Bloodivores perfectly captures a 8 year old’s sense of cool.

There’s even a scene where a tank slowly moves to block a tunnel exit… except, when it is revealed from the TV helecopter’s view above, the tunnel opens onto a tightly walled road. Meaning, there was no space for the tank to have moved from to block the road and no thought put into this show at all!

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The Verdict: judging from next week’s preview, our kid vampires will be joining a secret group of monster-clean suicide squad style and face nightmares the government is too lazy and or corrupt to deal with. Also, probably something backstory related to the protagonist’s mom.

No thanks

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Taboo Tattoo – 02

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From a professional artistic standpoint, Taboo Tattoo is garbage. A simple example of this is it’s incomprehensible choices in framing. As seen above, Seigi is talking to two characters sitting next to each other. This isn’t a pan-shot. They literally did not frame one of the characters.

In this same frame, Seigi is also information repeating as a question… information he’d been given last episode and had time to absorb. Call and counter call scenes like:

“we’re in the Army” “you, the army?” and “it may result in your death” “my death?” are a convention for abhorrently bad anime/rpg writing, they also waste of our time as viewers, since we’ve been told the information multiple times and gain nothing from hearing the character’s non-reaction.

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An example chest level shot… after a floor level shot, transitioning into an over the shoulder (but back in the room) shot, all within a second’s time. (then 2 different shots of Seigi gasping for air on the floor of his room — jesus stop moving the camera!)

In more general examples, the framing bounces from multiple characters’ points of view during an exchange. Maybe it’s low with a character on the floor looking up at who’s talking, followed by looking back down at the listening character, or across the room in an establishing shot.

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It’s constant but unnecessary movement, generally in scenes where slower, more traditional pans would anchor us to a single point of view and let us absorb the scene from that point of view, thus gaining a degree of emotional connection with the character holding that view.

tl;dr throwing the camera around the room during a conversation doesn’t make the conversation more interesting. The opposite in fact.

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An example of the glimmer of greatness: casually reading a manga about a teen freaking out while talking calmly about a grim situation to a teen who’s freaking out…

What’s actually maddening about Taboo Tattoo is that, despite its artlessness, the dark character that shows up this week was actually interesting. Even if only for the chained-up loli aesthetic.

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Similarly, TT pokes fun at a few conventions of anime in general. Army-chan lolz off Seigi’s attempt to intimidate her by smacking the wall and his classmates are all like ‘you are a protagonist so we’re going to throw you out the window because screw you for auto-getting the girl’

It’s almost clever enough — almost fun enough — but god damn it’s so incompetently put together 90% of the time I can’t get into it. /Rant

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Taboo Tattoo – 01 (First Impressions)

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Seigi is a middle school martial artist living with his emotionally damaged grand father/martial arts sensei. See, Seigi’s father died ‘because he wasn’t strong enough’ and his mother made his childhood friend look out for him, which she does in wifu-like fashion.

Also, AMERICANS are plotting to destroy the second most powerful economy in the world, some south east asian island kingdom and Seigi’s middle school friends tell him the rumor is the AMERICANS have created super science tattoos to do just that!

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In fact, Seigi acquires one of these tattoos from a friendly stranger in the very first scene and then meets a young looking (but apparently 30?) female AMERICAN military spy who’s collecting the tattoos that were stolen from AMERICA (by the Yakuza?) and are being sold in Japan.

Unfortunately, she beats the living #$^* out of Seigi AND explains the entire premise of the show to him, including how the tattoos need to be primed before they will work. Except Seigi’s doesn’t, because it’s the most powerful tattoo (the Void Maker), which Seigi uses to save his life from an AMERICAN mafia guy named Bear Teddy, who’s also got a tattoo and is trying to kill all the tattooed competition.

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TT defies criticism, largely because it is so completely terrible that it’s hard to know where to start. The pacing is absurdly abrupt and the story is nonsensically idiotic. (AMERICA’s secret weapon is apparently common knowledge to Japanese middle schoolers who read Otaku blogs)

If exposition blasting us with the plot wasn’t bad enough, Seigi’s ‘become the super hero of legend’ arc is generic, his childhood friend’s personality and narrative purpose is generic, the art style is weirdly deformed (their heads are occasionally too big) and a character even has cat ears because, fuck why not right??

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The animation during the fighting is okay. Maybe even serviceable. But over all, it is not a looker.

The only moment of joy in the entire episode was Seigi’s request for “Native American Indian Curry Udon” for dinner, which his waifu’s closest approximation apparently involves cabbage and a Jamaican recipe. The runner up? …unexplained cat ears on the AMERICAN. ugh…

This show is complete horseshit.

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Sengoku Musou – 01 (First Impressions)

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Sengoku Musou opens with what can best be described is a flaming pile of horse shit.  It is, perhaps, the best example of how not to open an anime (or start a visual story of any kind) that I have ever seen.

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No, I’m not being hyperbolic. Go ahead and watch the opening and tell me that you understood who anyone was or why a viewer would care about any of it with so little context. Jerkily animating gaudy samurai drifting in and out of clouds and popping into focus only to show us moments of dialogue we have no context for is *&$%ing idiotic.

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You may like S&M if you like dozens of long historical Japanese names vomited at you by gaudy, overly ornate and, frankly stupid-looking characters. I presume it’s marginally based in Japanese history, though I’m not familiar with anyone in this show and it’s so profoundly ugly that I don’t care and I would rather eat dog $#!†t sushi for lunch than watch any more of it.

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When we talk about info dumping and expositional over load, we’re usually criticizing a show for attaining 50% of the motor-mouthing presented by Sengoku. It’s truly numbing.

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You probably wont find anything interesting about S&M because any value it may have (eventually interesting combat, sexy lady samurai in sexy lady samurai armor) is buried under an uninteresting, cliche period drama.

If I knew more about the source material, I would claim this was actually parody.

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My immediately, unwavering verdict is: Skip it.

If you must watching it, drink heavily and turn off your brain. The character design is bad. The story is incoherent and slow. The characters are archetypical cliches. It’s a mess and if the visual presentation was any worse, I’d give it a 3 or lower.

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