Blassreiter Protein 101 explained.
The first review of this month is for the anime Blassreiter as promised in my last Nodame Cantabile S2 review. This year, I have watched very few anime (very busy with real life) than I used to and I have written only 4 reviews so far this year, inclusive of this one. As a consequence of that, I got plenty of titles queuing inside my hard disks waiting to be watched before being burned into archival DVDs. As I should have more free time for now and also April, there should be more reviews then in this blog in the next couple of months. Blassreiter is a 2008 anime, thus it will compete with Wolf and Spice for the Anime Of The Year 2008 title.
Somewhere in Germany, the country was plagued by the emergence of zombies with superhuman powers that comes out from nowhere. To combat the zombies, an organization called XAT (forgot what its full name is) is tasked to combat this menace. As expected, XAT has plenty of problems dealing with the superhuman zombies, thus our main male protagonist who has plenty of emo issues has to come out riding his Knight Rider-like bike that he can change at will, to save the day.
This anime is a rough cross between Darker Than Black (without the Pizza Hut sponsorship) and Karas, and initially, this anime started very well until the death of Gerd Frentzen at episode 6. Then the storyline petered out somewhat in quality after that before taking the plunge into a ravine (just like Gerd Frentzen is) starting from the 2 flashback episodes in the middle of the series.
The most defining aspect of this anime is its high character churn rate, with many characters dies left and right. That would have been a good thing for this anime, if not for the fact that this anime also revives dead characters more often than the DragonBall series. The high character churn rate has the biggest impact upon character developments, because naturally, dead characters cannot have improvements upon their characters. Speaking about character developments, this anime has too little of it amongst multiple characters, and this can be fatal for a story-driven anime like Blassreiter is.
In this anime of two halves, when the story is still good in the first half, the story still flows fluidly from scene to scene, from episodes to episodes. When the story went bad in the second half after the two flashback episodes, other problems like scene transitions problems (good example is when the main male protagonist was reunited with her sister in the flashback sequence, then she died, and she was alive again and then reunited again) and erratic pacing (like how the main male protagonist shows up at the Zeppelin air base when 30 seconds earlier, he is shown transforming miles away at Zwolf HQ). These problems did not occur at all in the first half of the anime. What gives?
But most of the damage dealt to this anime was done purely by some of the bizarre turn of events the second half of the anime. The quick death of Beatrice and Victor, killed by characters whose character developments did not commensurate any deserved capability upgrades, is ridiculous enough (Amanda claimed in the latter parts of the series that she has changed, but actually I don’t see any character growth/developments happening to her to justify her claim), but when Snow appeared, the death knell for this anime has been rung. Snow is a definite proof that the anime is just going through its motion toward the ordinary and cliché-laden ending (that has a time-jump too).
The main female protagonist with one of the expendable characters.
The character design in this anime is good, with the main male protagonist being the best of them all. About the Blassreiter design, the Gerd Frentzen's white Blassreiter that reminded me a lot of the final form of Haseo from the dot Hack GU trilogy is excellent, it put every other Blassreiters on its shade. Definitely a positive point for this anime.
The voice acting in this anime is just average, with no one being vastly better than everyone else.
This anime fared very badly in this section, even worse than the storyline itself. The OST is almost non-existent and the OP/ED themes are uninspiring (yeah, all of them).
The animation quality in this anime is great, even in fast-paced scenes. Integration between 2D and CGI is not fully seamless and this is noticeable in certain action scenes, but it should not be able to distract you from enjoying the anime. The choreography of the action scenes are decent, but can be too fast at times. But the choreography of the dogfights near the end of the series are excellent and very well done (probably only the best thing about the second half of this anime).
6 out of 10. Wolf and Spice still reigns as the best 2008 anime I have watched to date. Still plenty of anime to watch though. Bounen no Xamdou, Speed Grapher and Cassehern SINS amongst others, which one I will watch? You will have to wait until the next entry of this blog to find out the answer.
One of the CGI battles laden with special effects.