Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Review: Blood the Last Vampire (2000)

Blood: The Last Vampire (2000) is an original video animation (OAV) that sets place in post-World War II Japan. The story begins on an American Yokota Air Base just a few months before the beginning of the Vietnam War. The protagonist is a mysterious girl named Saya, who hunts monstrous bat-like creatures called Chiroptera for a secret organization known as the Red Sheild. Their sole goal is to destroy them from wreaking havoc on the human population.

What are Chiroptera? They are evil beasts who can emulate humans and only live to drink human blood. They have extraordinary strength and supernatural healing abilities. Saya is the best Chiroptera slayer. She uses a katana sword and her own blood as a poison to kill them. The Red Shield discovers that the Chiroptera are hiding at the Army base. Saya prepares for battle.

The film received major cult status. I particularly enjoyed it for its storyline. It takes the whole vampire genre into another level. The movie ends with an old picture of Saya who has not aged at all. Who is she? What is she? What link does she have with the Chiroptera? Is she a vampire? These questions and the popularity of the video also inspired the next Japanese anime series, Blood+.

Saya resumes her role with a whole cast, history of Saya's origin and contemporary storyline. There will also be a live-action film and it is expected to come out before June 2008. I am very much excited to see this movie.

This movie was also revolutionary at its time in the video and computer animation industry. According to Wikipedia, "the film has been praised for its blend of 2-Dand 3-D elements, with Academy Award winning director James Cameron stating: "Digital imaging has entered a new era. The world will come to consider this work as the standard of top quality in digital animation." It received the Grand Prize for animation at the 2000 Japan Media Arts Festival." Enjoy the trailer below. I highly recommend the anime. (2000, 50 minutes)

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