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Blood:  The Last Vampire
Violence: high
Sex/Nudity: one dead woman
Runtime Episodes: Movie 48 minutes
Overall Rating: B -
Artwork: A
Story: C+
Comments: 2000 media arts festival grand prize winner in the category of animation. link
Voice Acting English: NA
Voice Acting Japanese: NA
Genre: Horror
Extras: trailer for the movie, trailers for other Manga videos, a 22 min making of Blood.

Date Reviewed: 1/13/07 Last Updated: 0/0/00

Basic Premise: On a US air base in Japan, the US is using a mysterious woman to hunt Teropterids; demons that live to feed on human blood.
Review: Saya is a mysterious brooding woman who works for the US government during 1966 hunting Teropterids.  It is unclear whether she has a choice in the matter, but either way she has a lot of clout with her employers and seems to be calling the shots.  It really does not look like it could be the other way around with them working for her, because she speaks of what she can't do, which I take to mean she is not allowed to do.

On her next assignment she must pretend to be a Japanese girl going to school on a US base as a transfer student.  She must discover who the Teropteroids are as they can shape-shift.  All she knows is that they are most likely pretending to be school kids and that there is more than one of them.

When she arrives it is Halloween and the students are preparing for the Halloween party and are not much interested in studying.  Some of the students and staff are friendly to Saya to help her fit in, but Saya is on duty and does not socialize.  She very much keeps to herself and has little interest in making friends.  She barely responds when people talk to her as if they don't matter to her at all.

When I first saw this a few years back as a download from kazaa or some such I really didn't like it at all.  I know, I was pirating anime, something that I don't do anymore.  I downloaded it, because it had won the 4th annual Japan Media Arts Festival Grand Prize in the category of Animation.  It could be that I found out that was the case only afterwards, but I doubt it.  I was just really disappointed.  The movie was only 45 minutes.  Less actually if you consider the 5 minutes or so of credits.  The animation was almost all digital and was very amazing, but everything else just sucked.  The storyline was absent and the character development was not there either.  You don't get a chance to get to know the characters, or story or find out anything either.  It just felt like such a let down, so I gave the burned copy to my cousin and said I didn't want it back.  When he watched it he said that he didn't really care for it either and wasn't worth watching.

Ok, it is now a few years later and I bought the DVD and I am actually not disappointed even after owning it for maybe a year now.  I popped it in the DVD player and found myself not disagreeing with my earlier opinions, but still very much enjoying it unlike the first time I watched it.  The movie is aimed squarely at adults and not children at all and it is a straight horror movie.  It is very much a relief to see an anime just for adults that takes the story matter seriously and respects the maturity level of the audience.

It is true that the story and character development just wasn't there like I originally thought, but it wasn't bad either.  It just wasn't there.  I found that a lot of it was very subtle, like the fact that the story takes place in 1966, and Saya's harsh nature shows something of her age and harshness about her life, whether it be towards others or of others towards her.  She is very hardened.  I also liked how they didn't give Saya any innocence like they do in most anime.  She has little goodness in her and almost seems like a villian despite being the heroine.  The story wasn't one of redemption either for Saya.  That is another plus in the sense that this anime is a change from the norm.

I didn't give a grade for the voice acting even though it was very good.  It was done in Japanese and English with the same actors speaking in either language depending on who they are talking to.  They each played their role very well, but more than that some of the actors accents sounded very American.  Some did not, but all had a very subtle, but distinct inflection to their voice that lent to the story as well in a very subtle way as well.  I felt almost as if the director was trying to imitate American culture.

The story was also rather dark in tone.  The story didn't seem to follow the traditional vampire story, but I did like how Saya had some sort of hatred or fear (it is unclear which) to hearing people take the Lord's name in vain or holding a cross.  Again it could be that she held a hate to the people that spoke of God and not just the act.  

Overall a lot of questions were not answered and way too many questions were raised.  It was hard to get connected with the characters as well and it was simply too short of a movie.

Conclusion: Aimed squarely at adults and not for children this is not for everyone.  It is strictly a horror movie and makes good use of the digital animation to add to the fearful tension of the movie.  I DO reccomend this anime for people with discriminating tastes, but it is important to know what you are getting into before getting this one.

Publisher: Manga video
Related Website: none yet.
Where Found: Amazon
Copyright: 2000
Author: Hiroyuki Kitakubo
If you enjoyed this anime try: None yet


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