While “Blood+” is indeed one of the best anime series of recent years to be released, the series actually a sequel to a classic one-hour anime film, “Blood: The Last Vampire”. It goes without saying that this is a beast of a film, one that demands even more attention than the sequel.
“Blood: The Last Vampire” stars Saya as a monster-hunter, one who appears to kill innocent human beings without a thought in the world. In a haunting first scene, Saya slashes someone in an empty subway car. One military witness wasn’t happy about it afterwards, but Saya’s military commander, David, tells the man that Saya is the only one able to find and kill humans who will turn into demons.
In another turn of events, Saya gets transferred to a local school in the area, where she kills one of the demons in the school nurse’s office. The nurse tries to run away from Saya, but she keeps getting attacked by more and more of these demons. Saya takes her to a military base for safety, informing the nurse that anyone who sees a demon’s dead body isn’t supposed to live. Yet, Saya still takes pity on the Japanese nurse.
After a series of violent scenes, the nurse survives, but the military denies any existence of Saya or David. This is a haunting film about war brutality in Japan, in which anyone who sees this violence will turn into a monster. Yet, the military is hardly willing to talk about it, in reference to the U.S. censorship of all discussion about the bombing of Japan in World War II. And even as Japan headed off to fight with the U.S. in the Vietnam War, the nurse still wonders how long censorship will really last, if more and more people turn into monsters.
It’s hard to imagine that such a great storyline can fit into one hour, but “Blood: the Last Vampire” does this effortlessly. Although “Blood+” seems to go into further detail about the origin of chiropterans, “Blood: The Last Vampire” is a straight-to-the-point look at the reasons why frightened people can turn into monsters in Japan.
If anything, anime fans should at least check out “Blood: The Last Vampire” before watching “Blood+”. Both are great, but “Blood: The Last Vampire” is an anime legend that is like no other. Keep in mind that not all the voices are Japanese, either. This is an incredible film with both American and Japanese voices, with each representing the language of their respective country. This is one of the few films that is truly bilingual, and very thought-provoking at the same time. This is a classic anime horror film that no one can resist, as long as they are willing to stomach some gut-wrenching violence.