I don’t usually review video games as part of my anime blog. However, Blazblue fused a fighting game with a anime storyline in such a profound way to revolutionize Japanese animation in games.
Blazblue is more than just a fighting game–it’s also a massive narrative filled with drama, intense action and an impending apocalyptic disaster.
Even though the game has a hardcore edge to it and the difficulty curve is somewhat high, BlazBlue has an unusual story mode that people don’t usually expect. Most of the plot surrounds 12 characters involved in the destruction of the city of Kagutsuchi-13.
The entire story plays out in an endless time loop, where all the characters somehow end up in the same place they started. No matter which path they take, all the characters usually end up dying partly because of an evil cyborg.
Only a few of the main characters are aware that someone is keeping them stuck in the same tragic time loop. Rachel-Alucard is one of those characters who tries to warp certain characters in the past, in order to turn them into cyborgs to prevent the apocalypse.
To tell the truth, most of this silly story involves trivial vendettas. For instance, Ragna had his arm cut off by his brother, Jin Kisaragi, when he was young. These two brothers now become enemies to the very end. However, the game doesn’t really explain the reasons why Jin cuts Ragna’s arm off, among other things.
Blazblue is still very noteworthy as one of the few games that melds complex anime storylines with an intense style of fighting gameplay. It’s one of the only games that manages to make people feel like they’re playing a part in a shonen action show. It somewhat resembles Soul Eater in its heavy metal music and the gothic clothing style of the characters.
I’m surprised at how closely these fighters resemble a variety of different anime characters. Carl Clover and Rachel-Alucard look like kids from a moe series. Litchi Faye-Ling clearly stands out as the fan service girl with her big breasts. Most of all, Jin and Ragna are the tough guys usually found in a shonen series. Ragna has the long spiky hairstyle of Dragon Ball Z’s Goku in his super seiyan mode and Jin has the blonde hair in the fashion of LeLouche from Code Geass.
In many ways, Blazblue is probably the closest that a video game has ever gotten to emulating the whole anime fighting experience. Much of the story is nonsensical, but no one can deny the charm of each fighter in this battle royale. It’s one of the more impressive fighting games of this current generation of game consoles.
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