Blood Lad is an anime based on a manga series by Yuuki Kodama. The anime is produced by Brain’s Base, and is directed by Shigeyuki Miwa. The series is being simulcast on Viz Media’s website and on Hulu on Sundays.
Staz Charlie Blood is a powerful vampire who enjoys Japanese anime, manga and games immensely. He’s the boss of his territory in the Demon World, but he finds that being a vampire is a pain in the neck.
One day, a human girl named Fuyumi Yanagi accidentally wanders into Staz’s territory in the Demon World; at first, no explanation is given as to how she got there. As the episode went along, I believed that we wouldn’t find out. However, during the second half of the episode, it was revealed how Fuyumi got there: she came through a large black curtain that allows for passage between the Human World and the Demon World. It’s something that has to be cast, and it’s not known for sure who cast this curtain and for what purpose. There’s a shot of someone looking at the curtain later, so I’m guessing this person is probably the caster.
Anyway, Staz is overjoyed when he learns that a human girl from Japan has come into his territory. Unfortunately, his conversation with Fuyumi is interrupted by a challenge from someone who wants to take Staz’s head and become the new boss of the territory. Staz is able to defeat the challenger rather easily, but he discovers that Fuyumi has been eaten by one of the challenger’s monsters. Because she died in the Demon World, Fuyumi’s bare soul has been left behind. Staz vows to do what he can to bring Fuyumi back to life. At the end of the episode, it’s hinted that the two of them go through the curtain in order to go to the Human World; the preview seems to indicate that they succeed, but it won’t be known for sure until the next episode.
Blood Lad actually has some rather amusing humor in it, especially in the references to other manga and anime department, and this actually made me chuckle a bit. There are references to Doraemon and Dragon Ball (under the name of “Dra-Gunboll”), there appears to be a display case in Staz’s place with Dragon Ball Z figures inside it, and I swear that’s a Super Saiyan Goku charm on Staz’s cell phone. To me, though, the funniest reference is when Staz is doing his “research” to try to find a way to bring Fuyumi back to life by reading his Dra-Gunboll manga. Fuyumi is afraid that he’ll think that he needs to find seven balls, and Staz finds the page he’s looking for and points out summoning the dragon. As a Dragon Ball fan, I chuckled at this.
Overall, the first episode really did focus on the humor, and sets the stage for this to be a comedy series. Admittedly, there was some “info dumping” early on in the episode, but I didn’t think it bogged down the pacing of the story too terribly much.
The animation style in Blood Lad, in some respects, kind of made me think of Soul Eater. The animation is a little on the quirky side, but the characters tend to have a little more of a “realistic” look in comparison to the characters in Soul Eater.
In the opening credits, there are shots of a male character we haven’t been introduced yet that is kind of short and has white hair. This particular character’s design really made me think of Toshiro Hitsugaya from Bleach.
After watching the first episode, I thought that Blood Lad was amusing, and I think there’s potential for this series. I think anime fans who enjoy series like Soul Eater or who enjoy comedic anime with ghosts, demons, and vampires will enjoy Blood Lad.
I’ll definitely be watching the second episode next Sunday to see where the story of Blood Lad goes to next!
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