As a big fan of the original film, and the live action film that recently came out, I figured, hey, we’re all about vampires, so why are we only covering American and European vampire contemporaries? Japanese vampires are pretty fabulous too! Let’s roll with it!
Film – Blood: The Last Vampire, 2001 – The film came first, as an anime, and before any of the anime series, or books, or the game, manga, etc., and was fiercely popular. It also had nothing whatsoever to do with the live action film that came out this year. B:tLV follows Saya, the “last original” vampire, who is actually more of a vampire human hybrid, without vulnerability to the sun, but with all kinds of vampire extra-sensory powers, and super-strength. The film is set only months before the Vietnam War, and follows Saya as she hunts chiropterans, blood drinking, winged bat-like monsters, for the secret organization the Red Shield.
Manga & Books – First the manga came to follow up as a sequel, bring Saya to the 21st century in Blood: The Last Vampire 2000, which is a little trippy, because it seems to have inspired bits and pieces of the latest movie, –such as that Saya’s been sent undercover to a high school, where she discovers that the chiropterans are able to transform into human beings. Saya also learns more about her past, but in the manga, Saya has a twin; a chiropteran that can transform, named Maya, who hunts down Saya, –considered by experimental scientists as the perfect one of the pair, –because she wants Saya to eat her, so that together they can become the perfect vampire. The light novels that followed were: Blood: The Last Vampire: Night of the Beasts, Blood: The Last Vampire: The Blood Which Invites the Darkness, and Blood: The Last Vampire: A Tragic Dream in Shanghai.
Anime & Games – The anime, titled simply, “Blood+” used to be a regular on AdultSwim, but got cancelled, boohoo. It wasn’t actually received very well, so, maybe they knew what they were doing when Blood+ bounced off the air and into obscurity. Blood+ is a bizarre, alternate universe, re-telling of the B:tLV original story. In the anime, Saya is an anemic teen with a happy life, until she’s attacked by a chiropteran, and discovers she’s the only one who can defeat them. Not exactly similar to the hardcore style of Saya in the film and manga is it? The game first developed for PS2 wa called by its original title, Blood: The Last Vampire, and was released in Japan in 2001. Dr. Brown of Animerica declared the game boring, and therefore labeled the game as such for everyone else, making it particularly hard to find on this continent. Can we all give a big hand to Dr. Brown? Yes, thank you Dr. Brown, for making life hard for the collecting gamer. The second game to come out was for PSP in 2006, called Yarudora Series Vol. 5: Blood: The Last Vampire, and including several new features for the B:tLV obsessed.
Live Action Film – B:tLV comes to the big screen, and thank god too, because I was dying, DYING, to see it. If you’re a fan, then you understand, if you’re not, then try to imagine a Bleach live-action movie. There, see? Exactly. Jaw dropping extended action scenes, enough blood and gore to make you gag, and a storyline that doesn’t really suck -that much-. What I love most about the movie, is that Saya’s action scenes, and the fight scenes in general, go on -forever-. The story wasn’t great, the character development was minimal, but the action and the cinematography were seizure-inducing gorgeous! If you’re a B:tLV fan, and you’ve been holding out because you think the movie will suck, stop it! You’ll love it, I promise.