Japanese Title: Blood Lad
Similar: Rosario + Vampire
Watched in: Japanese & English
Length: 10 episodes & 1 OVA
- Colourful palette.
- An interesting idea with several good pop-culture jokes.
- Deviates from the premise within two episodes.
- Terrible visualisation in action sequences.
- Bland characters that don’t evolve.
- Succumbs to the tropes it parodies.
A parody about a vampire who’s an otaku of Japanese pop-culture rather than a bloodthirsty killer? Sounds interesting. What? It devolves into an action series that has little to do with otaku culture and parody? Just great…
Staz is a vampire and leader of a demon gang. He’s also a nutter for Japanese games, anime and manga, which he smuggles in from the human world. When a human girl stumbles into the demon world, he pitches a tent on her property. Two seconds later, a plant monster eats her. Ah well, what can you do? Wait, she’s now a ghost! Except, Staz doesn’t fancy her anymore because he’s only into human chicks. He vows to return her to life so that his tent may once more stand upright. And so, Staz goes off in search of the Book of Human Resurrection to restore her.
As an otaku, Staz is a funny character with his pop-culture references; however, since the anime forgets he’s an otaku for the most part, we don’t get many of these jokes during all the action. This problem is at the core of Blood Lad; it sets itself up as a parody series, taking several clichéd anime tropes and mocking them. For example, the human girl, whose name I can’t remember from blandness, has large breasts despite being an early high school student, which they make fun of – once. After that, she becomes the generic, large breasted twelve-year-old (I’m sure she’s supposed to be older than that) love interest. Then they bring in another large breasted teen, (and there was much rejoicing. Yaaaaay…) same as the human, just aggressive instead of timid. One joke before a swan dive into the ocean of generic. Why not take the cliché and run with the joke? Every time Blood Lad parodies a trope, it ends up succumbing to cliché itself.
A funny idea for a character and a vivid colour palette couldn’t save Blood Lad from devolving into an anime you have seen many times before. Even if you’re into vampires, Blood Lad brings nothing of note to the mythos.
Art – Medium
Vibrant colours, which is a surprising choice considering the vampire theme; however, there isn’t much to look at. Not as creative as you would imagine for an otaku parody. Action sequences look awful because the character layer doesn’t interact with the attack layer. For example, when blood sprays everywhere, the character isn’t affected until the camera cuts to a different angle and then he is streaked in blood.
Sound – Medium
The voice work is good in both languages, but they don’t say much worth listening to. Forgettable music.
Story – Low
What starts out as an otaku parody with a vampire quickly devolves into a lame plot about saving a useless girl. At least some of the jokes are funny.
Overall Quality – Low
Recommendation: For fans of mild otaku humour with action. Blood Lad had potential in its premise. It could have been a humorous look at otaku culture from the perspective of a vampire, but its unfocused execution makes this anime a forgettable one.
Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)