Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: A+
- Video Rating: A+
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: A+
- Age Rating: 15 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Manga Entertainment
- MSRP: 24.95
- Running time: 80
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Blood: The Last Vampire
Blood: The Last Vampire
By Philip Verdieck
March 24, 2002
Release Date: August 28, 2001
Audio. As said above, you must listen to Blood with a good 5.1 system to appreciate it. What is wonderful is the detail in the soundstage. For example, in the opening train scene you can hear the small rattling noise of the stand up handgrips, the sparks as the train goes by the track, all against a healthy base with the various other sounds. A lot of work went into it, and it shows. There is always excellent background noises, a good ambient soundtrack, and when the action kicks in, the score picks up in matching tempo.
With the dialog, we have an agent, operating with her American coordinators on an American airbase. For some reason these people, and the other Americans around don't speak Japanese to each other. This is terribly unrealistic. NOT! The Japanese speak Japanese and the Americans speak English. I can't understand why people have an issue with this.
Yet again, the audio defaults to 2.0 instead of 5.1. That is my only complaint about it.
Video. I can't find any flaws with this blend of traditional anime and CGI. Some have mentioned jerkiness. Well if they were referring to the opening attack scene on the train, that is intentional style, not poor substance. Otherwise I found it overall very smooth. Only after reading the review that mentioned this, and looking for it could I find minor amounts of jerkiness. I didn't find enough to detract from the feature, or to label noteworthy.
The subtitles are unfortunately on the bottom of the print. Since this is a widescreen presentation, why are you overwriting the bottom of the picture?
Some have said the hardware on the base looks too modern. I disagree. The plane flying overhead when Saya is approaching the base/at the gift shop is a C-130 Hercules, which has been around since 1957. The first fighters we see (one takes off) is not an F-16, but an F-105 ThunderChief, which entered service in 1958. Later they show an F-4 Phantom, which the USAF started using in 1962 (the Navy in 1960). The B-52, as shown in the closing shot, entered service in 1954/1955. I don't think you can find a B-52 pilot who isn't youger than his plane. They did make a mistake on it, the B-52 has 8 engines in 2 engine pods, not the 6 shown in the 2 + 1 configuration shown on each wing. Given the excellent job they did with the other planes, I wonder how this got by them.
There is also some confusion written about vampires. The only vampire is Blood. Pay attention in the garage scene. She calls the opponents Demons, and her associates (David and Louis) label them "Teropters". She is the one who reacts strongly in a negative fasion to the cross. And if the title isn't good enough, the old photo of here at the end nails it.
So it isn't longer. Big deal. As mentioned before there is a proper plot progressing from introduction to denoumont. There is no abrupt end, not really anything left unfinished.
The documentary goes into some very good depth on the production.
In my mind everything about Blood works. I heartily recommend it.
27" LXI Surround System, Sony DVP-NS700P, Yamaha RX-V995, Klipsch KSW-500 Subwoofer, Polk S-8 Mains, Polk CS-275 Center, Polk R2 Rears