Trinity Blood Vol. #3 (Viridian Collection) (of 6) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2007
What They Say
The true enemy has risen at last, a shadow known by many names: the order of Rosen Kreuz, the Contra Mundi, the Enemy of the World... The new enemy has thrown both races into turmoil and the rift grows deep, for when the foe comes in friendly guise, allies will battle.
But there are those who endeavor to bridge the chasm between the Vatican and the Empire, between the humans and the vampires. When the great threat emerges, the enemy of my enemy is my friend... And Abel Nightroad seeks a safe path for all.
This Limited Edition includes a 24-page booklet and 4 tarot cards.
Contains episodes 9-12:
Overcount 1: The Belfry of Downfall
Overcount 2: Lucifer's Choice
From the Empire
The Ibelis 1: Evening Visitors
Expanding the worldview with some new locations, Trinity Blood covers two arcs here while still squeezing in a standalone episode.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The show has a good mix of action and dialogue to it and the mix handles it all very well. The music in particular, especially the opening and closing sequences, sound great. The action during the show uses the full soundstage just right as events happen all over and with some good noticeable directionality to it. Dialogue also works in a similar way with plenty of well placed dialogue in addition to the standard full sounding areas. We listened to this in its English mix a bit and it sounded good there as well and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions on either language track during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2005, the transfer for this series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. After the recent release of Basilisk and the video issues that I had seen there, I was really wary about the Trinity Blood release since it plays in many of the same kinds of colors. I was also wary since FUNimation has moved most of its authoring in house and it's taking some time to get it back to where it was. The transfer for this show looks quite good and avoids just about all major problems. There isn't any really noticeable grain to it, colors are very solid throughout though. There are the occasional moments where certain shades have some mosquito noise to it but at least cross coloration isn't there. The opening and closing sequences in particular look fantastic with sharp vibrant colors and solid blacks.
The menu layout for the release has some great artwork to work with. The third volume has the good looking illustration from the digipak cover done in a widescreen design. There is some mixed backgrounds of plants and other things in shades of red that accents it along with the black sections to give it a good creepy but alluring feel. With a bit of the foreboding instrumental music playing along, it all comes together quite well. The navigation is pretty standard and easy to move about it and we continue to use the language setup section to ensure that we get the right settings since the angles for the credits sections are tied to it. It's unfortunate that those cannot be selected in the menu.
Similar to the first volume, the extras for this are a bit weak but they do provide some of the standards. We get the clean version of the opening and closing sequences as well as a few text pages that brings the viewer up to speed on various religious terms and locations that are prominent in the show.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
At the halfway mark of the show, we're again seeing that the nature of the way the episodes have been adapted from the novels is a bit problematic, particularly in how they're being released in this region. Events don't have the usual kind of flow across volumes that we tend to see in other shows, which means if you watch a fair number of shows between releases you may not remember the events that lead up to a finale that starts a new volume.
After the events in Barcelona and the sheer amount of destruction caused there, Abel's return to Rome has put everyone in a rather subdued state. The threat of the Silent Noise is still there, and the damage caused has found its scapegoat, but the repercussions look to be wide ranging. The group that's doing all of this damage is still within the shadows but its power has caused Abel to question himself thoroughly. He's now at the point of, having served Caterina for so long, that he'll actually walk away from it all. With him being more out of the picture here, it does allow the other men that have come on board in recent episodes to have more time and provide a bit more of a balance for Caterina in opinions and styles.
Caterina is definitely needing those opinions and extra eyes as the Pope's uncle, Archbishop Alfonso D'Estes has returned after being away from Rome for five years. His losing against Alessandro for the position of Pope had him quite upset when it happened but it appears that his fire and anger has diminished over time. His arrival is an effort to smooth things over but it comes at a time when tensions are high and there are potential rifts between Caterina and Francesco, rifts that D'Estes seems to stoke every so slightly. With the threat of an attack by the mysterious group and his arrival, Caterina needs Abel more than ever but he's just completely lost to the rain and his own internal sense of despair over Barcelona.
This shifting between cities is something that continues to be appealing about the show, though keeping track of where we are and under whose empire a particular city falls can get confusing if you don't follow closely. The standalone episode on this volume has an agent of the Empire working with Abel to track down the infamous Count of Zagreb, a Methuselah who is wanted for quite a few reasons by all parties involved. The agent, a tall and stark woman that Abel amusingly nicknames Asta, has the usual kind of disregard for humanity that is common among Methuselah's and her tracking of the Count through Venice shows the beauty of the city â€“ just before she trashes a good deal of it.
This volume also dips into a new storyline with the first episode here covering an event where Caterina is doing something of a minor tour of various cities and engaging in quiet talks with the Empire along the way. She becomes the target of an assassination attempt that Abel along with Sister Esther get far too involved in on a personal level. The assassins are a pair of interesting vampires that ends up being protected by the duo from the Inquisitor's that the Church sends to find them. It's likely not the first time Abel has ended up on the wrong side of things but it's the first real outing of the Inquisitor's that we've seen and they're definitely a group that will inspire feel in those that run afoul of them. Francesco's been adamant about bringing them out for some time and now that he has, it may be a sign of a play for power with him.
In some ways, Trinity Blood really feels like it's a guilty pleasure and that I shouldn't be enjoying it as much as I do. It continues to take the church aspect and its designs and really works it nicely with all the characters involved. It also earns some extra kudos by having the vampires not just be random attacks or a secret underground sect but rather a dominant force that has its own empire to contend with. The stories do feel a bit simplistic at times but they layer it well with the politics and the interactions of the characters. What's really missing as these episodes progressed is more of the other priests that came on during the second installment as they really added some much needed balance to the kind of men behind Caterina. This volume is a bit awkward in how it follows up the previous volume and the last episode leaves you hanging, but I keep coming back to the fact that I just want more of it now.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Cultural & Historical Facts,Clean Opening,Clean Closing
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-ray player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 100
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Trinity Blood