Blassreiter Episode 04 (of 24) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, May 01, 2008
Release Date: Sunday, April 27, 2008
What They Say
One of the XAT members, Hermann, has been seeking the Amalgam that appeared at the race circuit. He finds out that the very man he is looking for is Joseph. He searches Joseph out and manages to corner him...
Focusing a bit more on the action while keeping in plenty of atmosphere, Blassreiter goes through the motions without much of a connection.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While the first three episodes haven't exactly enamored me at this point, I had wondered if things would be a bit different by the fourth episode. Having generally seen most shows in blocks of four or five episodes from the start through DVD releases, I wondered if things would click a little bit better once I had this much of it viewed. Unfortunately, the show only seems to continue to be a listless ship with no real direction yet and no real idea of what characters I'm truly supposed to be following.
The show opened strong in dealing with Gerd but he's fallen off the map, even more so with this episode as the focus has gone elsewhere. Much of what this episode is about is the tracking down of some one of the Amalgam's only to discover that there are several of them operating out there now. This is apparently unprecedented if you go by the reactions of the XAT team who now find themselves stretched rather thin. With the Amalgam's now in the city and wrecking havoc, the police and the XAT crew are doing what they can to pin them down and draw them into an area where they can properly deal with them. A lot of the focus however is on the search for Blue, the mysteriously strong Amalgam that seems to be similar to Gerd as opposed to the rather mindless raving violent lunatics that the other Demoniacs seem to be.
The only area of real interest with this episode is the material that focuses on Joseph and what's going on with him. Through some minor dialogue with what looks to be a virtual representation of a Demoniac of some sort named Elea, Joseph gets stuck inside of the lockdown zone where the Amalgam's are and does his best to avoid getting involved as seems to be his preferred method. That won't actually last though and he ends up providing one of the best action scenes of the series so far as he fends off an attack by the XAT crew for reasons that they don't quite understand just yet. It's an appealing segment visually as the CG animation is very smooth and has a great fluidity to it, especially when you take in the dark atmosphere in which it plays out. While there continue to be some bad CG moments, by and large I have to admit that I'm enjoying it, at least on a small screen since you can't tell how good it'll look on a larger set without serious problems.
Four episodes in and Blassreiter still has me wondering what the point of it all is. With a longer series they have the opportunity to stretch things out and work it through better, but the early hooks to keep people viewing juts don't seem to be here. With a very meager cast of characters that are often obstructed by helmets or are on the screen far too briefly, it's difficult to really have any sort of connection or narrative with them. The series seemed like it was going to be about Gerd at first but not it's starting to look a bit more like Joseph could be the lead character. Or it could just be an ensemble piece but at this point it's admittedly pretty hard to care. The series just hasn't captured me even with some of its very cool design elements such as the Amalgam's and the motorcycles. In general, the show has been a disappointment.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
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Mania Grade: C-
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: All
Region: 0 - All Regions
Released By: BOST TV
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2