Blood: The Last Vampire (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, February 06, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2001
It's a good thing that they named this movie "The Last Vampire", otherwise I wouldn't have had a clue what was going on... no wait, I still didn't have a clue what was going on.
I'll get to the technical end of things here. The video in Blood is very good. The transfer is fine, and I didn't encounter any of the errors that have been on some other Manga discs. Many scenes had CG animation added, but it isn't overdone (like in Blue Submarine No. 6).
Two audio tracks are provided, 5.1 and 2 channel sound. This is one of the oddities about Blood, there is no straight Japanese or English track. The movie takes place in a school on a Japanese Air Force Base, so the students speak English but scream out in Japanese. As a result, you get one track with some decent acting.
If I have one beef with this release, is the subtitle track. Personally I watch Dubbed anime, but leave subtitles on. It's something I've been doing since I got my DVD player and even before I was into anime. On this disc, however, they only subbed the parts where the characters are speaking Japanese and during the introductions (on a seperate track). There are no subtitles for the English (as there aren't multiple language tracks). This upsets me, couldn't Manga sub the English dialogue? Personally I find this to be an act of laziness, and I've lowered the video grade accordingly.
Extras on the disc include two different trailers and a lengthy behind the scenes look at how Blood was animated. While some people might find this interesting, I was bored and skipped over it. There are also some Manga promos.
Blood: The Last Vamipre is a very action-based movie. There are demons living among us, demons who disguse themselves as humans but feed on human blood. Sato, the main character, is the "last original" who hunts these demons. Her search takes her to a Japanese high school located on an Air Force Base. Lots of action scenes follow. Honestly, that's about as deep as this movie gets. The characterization is minimal at best, and we aren't attracted to these people at all. It isn't even revealed that Sato is a vampire (aside from the title) until the last five minutes of the movie, and even then you gotta put two and two together to get it.
So, if you're the kind of person who likes Samurai style fighting, without a lot of that "story" stuff, Blood is the movie for you. If you like deep characters and a hidden meaning, this isn't the title for you.
Sony DVP S560D DVD Player, Zenith 27" TV, Aiwa Mini-Home Theater System (without 5.1 sound), Generic AV Cables
Mania Grade: B-
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Manga Entertainment
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