Trinity Blood Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Trinity Blood

Trinity Blood Vol. #2

By Bryan Morton     October 15, 2007
Release Date: September 03, 2007


Trinity Blood Vol. #2
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
The struggle for existence continues!

As the struggle for existence continues, members of the AX are hard-pressed to keep pace with the mounting catastrophes. But even in the midst of global strife, life continues undeterred. Abel Nightroad has brought a new member into the fold; much needed assistance at a time when resources grow thin.

The order ranges from the controversial and the criminal to those truly gifted, and diversity can prove a blessing in disguise, caught in a maelstrom of vampire politics and deranged science, the true enemy has yet to show its face...

Episodes Comprise
5 – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
6 – Sword Dancer
7 – Never Land
8 – Silent Noise

The Review!
Abel continues to rack up the travel expenses, as his missions for AX take him first to Albion and then to Barcelona. But before that, there’s some work to be taken care of back in the Vatican, while in Amsterdam another AX operative is making an unholy mess…

Audio:
Audio for this release comes in Japanese stereo and English 5.1 surround mixes. I listened to the Japanese track for this review. Trinity Blood is quite dialogue-heavy, with occasional forays into action scenes where Abel is allowed to show off his abilities. The soundtrack handles both types of scene with no problems – the available channels are used to place dialogue and effects on the soundstage, while music comes across very well. The opening and closing themes are both very good tunes and sound particularly good.

Video:
Video is presented in the show’s original 1.78:1 widescreen format, enhanced for anamorphic playback. For the most part it’s a good-looking transfer, especially given the heavy use of darker scenes, but there were occasions when backgrounds, particularly colour gradients, exhibited some blocking. It’s quite noticeable and distracting when it happens, but fortunately it’s not too widespread.

Packaging:
No packaging was provided with our review copy.

Menu:
The menu is a rather ominous, gothic-looking piece with fits in well with the show’s setting and is backed up by a piece of suitably dramatic background music taken from the series. Direct access is provided to each episode, along with a Play All option and submenus for Extras and Setup. It’s all quick and easy to use – no problems here.

Extras:
Just creditless versions of the opening and closing sequences on this disc.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Abel's back in Rome, with Esther in tow. After reporting back to Caterina, Esther's assigned to the AX divison of the Vatican Holy Office - the same division as Abel, responsible for handling those troublesome matters that the diplomats can't take care of. Sister Noélle gives her a tour of the division, introducing her to some of the people she'll be working with there, while Abel gives Caterina the serious details of his last mission - the Rozen Kreuz Orden seem to be on the move again.

Later, a series of apparently unrelated events draws the Vatican’s attention – the killings of priests in Amsterdam, a series of attacks on shipping off the coast of Albion, and the collapse of a cathedral in Barcelona – and the AX division is assigned to investigate them. As the investigations continue, with Abel at the helm of the Albion and Barcelona enquiries, it becomes clear that something greater is going on – and the fingers of blame are again pointing to the Rozen Kreuz…

Initially, the four episodes here all seem to be completely unrelated, especially episode 6, where the usual cast is pretty much ignored in favour of new operative Hugue, codename Sword Dancer. He’s a particularly bloodthirsty man who you suspect could give Abel a run for his money in the violence stakes – it’ll be a fun confrontation to watch if it ever happens (and given Hugue’s tendency to ignore his orders, I wouldn’t rule the possibility out), but it doesn’t happen here.

The remaining two episodes both focus on the activities of one Professor Barrie, first on his works to create artificial vampires out of children living on his estate, and then on his latest creation: a weapon of awesome destructive power, contained in what appears to be a normal church organ. Talk about talent being put to destructive use. At first, it’s not entirely clear that there’s a connection – the good Professor doesn’t actually appear in either episode, you just get to see the results of his work. It’s only through Abel’s work digging deep in Barcelona that the two incidents are brought together, and I’m not entirely convinced that works well – because the episodes on this disc feel so much like stand-alone stories, having connections suddenly thrown in almost feels like cheating.

There’s also an almost endless stream of characters who are introduced, only to disappear again. Some of them you instinctively know you’ll see again, others you can’t be so sure about. Sword Dancer is perhaps the most noticeable on this disc, but Esther and Leon (Abel’s sidekick in episode 7) are others, and sometimes you wonder why they were introduced. Leon, for example, has a curious little backstory, but come the main action he doesn’t do anything that, say, Tres wouldn’t have been able to do. Sure, all this could be setup for some major story arc that’s coming down the line, but at the moment it all feels a little disjointed.

There’s plenty of good in the mix, though. The opening episode, covering Esther’s arrival at the Vatican and her first tour around the place – including an accidental meeting with the Pope, who really doesn’t live up to her expectations – is a fun little break from the standard investigation / action episodes, and also introduces a lot of the Vatican’s staff, some of whom could be a lot of fun, given half a chance. Taken as standalone stories, the remaining episodes all work quite well, too, with the stories covering a good range of ideas, from Amsterdam’s violence to the rather touching ending of the Neverland tale. It’s just a shame the efforts to link them all didn’t quite ring true.

In summary:
For all its flaws, I still enjoyed this volume of Trinity Blood – the underlying story feels clumsy and a little contrived at the moment, but I’m sure that will begin to come together better as the series progresses, and the episodes here work well in the own right. There’s a little bit of everything, with a few intriguing pointers thrown in for good measure. It won’t tax your brain, but it’s certainly worth a look.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,Creditless Opening & Closing Sequences

Review Equipment
Toshiba 37X3030DB 37" widescreen HDTV; Sony PS3 Blu-ray player (via HDMI, upscaled to 1080p); Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

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