Trinity Blood Vol. #6 (also w/limited edition) - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: TV MA
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 29.98/34.98
  • 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. #6 (also w/limited edition)

By Chris Beveridge     May 09, 2007
Release Date: April 24, 2007


Trinity Blood Vol. #6 (also w/limited edition)
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
The Vatican falls victim to political unrest between humans and vampires in the city of Albion, and the Order of Rosen Kreuz seeks to fan the flames to encompass the world. Allies and enemies alike seek salvation. The meek must stand forth, and not even the dead are to be allowed their final rest. This is the beginning of a new age for the whole world...

The Review!
Wrapping up two storylines and effectively closing out a chapter of a much larger storyline, Trinity Blood comes to a close to decent effect.

Audio:
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.

Video:
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.

Packaging:
As we went for the limited edition box set, we're looking at the limited edition release. The regular release is in a keepcase while the limited is in a digipak. The slipcover features a really nice pairing of characters with Abel and Ion. The frame for the artwork is similar to the earlier release and just looks gorgeous. The digipak artwork is that of Esther in a surprising outfit that's pretty much a spoiler as she's also with the Pope. Though the trim isn't as detailed for the frame as the slipcase, it looks equally stunning. The digipak opens up to the booklet holder and another great looking illustration of some of the Inquisitors. The booklet itself is gorgeous and filled with beautiful artwork and designs, interviews with the staff and character profile information. Add in the couple of cards that come in a separate sealed plastic bag with the associated volume number printed on it and you've got a release that is just stunning from top to bottom. This is the kind of release where you can see exactly where all the love and effort went as it looks and feels like a top of the line release. Few digipak releases really feel like this.

Menu:
The menu layout for the release has some great artwork to work with. The sixth volume has the good looking illustration from the slipcover done in a widescreen design. There are some mixed backgrounds of architecture that accents it along with the black sections to give it a dark and imposing feeling. 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.

Extras:
Similar to the earlier volumes, 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 end, Trinity Blood has been an interesting if challenging series to watch at time. There are plenty of concepts within it that are appealing and its general execution within the individual story arcs has been solid. As a whole it takes a bit more of a measured approach due to it being adapted from a series of short stories whose author ended up dying before anything resembling a true conclusion could be made.

The four episodes that bring things to a close end up working in a manner where the storyline that began in the last volume finishes out in two episodes here and then goes into the final two episode storyline. A plus this time around though as that the storylines tend to blend into each other a bit with plenty of subplot material to give it all some decent cohesion. The time spent in Albion has brought out some good characters to deal with such as putting the Pope in the middle of things. It's also allowed for an exploration of Albion which I felt had some really nice hooks of its own that could easily be its own series, much like that of the Empire. Simply, Trinity Blood is filled with lots of great concepts that could work as individual spin-offs.

The first half of the closing storyline finishes out the deal with the seeming rebellion that is close to happening below the surface of Albion where a ghetto city of Methuselah live. Their providing key technologies to Albion has increased the value and presence of Albion to the world and after centuries of such efforts things have certainly come to a boil. With the Pope being involved more directly and now running scared for his life below the surface, he's able to interact directly with what he's only known as the enemy. Though Alessandro doesn't exactly grow during these episodes nor does he truly gain a spine, he does begin to show some resolve and interest in the world he's a major player in. Exposure to the realities outside of the Vatican can only do good for him at this point and his character finally seems to not be quite the wimp he has been. At least a little.

Where this storyline and the next one blends in is with a key piece of technology that they have underground. Events come to a head where Abel finally catches up to where this powerful piece is located only to have someone very unexpected on his heels. Just when he believes the danger has passed, his brother Cain arrives and is able to put Abel in his place fairly easily, mostly due to the expression worn by Sister Esther when she sees him in his Crusnik mode. Cain's arrival at the end of the series with the Orden speaks more of potential future plotlines than anything else but it's also one where we finally get some background on Abel and the other Crusniks. Though brief and far too soft in visual quality, these small moments illuminate a wide area of potential. Abel has been the central figure of the series but one that has easily fallen to the side, even at the end here where he spends episode twenty-three with hardly any screen time. That's helped to expand an interesting cast of characters, which works great in short story form, but works against the flow of the series.

In the long run though, the two final storylines, the three part Throne of Roses and two part Crown of Thorns, are some of my favorite parts of the series. Everything just comes together well, most of my favorite characters make appearances and it has some good revelations that really pique the interest. Granted, it's made me more interested in reading the novels since it's unlikely we'll see more of this in anime form, but it's served to leave me with a positive impression of the series overall. The weakest part of the ending though and it's likely something that was rushed was how the subplot with Sister Esther seemingly came out of nowhere. It's not so much that it was a bad idea but rather one where unless I missed some major hints along the way it just showed up and then barreled forward too quickly. It did provide for some great visuals however and a neat little political trick.

In Summary:
Trinity Blood managed to become a pretty interesting show with a lot of good concepts to work with in the long run. It's unfortunately hamstrung by the death of the original creator but what we have here is certainly a great vision of his works. FUNimation's release of the series has been solid overall though the video quality has been fairly weak throughout. Not having access to the original Japanese releases nor seeing the broadcast I'm unsure how much of it is just poor authoring or poor elements. Thankfully the content wins out over that issue and the series still proved to be enjoyable but it is at best another mediocre looking release that adds a growing list of other ones from FUNimation. They certainly deserve a lot of praise for how they put together this series but this area continues to be their weakest point.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Historical Notes,Clean Opening,Clean Closing

Review Equipment
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.

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