Saturday, January 14, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Marvel Anime: Blade

Blade: Anime is a part of the Marvel Anime series by Madhouse. It is one of four series produced where Marvel characters are reimaged with an anime feel (Iron Man, X-Men, and Wolverine are the other three). It was released in Japan in 2010 and internationally in 2011. There were 12 episodes.
Marvel Anime: Blade
The storyline of Blade: Anime is a familiar one: Blade is hunting vampires, the leader of which is Deacon Frost. Deacon Frost killed Blade's mother, causing Blade to be born a Daywalker (Vampire without the weakness to daylight). Blade himself looks very much like the Wesley Snipes movie counterpart.

But the similarities stop there. This series has a very "anime" feel (of course) which means lots and lots of back to back action sequences with very little meaning attached to them. Some of the action is okay but scenes are often so dark or the camera is so busy doing pans and close-ups it is hard to follow exactly what's going on. Sometimes "stop action" sequences almost reminded me of a motion comic which was pretty cool.

The Japanese take on vampires is a very... "loose" interpretation. Certainly fans of traditional vampire lore will be left scratching their heads. For example, in one sequence a vampire transforms into a thing that looks like a werewolf but fights underwater called a "Suikou." Deacon's "sons" are weird humanoid creatures without eyes and a huge gaping maws filled with razor sharp teeth. Vampires have yellow eyes... something that one would think would be a dead giveaway. None of this is ever explained... maybe it would make sense if I was Japanese. Anyway, Frost leads a vampire organization called, "Existence." Vampires don't seem too concerned with being secretive.

I'd say this series definitely goes for style over substance. The style wears thin after about two episodes, however. The fight sequences blur together into one big mental smear. While the art is competent the character designs were pretty much standard-issue anime.

1LR Review - 9 out of 20 - It's a Miss!

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