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DVD Review

DVD cover

Black Blood Brothers
The Complete Series


Starring (voice): Takahiro Sakurai, Omi Minami, Ryoko Nagata and Miyuki Sawashiro
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 18 May 2009

In the year 1997 the Kowloon King Vampire arose in Hong Kong and infected others to create a dominant race: the Kowloon Children, who were able to turn humans directly into other Kowloon Children. This overt action brought the existence of vampire to the notice of humans, who joined with other vampires, including an old blood vampire (Jiro Mochizuki, also known as The Silver Blade), to eradicate this strain and set up the Special Zone, where vampires could live under the watchful eye of humanity. Ten years have passed since the Hong Kong Crusade and Jiro returns to Japan with his younger brother, Kotaro, hoping to reach the Special Zone. But their ship is intercepted. Finally the pair are allowed to travel on towards the Zone. Jiro realises that not all of the Kowloon Children have been destroyed and that they are even now plotting to infiltrate the Zone. Things come to a head when they steal his brother and Jiro finds himself once more on a collision course with his old nemesis...

Black Blood Brothers (2006) is a vampire thriller based on the light novel written by Kouhei Azano and illustrated by Yuuya Kusaka. The twelve episode anime was directed by Hiroaki Yoshikawa for the Group TAC, Studio Live studio. Therefore this three disc set contains a complete and coherent story.

Each of the discs holds four episodes: the first disc contains Black Blood Brothers; Compromiser; The Kowloon Bloodline; and Old Blood. Disc two contains the episodes The Special Economic Zone; The Coven; Silver Blade; and Protector. The last disc finishes off the story with The Eleventh Yard; The Order Coffin Company; The Ocean; and For The Eternal Pulse of Mine Bloodline, I Would Offer This Blood in Totality.

The story is structured very much like a three act play, so the first four episodes set up the scene with Jiro and his brother travelling to the Zone, his brother’s capture and Jiros attempt to rescue him. Episodes five to eight sees Jiro in the Zone, his presence sets in motion action from his enemies and the remaining episodes details the action up to the final confrontation. Character development is handled well and the overall effect is fairly satisfying.

Seen as a single story the narrative remains engaging throughout, flashbacks are used to fill in the details of the first confrontation between Jiro and the Kowloon King, though one thing that does let the show down is the character design; with his long red coat Jiro resembles a number of other anime heroes

All the discs are presented with options for either an English or Japanese 2.0 audio track with optional subtitles. Usually for an anime you’d be looking at a few extras, Black Blood Brothers have really pushed the boat out, with all twelve episodes having a full length commentary and that’s not all. Disc one also contains four original TV spots and the textless opening song - Ashita no Kioku by Naozumi Takahashi - and the textless closing song - Shinkirou by South Korean rock group Loveholic, these are repeated on the other two discs.

Overall the set is well presented with the twelve commentaries, offering more than you could have wished for in an above average tale.


Charles Packer

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