Saya Otonashi ought to be just another teenage girl in school except that she remembers nothing of her life before the last year or so. All she’s sure of is her family: her adoptive Vietnam-veteran father, George, and her two brothers, Kai and Riku. They live in Okinawa, not far from an American airbase, where the jets and bombers scream overhead and a mysterious long-haired man in the park plays the cello in a way that seems hauntingly familiar.
“Who am I?” Saya asks herself, and it isn’t long before she gets the first and most brutal clues towards answering that mystery. One night she sneaks back into school to retrieve a pair of shoes and is assaulted by a “chiropteran” — a monster that once was human, and now feeds on the blood of humans to survive. She’s almost mauled to death by the creature, but then the cello-player shows up, infuses Saya with his blood to revive her, and gives her a sword. When infused with her blood, she can use it to kill these creatures … and kill she does, much to her own shock and dismay.Read more
Blood+ is, of course, the TV series that expands on the universe and characters established by Production I.G’s short film Blood: The Last Vampire. The TV show also comes to us courtesy of Production I.G, and while it’s not quite as visually striking as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, it’s still well worth the time and investment. It also does two things that the original movie did not do, and it does both of them well: it makes the former (anti?) heroine Saya into a rounded and sympathetic character, and it expands vastly on the universe created for her.
If you have only seen the movie so far, the show will come as a striking change of tone: it’s nowhere nearly as compulsively dark as the movie. But that also means the characters are better delineated and more approachable — especially the new Saya. I found myself liking this iteration of her a little better than the movie version, if only because the show sees her as vulnerable and confused rather than just a sullen death merchant.Read more