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Blood+
Blood+ dvd.png
First DVD volume of Blood+, released in Japan on December 21, 2005 by Aniplex
Genre Adventure, Supernatural
TV anime
Director Junichi Fujisaku
Studio Production I.G, Aniplex
Licensor Sony Pictures Television International
Network Animax, TBS
English network United States Cartoon Network
Singapore India Malaysia Philippines Animax Asia
Philippines Studio 23
Original run October 8, 2005September 23, 2006
Episodes 50 (List of episodes)
Manga
Author Asuka Katsura
Publisher Kadokawa Shoten
English publisher Australia New Zealand Madman Entertainment
Canada United States Dark Horse Comics
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Monthly Shōnen Ace
Original run December 26, 2005April 26, 2007
Volumes 5 (List of volumes)
Manga
Blood+ Adagio
Author Kumiko Suekane
Publisher Kadokawa Shoten
English publisher Australia New Zealand Madman Entertainment
Canada United States Dark Horse Comics
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Beans Ace Magazine
Original run April 26, 2006December 26, 2006
Volumes 2 (List of volumes)
Manga
Blood+ Yakōjōshi
Author Hirotaka Kisaragi
Publisher Kadokawa Shoten
English publisher Canada United States Dark Horse Comics
Demographic Shōjo
Magazine Ciel
Original run April 26, 2006 – ongoing
Volumes 1 (List of volumes)
Light novel
Author Ryo Ikehata
Illustrator Chizu Hashii
Publisher Kadokawa Shoten
English publisher Canada United States Dark Horse Comics
Demographic Male
Imprint Sneaker Bunko
Original run May 1, 2006 – ongoing
Volumes 4 (List of volumes)
Light novel
Blood+ Russian Rose
Author Chougatsu Karino
Illustrator Takagi Ryou
Publisher Kadokawa Shoten
English publisher Canada United States Dark Horse Comics
Demographic Female
Imprint Beans Bunko
Original run May 1, 2006September 1, 2006
Volumes List of Blood+ light novels (List of volumes)
Game
Blood+: Sōyoku no Battle Rondo
Developer Sony Entertainment
Genre adventure game
Platform PlayStation 2
Released July 27, 2006
Game
Blood+: One Night Kiss
Developer Namco Bandai Games, Grasshopper Manufacture
Genre action shooter
Platform PlayStation 2
Released August 30, 2006
Game
Blood+: Final Piece
Developer SCEI
Publisher Sony Entertainment
Genre Adventure RPG
Platform PSP
Released September 7, 2006
Related

Blood: The Last Vampire

Anime and Manga Portal

Blood+, pronounced as "Blood Plus", is an anime series produced by Production I.G and Aniplex and directed by Junichi Fujisaku. The series premiered in Japan on Sony's anime satellite channel, Animax, as well as on terrestrial networks such as MBS, TBS, and RKB on October 8, 2005. The final episode aired on September 23, 2006. Blood+ is licensed for international distribution in several regions through Sony Picture's international arm, Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI).

Blood+ was inspired by the 2000 anime film Blood: The Last Vampire; however, there are only a few allusions and basic elements from the film. Fujisaku has been involved with both works, including acting as the director for Blood+ and writing the novelization of Blood: The Last Vampire.

Contents

Plot

Under the care of her adoptive family, Saya Otonashi has been living the life of an anemic and amnesiac, but otherwise ordinary schoolgirl. Saya’s happy life is shattered when she is attacked by a chiropteran, learning that she is the only one who can defeat them.

Armed with her katana, Saya embarks on a journey with her family, allies, and her chevalier, Hagi, to rid the world of chiropteran and rediscover her identity. The course of the journey reveals the background history of the chiropterans and Saya's very deep past, which extends into the mid-19th century.

The series is initially set in present day (September 2005) Okinawa City (Koza), on Okinawa Island, near the US Kadena Air Base. In the course of the series, Saya visits locations across the world, fighting enemy chiropteran and searching for her origins.

Characters

Saya Otonashi, the central character, is a seemingly ordinary teenage girl adopted and living with amnesia. As her memories return, her life is turned upside down. She was born in 1833, survives on the blood of others, and is destined to destroy chiropterans and her twin sister Diva. Aiding her in her quest are her adopted brothers Kai and Riku and her ever-faithful chevalier Hagi. She also is aided by David, her protector from the powerful organization Red Shield.

Diva also has her own helpers, starting with her five powerful chevaliers: Amshel, Solomon, Karl, James and Nathan. They also have their own human allies as part of the Cinq Flèches Group that they operate, including Van Argiano who helps them develop the Delta 67 substance that Cinq Flèches uses to create chiropteran.

Working against both sides are the Schiff, a group of escaped artificial chiropteran created by Diva's group. The Schiff attack both groups, believing that the blood of Saya, Diva, or one of their chevaliers will save them from a fatal and painful disease they call the Thorn.

Chiropterans

Chiropterans are hematophagous bat-like creatures that live by feeding on human blood. They generally possess extraordinary speed, strength, and supernatural healing abilities. They are also capable of contorting and transforming various body parts in order to fly or extend the length of their limbs. Higher level chiropterans have the ability to disguise themselves as ordinary humans.

The speed at which chiropterans heal renders bullets non-lethal. Even explosions seem incapable of killing them, although burial or sealing triggers hibernation (at least until freed).[1]

Chiropterans are created from the blood of a queen. Introduction of another queen's blood into a chiropteran's bloodstream begets a deadly chain-reaction, wherein the chriopteran's blood solidifies ("cystalizes"). Thus, chiropterans created from Diva's blood can be killed by Saya's blood, and vice versa.

Through human experimentation with Diva's blood, a substance called "Delta 67" was created. When "Delta 67" is introduced into the blood stream of humans, they change into chiropterans. This transformation is catalyzed by Diva's singing. As they are all formed from Diva's blood, they can be killed through the induction of Saya's blood.

Artificial chiropterans

The most basic form of chiropteran are created from the straight infusion of Delta 67 into a human host. The human host quickly loses their human intelligence and memories, transforming into a creature resembling a horse-headed gorilla with fangs. Phase 1 chiropteran live and act purely on instinct, hunting and killing humans, and sometimes animals, for their blood.

Through the research efforts of Dr. Boris and Amshel, higher level, artificial chiropteran were created from the Delta 67. These are collectively called the Schiff. Unlike Phase 1 chiropteran, the Schiff have human level intelligence and emotions, though somewhat stunted by having lived most of their lives caged. They are aggressive due to their training and subjection to experiments. Exposed to other ways of living after escaping the lab, they learn to adapt.[2] The Schiff are unique among the chiropteran as they die when exposed to direct sunlight and only roam during the night. They also suffer from a condition called Thorn, which slowly crystallizes their blood and kills them.[3]

Diva's group uses the genetic template of Moses, the leader of the Schiff, to create an improved and obedient version of the Schiff called the Corpse Corps. Like the Schiff, the Corpse Corps are capable fighters with bladed weapons. They are marketed to various national military organizations as "chiropteran exterminators", despite being chiropteran themselves.

Chevaliers

Chevaliers are the second highest level of chiropterans in terms of strength and ability. They are created when a human drinks the blood of a queen. A powerful bond exists between each chevalier and the Queen that sired them, compelling the chevaliers to serve and protect her at all costs.

Chevaliers have even greater speed, strength and endurance than regular chiropterans. Though they retain the appearance in body form and age that they had when they were transformed, chevaliers have vast shape-shifting abilities. They can transform into unique forms resembling regular chiropterans, either entirely or limited to specific body parts, and can transform into the humans they have fed upon. They heal instantly from almost any non-lethal wound, though severe wounds will temporarily cause an increase in their need for blood. As with regular chiropterans, chevaliers can be killed with the blood of the opposite queen; however, the crystallization takes longer and it is possible to prevent death by removing the crystallizing body parts. A chevalier can also be killed by beheading or burning their whole body.[4]

Queens

Queens, also called the originals, are the first chiropterans. In any given generation, there are always two Queens, who are female twins born from one of the last Queens. Saya and Diva are the current Queens of their species. They were discovered by Joel Goldschmidt in the 19th century inside a mysterious creature found in Iceland known as SAYA. In his experiment, he raised Saya like a daughter, but kept Diva locked away in a tower with virtually no human contact, or even a name.[5]

All other chiropterans are born of the blood of Queens, either through the queen's own efforts or human experimentation. Unlike all other chiropterans, Queens appear to retain a human appearance at all times, though they can change their human appearances somewhat. Their blood can also crystallize and destroy any chiropteran of any level that was created by their sister queen.[5]

Queens spend only a few years awake at any given time, between decades of hibernation within a cocoon. Queens have enhanced speed, strength, and endurance that surpasses those of their chevaliers and other chiropterans. They may also have some shape-shifting abilities, though during the series their abilities seem to be limited to modifying to their outward human appearance. The strength of a queen's traits are dependent on their feeding regularly on human blood. As such, Diva, who freely feeds on humans, can also freely use all of her abilities, while Saya, who avoids feeding, is usually only slightly above human level strength.

When a Queen becomes pregnant with the next generation of Queens, her blood will lose its dangerous qualities. A queen can only be impregnated by a chevalier created by her sister queen, ensuring the purity of the species.

Production

Produced by Production I.G and Aniplex and directed by Junichi Fujisaku, Blood+ was inspired by the 2000 anime film Blood: The Last Vampire; however, there are only a few allusions and basic elements from the film.[6] Fujisaku has been involved with both works, including acting as the director for Blood+ and writing the novelization of Blood: The Last Vampire.[7]

Media

Anime

The Blood+ anime series premiered in Japan on October 8, 2005 on MBS/TBS with a new episode airing weekly until the final episode aired September 23, 2006[8][9], totaling 50 episodes. The series is directed by Junichi Fujisaku and features original character designs by Chizu Hashii. Each season has separate opening and ending themes from a variety of artists, with the final episode using the season one ending theme. The series simultaneously aired on Animax, Sony's Japanese anime satellite channel, with its networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia also later airing the series.

Through Sony's international division, Blood+ was licensed for distribution in multiple regions.[10] The English dub of the series, aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block,[11][12][13] premiering March 11, 2007 and running till March 23, 2008.[14] The English dub also aired in Australia on the Sci Fi Channel and in the Philippines on Studio 23.[15][16]

The first Region 1 DVDs were released in North America on March 4, 2008, with a simultaneous release of a single five episode volume and a twenty-five episode box set.[17]

Soundtracks

Except for the opening and ending themes, the entire musical score for Blood+ was the work of noted film score producer Hans Zimmer and noted composer Mark Mancina.[18] Blood+ was the first anime project Mancina worked on, and afterwards he stated that working on the project turned him into an anime fan.[19] All of the opening and ending themes were created at Sony Music for the project, after the production team, headed by Yutaka Omatsu, presenting the project concept and Blood+ worldview. The opening and ending themes are performed by a variety of artists, including Hitomi Takahashi, Chitose Hajime, Hyde, Mika Nakashima, Angela Aki, Uverworld, Jinn, and K. In an interview with Production I.G staff, Omatsu noted that he felt Sony did an excellent job of providing music fitting for each season, as did the team of Zimmer and Mancina.[20]

Four CD soundtracks, all produced by Hans Zimmer, have been released in Japan by Sony Music Japan through their Aniplex label. Hagi Plays J.S. Bach (ハジ プレイズ J.S BACH?) was released on February 2, 2006. It contains six tracks comprised of selections from Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor (BWV 1011) and performed by Nobuo Furukawa (古川展生 Furukawa Nobuo?), who is the cellist behind Hagi's playing in the series. The seventh, and final track, is a bonus remix of the music performed by Yoshihiro Hanno (半野喜弘 Hanno Yoshihiro?). The soundtrack included a DVD with a special episode telling some of Hagi's backstory and a music video with Furukawa playing the first track, "Prelude" (プレリュード?).[21]

The first full soundtrack, Blood+ Original Soundtrack 1, was released on April 26, 2006. It contains fifteen instrumental tracks of background music used during the series. The only vocal song on the CD is the song "Diva", sung by Elin Carlson, which is the non-verbal song the character Diva sang in several episodes of the series.[21]

On September 27, 2006, Blood+ Original Soundtrack 2 was released with an additional eighteen tracks of instrumental themes from the series, including the background used during Saya and Diva's epic final battle.[21]

Blood+ Complete Best, released October 25, 2006, is a limited edition compilation set containing a CD, a DVD, and an eighty-page booklet that includes a full episode guide and some final notes from the series production staff. The CD include the full versions of all eight series' opening and ending theme songs, as well as last two instrumental tracks from the first soundtrack. The DVD contains music videos for each of the theme songs from the CD.[21]

Novels

There are two Japanese light novel adaptations of the Blood+ series. Blood+, written by Ryō Ikehata with illustrations by Chizu Hashii, is the four volume official novel adaptation of the anime series, expanding upon the events of the fifty-episode anime series and giving greater background on the battle against chiropterans.[22][23] The first volume was released in Japan on May 1, 2006 by Kadokawa Shoten under their male oriented Sneaker Bunko label. The remaining volumes released every four months until the final volume was released on May 1, 2007.[23]

The second adaptation, Blood+ Russian Rose, is a two-volume series written by Karino Minazuki and illustrated by Ryō Takagi. It was released at the same time as Blood+, with the first volume was released on May 1, 2006 and the second on September 1, 2006. The series, published under Kadokawa's female oriented label Beans Bunko, details Saya and Hagi's lives at the start of the 20th century and the Russian Revolution.[23]

Both novel series have been licensed for release in English in North America by Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse released the first translated Blood+ novel on March 19, 2008.[24]

Manga

To lead up to the Blood+ anime series, three Blood+ manga series were released and published in three different manga magazines. The tankōbon volumes of all three series were published by Kadokawa Shoten.[25] Blood+, by Asuka Katsura, is a five-volume series that first premiered in Monthly Shōnen Ace in July 2005. It covers the same story events as the anime series. Blood+: Adagio was written by Kumiko Suekane. It is a two-volume series that premiered in the September 2005 issue of Beans Ace Magazine and follows Saya and Hagi's experiences during the Russian Revolution. The third series, Blood+: Kowloon Nights, released in Japan as Blood+ Yakōjōshi, is a single tankōbon series by Hirotaka Kisaragi. It premiered in the September issue of Asuka Ciel.[24][25] Set in Shanghai, it follows Hagi as he searches for Saya and the complications he must deal with. Unlike the other Blood+ manga adaptations, which are both shōnen works, Blood+ Yakō Jōshi is a shōjo manga, particularly of the shōnen-ai (or Boy's Love) genre. All three manga adaptations have been licensed for release in English in North America by Dark Horse Comics.[24]

Video games

Two Sony PlayStation 2 video games have been created that are based on the Blood+ series. Both games are currently only available in Japan and have not been licensed for release in any other countries.

Blood+: One Night Kiss, from Bandai Namco and Grasshopper Manufacture, is an Action-adventure game that was originally released on August 30, 2006.[23] Featuring cel-shaded graphics in the same style as Killer7, the game is directed by the CEO of Grasshopper, Goichi Suda.[26] Set in the fictional town of Shikishi, players spend most of the game playing as Saya, occasionally switching to Aoyama, an original character created for the game.[27]

Blood+: Sōyoku no Battle Rondo (BLOOD+ 〜双翼のバトル輪舞曲(ロンド)〜?), from Sony Entertainment, is an adventure game released July 27, 2006.[23] Set during the year between episodes 32 and 33, after Riku's death, the game alternates between an "Active Demo" section where the player can make decisions that change the story line, and full action sequences where the player, as Saya, fights with her sword to collect chiropteran crystals.[28]

In addition to the two PS2 games, Sony Entertainment released the PSP game Blood+: Final Piece (BLOOD+ 〜ファイナルピース〜?) on September 7, 2006. It is an adventure role-playing game that utilizes animated sequences from the series as well as new footage created specifically for the game.[23] The game is set during the first season of the series, and features an original story in which Saya, joined by three friends from school, investigates the mystery of her father's disappearance.

Fan book

In September 2006, Newtype Magazine released BLOOD + Encyclopedia, a special issue fan book that includes interviews with the staff and cast, an episode guide, and information on the related media — the manga, novels, video games.[23]

Reception

When Blood+ first aired in Japan, it was shown in TBS/MBS's 6 p.m. Sunday timeslot, which has mostly been used to air anime since 1993. After Blood+ began airing, the ratings for that time slot began dropping. The drop in viewership became more pronounced after NHK's baseball anime Major premiered on a competing channel in the time slot.[29]

In December 2005, Blood+ was one of several anime series selected as being a "recommended as an excellent work" at the 9th annual Japanese Media Arts Festival.[30] The series was ranked number 41 on TV Asahi's list of top 100 favorite anime series for 2006.[31]

References

  1. ^ "Moon Over Ekaterinburg". Blood+. No. 18, season 2.
  2. ^ "Cursed Blood". Blood+. No. 29, season 3.
  3. ^ "Sour Grapes". Blood+. No. 21, season 3.
  4. ^ "Two Queens". Blood+. No. 49, season 4.
  5. ^ a b "Joel's Diary". Blood+. No. 30, season 3.
  6. ^ "Blood+ Opening Film Ver. 3 in competition at the 11th HAFF". Production I.G. October 20, 2006. http://www.productionig.com/contents/works_sp/20_/s09_/index.html. Retrieved December 16, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Blood+ Staff and Cast". Production I.G. http://www.productionig.com/contents/works_sp/20_/s03_/index.html. Retrieved December 16, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Production I.G Unveils Blood+". Anime News Network. May 11, 2005. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2005-05-11/production-i.g-unveils-blood+. Retrieved December 16, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Japan's TBS Confirms Anime's Move from Saturday, 6 p.m.". Anime News Network. February 5, 2008. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-02-05/japans-tbs-confirms-animes-move-from-saturday-6-p.m. Retrieved February 5, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Blood+ Licensed". Anime News Network. January 23, 2006. http://animenewsnetwork.com/article.php?id=8241. Retrieved June 8, 2007. 
  11. ^ Aoki, Deb (April 9, 2008). "Manga Review: Blood+ Adds Heart to Vampire Slaying". About.com. http://manga.about.com/b/2008/04/09/manga-review-blood-adds-heart-humor-to-blood-and-gore.htm. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  12. ^ "'Blood+' Anime Series on Cartoon Network". ICv2. November 3, 3006. http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/9570.html. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  13. ^ Bynum, Aaron H. (October 14, 2009). "'Blood+' Anime Series Set #2 Finally on Sale". Animation Insider. http://www.animationinsider.net/article.php?articleID=2221. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  14. ^ Hanson, Brian (February 9, 2008). "The Click: February 9th - 15th"]. Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/the-click/2008-02-09. Retrieved February 9, 2008. 
  15. ^ "Animax block to start on SciFi Channel". Anime News Network Australia. November 2, 2008. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com.au/news/2008-11-02/madman-gets-anime-on-scifi-channel. Retrieved December 20, 2008. 
  16. ^ Memorable Charice performances to be reaired on Studio 23, Pep.ph, March 16, 2009, http://www.pep.ph/guide/3564/Memorable-Charice-performances-to-be-reaired-on-Studio-23, retrieved March 28, 2009 
  17. ^ Beveridge, Chris (December 22, 2007). "Tentative Upcoming Releases". AnimeOnDVD.com. http://www.animeondvd.com/news/archives.php?datearch=1207. Retrieved December 22, 2007. 
  18. ^ "Hans Zimmer And Mark Mancina Do Blood+ Music". Anime News Network. August 28, 2005. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2005-08-28/hans-zimmer-and-mark-mancina-do-blood+music. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  19. ^ "The Music of Mark Mancina: Blood+ (2005)". Pitchpipe Productions. http://www.markmancina.com/projects/blood/. Retrieved February 7, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Interview: Yutaka Omatsu, Part 04". Top Page. Production I.G. October 2005, Week 1. http://www.production-ig.com/contents/works_sp/20_/s08_/000223.html#d. Retrieved February 7, 2008. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Blood+ CD&DVD Information" (in Japanese). Production I.G and Aniplex. http://www.blood.tv/dvdcd/index.html. Retrieved February 7, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Blood + Volume 1: First Kiss (Novel)". Dark Horse Comics. http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=15-113. Retrieved April 4, 2008. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g "Blood+ Game, Comics, & Novel Information" (in Japanese). Production I.G and Aniplex. http://www.blood.tv/comic/index.html. Retrieved February 7, 2008. 
  24. ^ a b c "Dark Horse Nabs 'Gantz' Manga, 'Blood+,' 'The Color of Rage,' & More". ICv2 News. July 5, 2007. http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/10864.html. Retrieved December 16, 2007. 
  25. ^ a b "Three New Blood Manga". Anime News Network. June 14, 2005. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2005-06-14/three-new-blood-manga. Retrieved December 16, 2007. 
  26. ^ Simon Carless (September 3, 2006). "Blood: One Night Kiss — Sudasational?". GameSetWatch. http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2006/09/blood_one_night_kiss_sudasatio_1.php. Retrieved December 14, 2007. 
  27. ^ IGN Staff (April 26, 2006). "Killer 7 Producer Brings Blood to PS2". IGN Entertainment. http://ps2.ign.com/articles/703/703325p1.html. Retrieved December 14, 2007. 
  28. ^ Anoop Gantayat (April 28, 2006). "PS2 Gets More Blood". IGN Entertainment. http://ps2.ign.com/articles/703/703710p1.html. Retrieved December 14, 2007. 
  29. ^ "Japan's TBS Confirms Anime's Move from Saturday, 6 p.m.". Anime News Network. February 5, 2008. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-02-05/japans-tbs-confirms-animes-move-from-saturday-6-p.m. Retrieved February 9, 2008. 
  30. ^ "9th Japanese Media Arts Festival Winners". Anime News Network. December 22, 2005. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2005-12-22/9th-japanese-media-arts-festival-winners. Retrieved February 7, 2008. 
  31. ^ "Japan's Favorite TV Anime". Anime News Network. October 13, 2006. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2006-10-13/japan's-favorite-tv-anime. Retrieved February 7, 2008. 

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