Bloodivores Series Review

Overview:

Mi Liu and a group of Bloodivores (probably vampires but after episode 1 it becomes entirely unnecessary to care as this plays no significant role in the show) break into a bank to steal something. Things go awry and they are taken in by the police and charged with the murder of the hostages (though they claim they didn’t do it – the murder not the robbery).  Then the prison transport is attacked and instead of jail they end up somewhere else where we will spend the rest of the series watching them run from one unlikely and unexplained situation to the next. I reviewed this week to week if you wanted to check out my thoughts.

Review:

Wow, it has been awhile since I’ve been quite that sarcastic in an overview. The issue is this show is not well written, or well animated, nor does it have compelling characters, interesting themes or a stunning resolution. What we have here is a concept that probably sounded great in planning and then was executed like a group of children were fighting over the keyboard as they came up with increasingly silly ideas to stuff into a show that was trying so hard to be cool and maybe even edge and failed to even rise above inoffensive nothingness.

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I’m going to start with the animation because I so rarely criticize this aspect of a show. I’m fairly happy to watch still images as long as there’s a good story and compelling voice acting so I’m not overly critical of this. But Bloodivores is not just average, it is bad. Just watch the initial car chase where they are pumping the music at you as they sit in the car and desperately try to make you believe these characters are cool and hip while the only reason you know the car is speeding at all is because they show you the speedometer. Yep. No sense of haste otherwise. This is almost as bad as if a character had just leaned over and said ‘you’re going fast’. You don’t feel any sense of tension or movement and visually it isn’t there. This is a common feature in all of the fight sequences where things look like they are moving very slowly (and no it isn’t a slow-mo effect it is just badly done). Plus character eyes and expressions regularly look wrong, arms move independently of shoulders, and characters move in highly unnatural ways. It is jarring and off-putting and does not help the others mediocre story being told.

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The cast of characters are incredibly dull. We learn all but nothing about them and they have no distinguishing personality traits. Seriously I can kind of only tell them apart because they had different hair colours and each one kind of had a signature outfit for most of the show. Most of these characters don’t do anything. Mi Liu is the most proactive of the bunch and after careful reflection I’ve decided he’s probably one of the most moronic main characters I’ve come across in recent history. He blithely makes assumptions and passes these off as facts or at least theories and his plans are so full of holes you don’t get surprised when things fall apart, you wonder why it took so long. None of the other characters contribute much of anything other than occasional noise, fight or rescue sequences, or give someone for Mi Liu to babble at and they are all pretty forgettable.

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I’m not even going to bother with plot. There is a story but we are still completely in the dark about anything at seasons end and to be honest it isn’t compelling enough to make me want to know what happens. Personally, I hope the monsters eat them all.

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Last point before I end this vaguely ranty review. If you name a show Bloodivores, and make a big deal in episode 1 about how Bloodivores came to be, maybe the characters being Bloodivores should occasionally come up as a significant plot point rather than as an excuse to give them super powers.

Recommendation – avoid. It isn’t as broken as something like Big Order or Taboo Tattoo but it is definitely a time suck most people don’t need.

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Reflections on Anime in 2016 – The Best and The Worst of the Year (in my opinion)

It’s the first day of the year so let’s look back at the year that was. I know that at the end of Summer I did my first reflection post looking back at the anime I’d watched and  I purposefully left D Gray Man and Sailor Moon Crystal 3 off the lists because nostalgia was strong with those two. But now we are at the end of the year and I’m not playing nice anymore. I’m giving my lists of top 10 best and worst for 2016 and finally the results from the reader’s poll.

My rules:

  • I need to have watched the whole series (or as much as has aired in 2016 – I know some of these are continuing on).
  • My judgement is entirely based on the entertainment I got out of watching the anime.
  • Feel free to suggest your own top 10 best or worst in the comments.

Starting from the best.

  1. Yuri on Ice
  2. D Gray Man Hallow
  3. Natsume Yuujinchou
  4. Assassination Classroom 2nd Season
  5. Snow White with the Red Hair Season 2
  6. March Comes in Like a Lion
  7. My Hero Academia
  8. Alderamin on the Sky
  9. Erased
  10. Sailor Moon Crystal 3

Yeah, I can’t believe it either but Yuri on Ice actually edged out D Gray Man Hallow on anime I enjoyed watching. Neither anime is perfect (and I’ll happily admit to the flaws in both) but when it came to pure enjoyment I couldn’t beat either of these and in terms of the anime I’ll rewatch the most from this year, these 2 are the top picks. So why Yuri over D Gray Man? D Gray Man Hallow always had the advantage of nostalgia, but if I take that away, while I would have still enjoyed Hallow (assuming it made sense) it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable as the viewing experience for Yuri. In terms of the anime I sat waiting to the minute for the episode release, Yuri on Ice definitely won out.

However, for everything you enjoy there is a show that you watch and wonder why. Once again, I know there are worse anime out there, but these are the anime I watched all the way through and really wonder why.

Starting from the worst.

  1. Taboo Tattoo
  2. Big Order
  3. Lost Village
  4. Hitorinoshita
  5. Divine Gate
  6. Dimension W
  7. Nazotokine
  8. Norn 9
  9. Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle
  10. Bloodivores

What was pleasantly surprising was how few of the Autumn season found their way onto this list. Mostly the shows I watched in Autumn were more boring than terrible (though I did avoid a few shows that I knew were going to end up in this category so they didn’t count on the having watched them criteria).

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The Reader’s Poll

I was surprised by some of the results and not surprised by others. Probably the biggest issue is there were only 54 votes total so from a data point of view this probably isn’t the most valid survey. Anyway…

  1. Yuri on Ice (7 votes)
  2. Assassination Classroom 2 (6 votes)
  3. Mob Psycho 100 (6 votes)
  4. Tanaka-kun is Always Listless (5 votes)
  5. Bungo Stray Dogs (3 votes)
  6. Erased (3 votes)
  7. March Comes in Like a Lion (3 votes)
  8. Kiss Him Not Me (3 votes)
  9. Flip Flappers (3 votes)
  10. Grimgar of Fantasy of Ash (3 votes)

With that I say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in 2017 for a whole new year of watching anime.

By the way, over the next 4 weeks my Tuesday’s Top 5 post is going to do a recap of 2016. Top 5 Female Characters of 2016 is up first, followed by Top 5 Male Characters of 2016, Top 5 Visually Interesting Anime of 2016 and finally Top 5 Opening Themes of 2016. Then I will move on to something different but I felt January was a great time to recap the previous year.

Over to you: Which anime was your favourite or most hated from 2016?

Bloodivores Episode 12

Review:

How many synonyms are there for saying something is bad?

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There we go, episode 12 of Bloodivores reviewed in all its shining glory. Not only is this series without any resolution, the one reveal of any note this episode was something we’d all kind of figured out (or at least suspe cted) since episode 3 and we still don’t know why Anji did it (sorry, that’s the least spoilery way to put it). And did Li Shin just feed his arm to a monster to save the guy who tried to feed him to a monster before attempting to beat him unconscious? And does Mi Liu still suck at searching for actual information? Okay, I’m done. This series is done. The last I’ll have to look at it is for a full season review and should this monstrosity get a follow up, I won’t be going anywhere near it. You know what though, still not as bad as Taboo Tattoo.

Bloodivores is available on Crunchyroll.

Autumn 2016 Week 11

Week 11 some shows are wrapping up, others are getting ready to go into their second half, and all of them are still clamoring for our attention. It’s been a really mixed week and there’s been some movement in the list.

As always, please feel free to tell me what you think about the season in the comments below.

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I Must Keep Watching

  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 11)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 10)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 9)

Yuri on Ice, I don’t think I’ve ever been wanting the next episode of a show so badly as I want the next episode of this. I am way too invested in the characters at this point and that final line from Yuri just stunned me. Okay, let’s hope Yuri on Ice can stick its landing and truly be brilliant.

There’s not a lot more to say about Natsume. We’re five seasons in, it knows how to deliver an enjoyable story and it is continuing to do so.

March Comes in Like a Lion offered only reasonable fare this week continuing the general slow down and stalling this series has had issues with for awhile now. I’m hoping it finds its feet again soon because there is a lot to like but if it doesn’t I will drop this one down to the category below.

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Still On My Radar

  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 23)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 10)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 35)
  • Days (Ep 23)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 11)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 11)

Yep, Bungo dropped down here. Those first four episodes from this season really helped carry it for a lot but objectively this just has not been very good for over the half the season.

Last week WIXOSS gave me hope it was going to start bringing things together. This week just went for the emotional punch and world building and answers were put back on the backseat. Given there are only two episodes left it seems unlikely this is going to manage to bring all the final players to some sort of resolution that is satisfying without really cramming in the information.

Iron Blooded Orphans was interesting this week. We still seem to be in a bit of a lull but it looks like we’re about to gear up for some more action. Overall, this series remains engaging and fairly consistent even if some parts aren’t quite as interesting as others.

Days continues to be pleasant enough and the final leg of that game was actually kind of tense. That said, as a series it has its flaws so while I’ve enjoyed the watch and look forward to next week, it isn’t moving on the list.

Izetta wasn’t too bad this week. my feelings about the series overall I pretty much still full of disappointment that this show wasn’t… more than it became, but this week was pretty cool. I’ll see how I feel after the last episode.

Flip Flappers has started to come apart at the seams as it is now forced to rush toward what looks like it won’t be a particularly interesting resolution. That was always the danger with the show and why I’ve held this at the middle of the list just waiting to see which way it would tip. Episode 11 isn’t promising so I’m thinking my final judgement on this series as a whole is going to end up being fairly harsh.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 10)
  • Trickster (Ep 11)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 11)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 11)

So, Kiss Him, Not Me seems to be making a late comeback in that I honestly would have to say I  actually enjoyed the last episode. If I remove the few things that have really pushed my buttons, the series is actually pretty good as a high school romantic comedy, but the things that push my buttons are kind of central to the narrative so I just can’t justify moving this series any higher on my list.

To say that the follow up to Hanasaki’s kidnapping wasn’t interesting would be a lie, however Trickster as a show remains consistently unimpressive. We’re left on a cliffhanger this week and in honesty I don’t really care if any of them make it out of the current situation (though  I assume we are still too early in this series to actually kill off the main characters).

Bloodivores is down to one episode to go and we know pretty much nothing. Seems like blowing up the building is the last hurrah for the season and I know that even if it exists I will never watch another season of this. Then again, maybe they’ll just rush the ending and dump some explanation on us at the last minute. Either way, this series has been pretty bad.

Nazotokine has not changed tone or pattern once this entire season and as a result watching has become challenging as I find my attention increasingly wavering as we are forced through yet another episode of Tokine and her friends doing not much before she enters the quiz world again.

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Dropped

  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4 – Dropped)
  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

Question this week, which shows are you starting to get excited for next season?

Bloodivores Episode 11

Review:

So unless I misread it, this show has one more episode and there’s no chance at all that we’ll get answers to the great mysteries underlying the series. We spend most of this week attempting to first stab and then blow up Lee Shin (because he totally deserves it). In this fight we regularly defy the laws of physics or common sense. While Mi Liu may be able to reverse his own gravity and do some of the moves he is pulling off, I somehow doubt that being able to create swords suddenly made Lee Shin a gravity defying spinning top.  In addition to that bit of ‘what the’ we also get inconsistent wounds. Was anyone else wondering why the guy who’s shoulder was skewered continued to run around with a sword hanging out of him for over half the episode? More importantly, why wasn’t he bleeding? And then Mi Liu hits the ground and is supposedly unconscious and there’s a pool of blood. Stands up and has a minor wound on his head. What generated that pool of blood when having your shoulder impaled doesn’t seem to bleed at all? Anyway, I won’t be sorry to see the end of this show but I am kind of annoyed that I’ll never know what the point of it was.

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Don’t mind the sword sticking out of me.

Bloodivores is available on Crunchyroll.

Bloodivores Episode 10

Review:

Does anyone else have a problem with Mi Liu essentially feeding Lee Shin to a monster just because Lee Shin’s awakening power is an inconvenience to Mi Liu’s most recent half-thought-out ‘plan’? Or was that just me?

As an episode, Bloodivores this week was not great (not that it has ever really been great). Essentially Mi Liu runs away with the explosives from last week while Anji and Yaya run away from Lee Shin. The groups meet up and Mi Liu then has Lee Shin chase him so that the others can run away with the plan of regrouping at the building with the monster that kind of latches on to people and drags them in. Yep, the master plan is to collapse the building and have Yaya  trigger it so that she has ‘killed’ a monster. But Lee Shin is a bit tenacious so Mi Liu lures him in front of the building and has the monster eat him. Only Lee Shin is stronger than Mi Liu anticipated and ends up taking on the monster which will further mess with Mi Liu’s plans.

Okay, in fairness we do spend a bit of time with the investigator in the real world who is now being targeted (go figure that sticking your nose into this business would have people start shooting at you). And did they just crush his partner without anyone actually acknowledging that someone was in the car that just got flattened?

Lots of running and shouting this week as well as further demonstration that for an anime that has a lot of action and running they don’t really know how to animate movement in a way that gives a sense that things are actually moving (this was a problem way back at the car chase in episode 1). Oh, and the writers have continued their vendetta against great jackets by utterly destroying Mi Liu’s this week. There’s only one character of note left who still has a jacket and I’m going to bet it’s next on the agenda to be destroyed.

Bloodivores is available on Crunchyroll.

Bloodivores Episode 9

Review:

“If you’re not with me than you’re against me.” Okay, not exactly what orange haired guy who is overly strong said, but close enough to capture the sentiment because why not have two separate factions of inmates fighting it out for no reason while being trapped in a possible parallel dimension with exploding collars while being hunted by monsters? Why not?

Right, reviewing this episode. Stuff happened. Mi Liu and shirtless guy caught up with the other group of prisoners, exchanged words with ex-childhood friend who is certainly going to go back to their group at some point (or die pointlessly, either way) and then met with the leader of said group. After a bit of pleasantries were exchanged such as Mi Liu asking for weapons, orange haired guy asked Mi Liu to join him which Mi Liu refused without actually knowing what orange haired guy is up to (though clearly he’s shady so maybe that was the right choice). This results in a quick and fairly pointless action sequence which then shows us Mi Liu is still pretty quick at running away.

All of that is fine enough. Pacing and delivery need work and it would help if I cared about some of these characters but it works. The real issues come with the other side of the story where Anji is witnessing Lee Shin’s power awakening. Just making wind whirls doesn’t equal cool action sequence and how would you even use a sword that pushed its way out of your shoulder? The idea was fine once again but the delivery dreadful stealing any tension from the scene.

Bloodivores is available on Crunchyroll.

Bloodivores Episode 8

Review:

Bloodivores consistently manages to destroy any reason to care about the characters or the show. We have two lackeys this week who encounter Mi Liu on his way to investigate some random room that apparently the others found the week before but they didn’t bother to tell us about it then and we only realise it exists because of a flashback. Anyway, I’ll get back to the room later. The two lackeys are both unceremoniously killed before the end of this episode so don’t bother worrying about whether you’ve seen them before or who they actually are or why they existed at all.

The room is kind of interesting (other than it seems like a plot device dropped in at the last minute). However, assuming that it was where Yaya came from or that anything in a melting room (or a room that already melted) might give you a hint as to how to get out is a really large assumption and kind of confirms that Mi Liu likes to sound confident and look like he has a plan but really he’s just making stuff up as he goes.

Bloodivores is available on Crunchryoll should you want to get on board this anime that has clearly decided not to try to rise above its ho-hum opening episodes. With 4 episodes to go we’re either not getting a resolution to anything or we’re going to get a really rushed mess of a resolution and I don’t actually know which would be worse at this point.

Bloodivores Episode 7

Review:

Let’s start with a positive for Bloodivores this week; we finally know why they were trying to rob the bank in episode 1. It still seems like they didn’t really think that through because even if their plan had worked (which Mi Liu was so smugly confident would) if a deed that went missing from a bank turned up somewhere you’d be a bit suspicious. Anyway, ignoring the illogical nature of that decision making we’ve at least got a solid reason for the events that transpired in episode 1, and in a show so lacking in reasons for anything at this point I’m going to cling to that little ray of hope that maybe this is the start of them revealing something useful.

Then again, given the number of characters this week who said lines along the line of ‘I don’t know’, ‘What would you do if you know’, or ‘I can’t think right now’ (none of those are direct quotes as far as I know but rather my impression of the vast majority of dialogue that came about this week), maybe we won’t get any answers any time soon.

We also have some blonde girl bouncing around now. Not sure what’s going on there.

Once again, if you haven’t dropped this already you won’t from this episode and if you are still watching they are now giving us a reason to believe that maybe there’s some underlying logic we just haven’t found yet.

Bloodivores is available on Crunchyroll.

Bloodivores Episode 6

Review:

I wonder if the writer’s of Bloodivores are paying attention to their own storyline. Why are the Bloodivore prisoners surprised that someone in the prison is attempting to bite someone else? Why do they exclaim “He’s a Bloodivore”? It all just seems a bit redundant. Not to mention if Mi Liu is into Anji because she looks like his mum then that’s an even worse reason for his obsession than anything I was speculating about.

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Okay, those petty complaints aside (petty complaint / fundamental issues with the story) the problem is this episode is not very good. Even compared to the previous not so great episodes, this is not very good. The dialogue is woeful. The animation took a dive to the point where characters aren’t even pretending that their words and mouths are in any way connected and you can cry without any change in your facial expression even as the pitch or your wails changes. And Anji and Mi Liu are outside because somehow while Anji was all crazed from the blood transfusion a hole appeared in the wall, right beside them. That’s fine though because at the end of the episode the rest of the prisoners finally get a door open and run out into the post apocalyptic whatever where they are for some reason. And it isn’t until the end of the episode that we catch up with our detective who is detecting and conveniently stumbling upon a bug in a stuffed toy inside the orphanage. Big surprise that the toy belonged to Anji and we saw it earlier in a flashback during the episode.

This week this show started to border on the almost unwatchably bad. We’re halfway through the 12 episodes but I wonder if I’ll manage to stick it out for another 12 particularly when it doesn’t look like anything is going to get wrapped up in 6 more episodes.

Bloodivores is available on Crunchyroll.