Blood: The Last Vampire (2000) Movie Review
Written By: YN
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Hiroyuki Kitakubo
Producers: Ryuji Mitsumoto and Yukio Nagasaki
Writers: Kenji Kamiyama
Date Released: July 29, 2000
Youki Kudoh as the voice for Saya
Joe Romersa as the voice for David
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Saya, the last known vampire in the world, takes on a mission to hunt down and kill a couple of Chiropeteras (bat-like creatures with human intelligence and the propensity to eat human flesh) before they begin their feeding frenzy. It takes her to a school where she has to pose as a student to find out who among her classmates, teachers and the school’s staff aren’t who and what they claim to be.
As the title suggests, this film is indeed quite bloody. For the entire 45 minutes watching this, there are only three instances of bloody violence, and they take up more than half the screen time when combined. However, they aren’t as explicit or gory as one would expect with a katana-wielding vampire for a protagonist. They do show some gruesome, awkwardly bent corpses, but they aren’t over the top to the point of being contrived. The death scenes aren’t shown directly to its viewers. Always, the animators find a way to dramatize it–by giving a wide shot of the scene, the angle shifting so that the entire act of stabbing and slicing body parts off are blocked by Saya’s body (or someone else’s) and we can only watch as blood sprays the walls with red.
The Grave Review
Blood: The Last Vampire (2000) may be a short watch, but its stunning animations and visual storytelling can definitely hook you in. And while it may lack some meaningful character developments and a solid conclusion, it gives enough details for you to follow the story without having prior knowledge of its backstory. But if you’re looking for something scary and gory, this might fall a bit short.
The anime has won several awards for its beautiful art. Its dark, gritty atmosphere, coupled with contrasting bright lights or colors, makes it a treat to watch, especially for those anime-lovers out there. It also adds into the mystery and foreboding as Saya tries to identify which of the humans are really monsters in disguise. The art style for the battle sequence is also intense and fluid, building up to the climax without missing a beat. Since it’s short, it maintains a suspenseful atmosphere without being too dragging with a matching musical score that adds up perfectly to the thrill.
Nonetheless, a forty-five-minute runtime isn’t enough to fully shape up the backstory of the characters, the creatures and the world-building. It can make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a random episode of a long-running anime without having watched any of the pervious episodes beforehand. But thanks to its dialogues and style of storytelling, you won’t feel lost and confused while watching it. It gives you a glimpse of what Saya is and what the Chiropeteras are, but it doesn’t really delve into the whys of the story. For example, you won’t know why Saya hunts down Chiropeteras in the first place. You won’t know why Saya is the last vampire in the world. And you definitely won’t know why Saya willingly works with humans to hunt down those monsters.
Taking the movie as it is, you can still feel a degree of satisfaction towards the end. It accomplishes the mission it has set out at the very beginning of the film, and then our protagonist moves on to her next target. It’s straightforward, action-packed and beautifully crafted but feels more like a high-budgeted anime episode than a complete movie. In the end, however, the film offers nothing at stake, preventing anyone from fully getting invested at the outcome of the mission. Couple this with the lack of character depth, it might not get your heart pumping fast enough unlike other horror movies out there.
With these foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Blood: The Last Vampire (2000) three graves out of five graves.
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