Blood of the Reprimanded Dog
of Aniplex, Picture Magic, A-1 Pictures
Original Story By Nitro+
Akira: Oh, I won the Blaster game again.
Keisuke: You're so awesome, Akira!
Police: *takes Akira to prison* You are arrested for murder.
Akira: But I didn't do it!
Police: We are not listening!
Woman: I can get you out of jail.... if you participate in Igura... where you should defeat the most powerful guy in it.
Akira: Fine, just get me out of here already.
*Akira was brought to the city where the game is set*
Akira:..... What kind of place is this?
RATING: D (HORRIBLE! whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?)
FAVORITISM: 2.5 Hearts ---> NEUTRAL (But the manga is 3 or 3.5 Hearts)
FAVORITISM: 2.5 Hearts ---> NEUTRAL (But the manga is 3 or 3.5 Hearts)
As many are already aware, this is based on a BL game (one of the game adaptations even had yaoi). It also had a manga adaptation, which didn't have much BL scenes from what I've read so far, and I appreciated it. The announcement of an anime adaptation naturally made the fans of the game and the manga very excited.
Unfortunately, the anime was a disappointment...... a huge disappointment.
Before the series aired, I was very pleased when I've heard the news that it's not going to focus on the BL stuff much. The plot is good enough to not rely on the BL fanservice. The potential is there, and you can do a lot of stuff with this kind of post-apocalyptic setting with a survival game involving war and drugs.
But why... why did this fall in the hands of the WRONG writers?
The series failed on providing enough background on how exactly its world ended that way. It's hard to connect events if very little is mentioned. If ever it does tell us some parts of its back story, they're mostly done through narration... not showing the actual scenes being narrated. When it comes to flashbacks of the character's past, if it wasn't a plain narration, they do an overdone presentation of it ("overdone" in the sense that the same style has been done to present the dark pasts of those characters), which makes me feel that it might've been better if they showed the actual scenes instead of trying to be "creative", because they fail so much on it. The scenes were so predictable that it makes me annoyed with the characters instead of feeling sorry for them.
It's also so biased with its characters.... especially with Akira and Shiki. Akira's like the leading character of a reverse harem series: so special and so loved. He gets away with many things because they think his eyes are
pretty interesting. *facepalm* And for some reason, the characters love to lick his blood (only his!!!). As for Shiki, for some reason, survived from something that is supposed to be absolutely fatal. We never got a reason why he's such a special case. The only explanation that we can see on such events is just they are all for the sake of plot convenience... and that the writers didn't really think about it.
Oh there were so many plot holes.... on some parts the series is even aware that they didn't provide any explanation on it (like how the hell Keisuke ended up in that city!). It would be forgivable if it was a parody... but obviously it wasn't. Some parts even seemed like they were just done for the LULz (The bite and lick scenes were so WTF in a negative sense... it might've been better if they made blood a delicacy instead of "freaky yet sexy effects".... meh) Unexplained events don't really help in making the story more understandable, you know. Its philosophical statements at the beginning of the episode makes things worse too.... it tries so hard to be deep and mysterious.... but it just ended up in making the story more confusing than it already is.
I can understand a "confusing" story if it's a psychological series... and if it had at least done a good job in its story and character development.... but this series fails on those... and it's not exactly psychological. It felt like the writers couldn't think of anything else to put into it so they just made it extend and extend... when in fact the story they had in mind could already be over in less than 5 episodes.
You know where the series wasted its time on the most? THE DRAMA.... and it sucks on it really really badly. It tried so hard to be as dramatic as possible.... but they fail so much on it that it's pathetic. All of those "drama" scenes were so lame.... so forced.... and they're soooooo obvious! What's worse is that they express their emotions mostly through words. They do too much talking.... sometimes things are even being repeated over and over. There isn't even much emotion on the characters when the actors were delivering their lines. I'm not sure if it's the voice actor's fault or the director told them to act that way. Oh gawd... the writers and the directors of this series are a bad combination in doing drama scenes.
Aside from drama, it also tried its best to put as much action as possible. Unfortunately, it also sucks on action stuff! Yeah, yeah, there are fights (or massacres) in almost every single episode.... but you'll only see some slashing or people suddenly dropping dead. There aren't any impressive stunts, angle effects, power impact, unique moves... no fight choreography to amaze you at all. If the action can't make its audience awed, at least scare the audience with the bloody and dystopian setting! But noooooo! It couldn't even make you frightened because the gore's censored (I didn't see the point in that because what's the use of making a bloody series if you're going to put a shadow on like 85% of the screen anyway?). The torture and bloody scenes also look so fake.
I wish it didn't focus on the excessive blood spills so much.... because they totally don't look natural. The setting just looked like it had a lot of fresh red paint being spilled (how could there be so much blood in some scenes if there aren't any freshly killed people nearby?). Hadn't they really considered that blood doesn't stay bright red for long? Being a bloody action series doesn't necessarily mean you'll need some blood spilling around the streets in majority of the episodes.
It saddens me that even the characters weren't given any justice. They could only be classified under the following descriptions: boring, annoying, or disgusting. Shiki was my favorite but I don't know what they did to him in the end. I also liked Rin very much, but he had become a little angsty later for the sake of drama and plot twist. If the main characters were already done badly, then much more on the supporting characters! Too bad, some of them could've been really interesting if the series made the more involved in the story and play a bigger role.
A poor job on the story and characters are what annoys me most on a bad series. Much more if it also sucked in directing and it didn't use its themes very well. It's also saddening if it can't even do a good job on the genres it's focusing on (in Togainu's case, it seems to be drama and action). So honestly, the animation is not much of my concern... but in this case, it's so difficult NOT to notice because it was done really really badly! (the promo images and the PV animation looked nice though) It's strange because the art quality comparing the anime to its other adaptation has such a HUGE difference! So many scenes were even done so poorly that it didn't look like to be drawn by professionals. The mistakes were so many and obvious... it had been really difficult to watch! Oh gawd... even the animation couldn't save it from its pathetic storytelling!
Ah well, even if this series sucks in so many areas, it doesn't really mean it didn't have any good points, you know. It had good songs... its ED theme song changes in every episode and most of them have been cool and nice to listen to. The OP theme song would've been better if it's just instrumental... I didn't like the vocals much, ehehe. Aside from the music, what got me very impressed is its episode previews. It has a creative way in showing future events... and the jokes there had been pretty amusing. Yeah... strangely, the previews were more enjoyable than the actual episode. Too bad.
It's extremely sad that the series ended up as a failure despite its potential. Even fanservice couldn't save it... because there isn't even much of that (its little fanservice scenes were more of awkward instead of delightful). This was an embarrassment to the fans... it would be more recommendable to check out the other adaptations of this titles instead of the anime one.