Black Blood Brothers might have fangs, but it doesn’t sparkle.
Black Blood Brothers is a 12-episode anime based on the manga by Kōhei Azano and by Yuuya Kusaka. The series takes place in a world in which humans and vampires coexist, following a vampire named Jiro Mochizuki (voiced by J. Michael Tatum) who comes to a special zone made for both humans and vampires to live in harmony with his younger brother, Kotaro Mochizuki (voiced by Leah Clark). There, they are met by a “compromiser” named Mimiko Katsuragi (Colleen Clinkenbeard) who settles disputes between the two species in the city.
However, things are not as peaceful as they seem in the special zone, and when people hear that the legendary Silver Blade Jiro from the days of the Hong Kong Crusades has appeared, it looks like things are going to get even dicier. This is brought to a head when a threat from Jiro’s past rears its head once more. But all is not lost, as Jiro finds himself reunited with comrades from his past and making new friends as he fights to protect his new-found home.
It’s a shame that this series is so short. It’s full of such great characters that I would have loved to see more of them. It has a unique view of vampires, which is refreshing in a cultural climate dominated by pretty-boy emo bloodsuckers. While the art style definitely subscribes to a more “pretty-boy” approach, these are hardly the same vampires we’ve seen taking over the silver screen. Instead, we see the vampires in this series mixing magic with their fangs, giving them abilities like pyrokinesis.
However, I think that people, who are into the whole Twilight scene would also enjoy this anime. While it’s not as heavy on the romance as Twilight, it does share a lot of the same romantic notions and themes in which vampires have found a home.
Director Hiroaki Yoshikawa creates some fun action sequences with some very intense fight scenes. The series doesn’t rely on these scenes, but they are a lot of fun anyway. While Jiro’s character is a legendary warrior, it’s nice that he’s not one of those characters who can overpower every enemy he comes in contact with. I’ve never been a big fan of series that present a character that’s the toughest there is; it’s no fun just watching the good guy dominate every obstacle around him. Besides, there’s nothing interesting about the strongest person in the world. It’s better to watch someone with strength fight against forces stronger than himself, and that’s what this series gives us. While Jiro is no slouch, there are other characters in the anime that are far stronger than he is.
Sure, this series has its similarities to other anime, such as Hellsing. However, it has a completely different feel, which I think makes it better than the original Hellsing anime. While Jiro looks cool and everything, he has a look that anime fans have seen dozens of times before, but I guess the Japanese just have a thing for red overcoats. It’s not something that takes a front seat in the anime, but it’s just something that I noticed about halfway through the episodes.
Like I said earlier: It’s a shame that Black Blood Brothers is so short. It leaves you wanting more, which is always a good sign. If you’re a fan of anime series like Full Metal Alchemist, or if you have a thing for vampires, you should check out this anime. It’s short enough to make for a perfect lazy Sunday afternoon. While it’s not perfect, and at times it can feel a little childish, I feel confident in recommending it to the majority anime fans out there.