Created By: Kóhei Azano
Studio: Group TAC, Studio Live
Directed By: Hiroaki Yoshikawa
Episode Count: 12
Audio: Japanese, English
Licensed By: Manga Entertainment UK
Certification: 15 (BBFC)
A vicious war between vampires comes to an end, when an Old Blood Vampire known as Jiro Mochizukin defeats the Kowloon King. The ruler of a race of vampires that were reckless and slaughtered many lives, by simply biting a victim they were instantly turned into a Kowloon vampire. It has been ten years since that Holy War ended, Jiro emerges once again into the World in order to travel along with his younger brother to find a new home in The Special Zone. A district set up just for vampires to reside away from the human race, the general population are led to believe that all vampires have been killed in the War. Along this perilous journey, Jiro learns that the surviving Kowloon children are planning an attack on The Special Zone. What fantastic timing!
You are thrown into the action and the story from the get go, so be ready! With two races of vampires battling it out, it’s the Old Bloods and the Humans that have teamed up to eradicate the Kowloon. Unfortunately not all of them have been destroyed, so in the ten years since the War their numbers have multiplied yet again. The Kowloon set their sights on The Special Zone and plan their attack, it’s just a shame that Jiro is also hoping to move there with his kid brother at exactly the same time all of this is about to happen. We get quick explanations of who the Old Bloods are, that some can just return after death in a reincarnated form, thus kind of making them eternal. We slowly start to see Jiro’s past and how important a woman named Alice was to him. Jiro’s ‘kid brother’ Kotaro also has an interesting story, but I won’t spoil that for you. In the middle of all this mess is a human named Mimiko, who acts as a compromiser between humans and vampires. Her job is to escourt Jiro and his brother to The Special Zone, their ability to stay within the Zone however will rely entirely on the residents.
Jiro is an interesting and conflicting character from time to time, he does add a good sense of humor to the show though. Even amidst all the fighting, we see several comical moments with this Old Blood front and centre. This Vampire is highly weak when it comes to sunlight and water. Early on in the show you see him emerge on the beach, walking out of the ocean. All you see though is a steaming skeleton. To this degree he was still able to live, even with zero muscle, eyes or even flesh on his face. He is almost like a bold child in some scenes, when he is forced to wake during the day and go out in the daylight. His other side however is a savage fighter, known as a hero from the Kowloon War. Having acquired the title of both the Silver Blade due to the weapon he wields and that of Kin-killer, for the fellow vampires he struck down in battle as he fought alongside the humans. Jiro is certainly an interesting character.
Another woman from Jiro’s past emerges, named Cassandra Jill Warlock, often referred to as the Black Snake. Where once she stood alongside Jiro in battle, she is now on the Kowloon side. Her abilities are on par to that of Jiro’s, so look forward to some interesting encounters between the two.
Bonus Features Include:
- Textless Opening & Closing
- Original TV Spots
- Audio Commentary
Black Blood Brothers first began as a light novel series back in 2004 by Kóhei Azano, the same creator behind Tokyo Ravens. BBB ran for a total of 11 volumes, with 6 short stories until it ended in 2006. Unfortunately it was never officially translated and published into English for Western audiences. The title was still picked up however for this 12 episode anime, which was released on air in Japan back in 2006. It was produced by two animation studios: Group TAC and Studio Live. Group TAC ran for over 50 years before filing for bankruptcy back in 2010. They did however create many animes over their long history including the original Space Battleship Yamato, Night on the Galactic Railroad and Street Fighter Alpha The Animation. Group TAC is a company that has a very long list of anime they have worked on, their contributions heavily reside in In-Between Animation though. You can currently watch Black Blood Brothers on the FunimationNow app, or you can pick up a physical DVD release from Manga Entertainment UK.
For me, I could not get into this show fully. Never really took to it. Perhaps if it was a 24 episode anime, maybe they would have been able to expand the story more. For me though, it’s a miss.