Blood Blockade Battlefront is one of the rare properties that I’ve actually read in manga form prior to the anime. Thanks to Dark Horse who has now brought over seven volumes of the series, you could say that I’m well versed on the franchise. In fact this is the series I’ve been looking forward to the most. Especially after seeing the artwork. Drool much? There was a problem though… I really didn’t want to see a straight adaptation of the first volume in animated form like last season’s Assassination Classroom. Because let me tell you, that Sin City style of adaptation makes you want to read the manga or watch the anime, but not both.
Thankfully the first episode of B3 wasn’t an exact copy. It had all of the major story points, but it presented them in a different way and trimmed the fat at the same time.
Since I’ve already written what feels like a lot of recaps about this series, the basic plot is that New York City was invaded by another realm and overnight the two worlds combined to form Jerusalem's Lot. Now it’s the city that never sleeps and the home of the fucking weird. We’re talking super weird. Creator Yasuhiro Nightow spares nothing on the weirdness.
Our main character Leo is given the eyes of the Gods during his visit to the city and now he’s trying to make it as a reporter. After a mistaken identity moment he ends up joining a secret organization called Libra. They’re protectors of the balance in the city, but really they’re good guys that have to kill in order for the bad guys not to take over. It’s funny that they always say balance, but really there’s so much evil, that their good is the only thing that resembles balance.
In the first episode we’re introduced to a character that in the manga’s ends up playing a very small role. His name is Femto and frankly he’s a great character. He’s very Joker inspired and he sets up a game of sorts for our heroes to play, but thanks to Leo they don’t fall for his trap.
The action for this episode is fucking gorgeous. The comic is great, but to see it in motion is so much better. It’s surpasses the manga and that’s saying something. Even if you’re not big on the story or the characters, stick around for the action. The later volumes provide some fantastic stuff and I can’t wait to see them animated.
The coloring for the animation is some of the best I’ve seen this season. This thing is clearly a heavy hitter and has the budget to prove it. That’s good to because with the comic Nightow spends a lot of time on the backgrounds and random characters, but it all serves the purpose of making the city feel big and more importantly alive. Since the city and protecting the city, is the focus of the story, you want it feeling alive. It’s like Gotham in that sense, if it’s not breathing we don’t really care if Batman tries to save it.
If the manga has shown me anything it’s that Blood Blockade Battlefront has a ton of potential. It’s a series to watch and should have something for everyone. Even if you’re not a fan of Nightow’s previous work (I wasn’t) still give this a shot. You may just surprise yourself.
Blood Blockade Battlefront 1.1 - "Demon City Association" Official Website