Review: Blood Blockade Battlefront 1.2 - Pursue The Phantom Ghost Wagon

As I said with my review of the first episode of Blood Blockade Battlefront, I’m familiar with the manga. I’m not watching this anime to see a straight adaptation. I think collectively we’ve all seen enough straight adaptations to know that they suck because they don’t take advantage of the art form they’re in. I was very glad to see that Blood Blockade Battlefront’s first episode didn’t try to be the first volume of the manga. It changed things by either adding or subtracting content and it worked really, really well. I still worried about this episode though because nailing it once doesn’t mean that the rest of the season is safe. This episode continues to tow that fine line of staying close to the manga, but knowing that it’s an anime and so once again picks and chooses elements to use. The story is about Leo seeing a dry cleaner van that’s not actually a dry cleaner van. He’s of course the only one that can see the illusion, but the creatures that are capturing humans to eat can’t take any chances on letting him run free. They come for him and injure Zap in the process. Zap may be out of the hunt, but he’s not out of the game. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but its one of the coolest fucking things that the series has done and it looked so much better animated.

Blood-Blockade-Battlefront-1.2-1That’s the really great thing about this series thus far, the animation is taking it to the next level. It looks at Nightow’s manga and says, “Yeah we can make that cooler” and they do. The last big sequence was so damn good and just wonderful to look at. The animation is still really fucking good on this episode. There’s no dip and frankly it had the best action sequences of the week. Even if the story starts to bore me I think I would stick around just for the art. Klaus’ finisher towards the end was a thing of beauty and Zap’s lighter sequence, gak! So good.

The only problem I’m seeing with the anime is the same problem I have with the manga. The pacing is strange, even for a manga it’s strange. Instead of feeling like the episode has come to its natural conclusion, it instead comes across as starting another episode. The ending to this episode could have very easily have been the opening for the next (it could still be, but that would be shitty), but instead it tries to be a cliffhanger. The problem is, it spends too much time on the scene to be a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger is to leave you wanting more, but here it leaves you wanting too much because it feels like it’s going to keep going and doesn’t.

Blood-Blockade-Battlefront-1.2-2Though I will say that it looks like they’re introducing a new character or I need to re-read the second volume because I don’t remember this character at all. Again, this is where they’re succeeding with the anime. Taking opportunities to add to the world in a good way.

The episode’s not perfect, but this series is quickly standing out to me as one of the best of the season. The next episode tackles one of my favorite volumes of the series so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what’s the same, what’s been changed and what’s new.

Score: 4/5

Blood Blockade Battlefront 1.2 – “Pursue The Phantom Ghost Wagon” Official Website