Bloodivores – Preview
Original Air Dates: October 1st, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Some 60 years prior a drug was developed to combat a strange illness that swept across the populace, causing endless insomnia. But the side effects of the drug turned those affected into vampires, or Bloodivores. Humanity found itself in conflict against this new species, but ultimately triumphed. Now Bloodivores live amongst the regular population, feared and hated, treated even as second class citizens.
Mi Liu, a half-Bloodivore, attempts to break into a bank with his friends, but are caught before they can escape. However, the four find themselves framed for the murder of the bank’s employees and patrons. Convicted of the crime and sentenced to death Mi Liu, Anji and the others find themselves in even worse a fate than before as they’re taken to a secret facility, along with other incarcerated Bloodivores.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Right off the bat, even before you’ve heard the names or gotten a taste of the story, you can detect the fact that Bloodivores is not your average anime. The show flashes some company and brand names at the very start, which will seem very familiar if you checked out Hitori no Shita: the Outcast from last season, a manhua based series. Bloodivores is also a non-Japanese based property, again a Manhua, or Chinese Comic. Even if you missed the credits, the character designs themselves have a subtle but distinct design difference from the usual anime style and fair warning for those who hate 3D with a passion, this episode had some extremely heavy and blatant 3D animation from the very beginning. In fact, there are certain sequences that bear the hallmark of tight budget/lazy editing and might make it hard for 3D haters to focus on the story rather than the weak animation.
Tom: Bloodivores visuals are nothing to write home about. The art is capable, although it lacks definition and detail. The 3D blends well enough, although is painfully obvious whenever it’s made use of. But Bloodivores has a significance even if it’s visuals aren’t particularly amazing. This series marks the first full length TV anime from Creators in Pack, known for delivering shorts like Oji-san and Marshmallow or Ozmafia! for the past few seasons. Their work has largely been middle of the road but, at the very least, it looks like they can maintain that acceptable quality into a longer form series.
Linny: Going back to the topic of its manhua origins, it becomes all the more evident once we learn the names of our cast. Our lead is named Mi Liu, with friends named Win Chao and Chen Fong, names that scream of non Japanese lineages. That might be where the novelty ends though as a lot of the things that occur in this episode feel very familiar. For one, our lead seems to have a romantic interest or emotional investment in the sole female character, Anji, and the one hot-headed guy in the group is also the idiot of the group. None of the characters really get much of an introduction, with the ONLY defining characteristics of one of the main cast member is that he was the designated driver of the getaway car for their bank heist.
Tom: Mi Liu, our hero, is portrayed as a decent enough guy with a difficult past. He’s not exactly endearing, lacking any stand out features that would set him apart as unique and interesting, save for his cliche’d past as the son of a Bloodivore and a human. But Mi Liu has enough out right ‘good guy’ qualities that keep him likable enough. His friend, Anji, another Bloodivore for who causes the group trouble when her D-GPS goes off and alerts the police to their location, is caring but focused. As Linny described above the rest of the cast is under defined their names and roles within the bank heist acting as their defining qualities. But Bloodivores 1st episode is less interested in building up its characters and far more concerned with setting up its world, but that effort isn’t entirely effective.
Linny: The biggest issue one could have is how terrible Bloodivores is at establishing and explaining its universe. It keeps throwing new terms and events at the audience without clarifying. For example, the ‘D-GPS’ Tom mentioned in the previous paragraph is NEVER explained or mentioned even once before or after the scene in which it goes off. All we know is that it alerts the police to the location of the wearer. I would highly recommend that you read the synopsis of the show before you start the episode because it does help fill in the gaps that the episode fails to. For those who are curious in which direction this show is heading, so far, the next episode preview makes it seem like the show might be a bit of a survival games like situation where the heroes fight off all sorts of enemies and creatures while trying to uncover the truth about the ailment that turned them all into ‘bloodivores’.
Tom: The world really isn’t all that well defined, the greater concepts explained in broad strokes, with heavy handed depictions of police officers eager to beat Bloodivores that come across more as comical than horrific. Dialogue is on the nose, or even cliched like when Mi Liu confronts his father over a conversation about his mother.
Linny: The police in this show are definitely not doing real life police any favours as they bash in faces with gusto but at this point, it’s a cliche in most fiction to have the law enforcement officials be irrationally cruel when your hero/main cast are the ‘bad guys’ so the audience will root for their “Robin Hoods” all the more. The show even works in the cliche of our hero being the son of the director of the very organization that’s out to get him, with an equally predictably angsty and strained relationship between the two. If you’ve seen shows with similar themes before, you might feel underwhelmed by the first episode as you encounter a handful of popular cliches and overused tropes.
Tom: Bloodivores is based upon a Digital Manhua, something that seems to becoming increasingly more common. Manhua and Manhwa adaptations, however, haven’t always held the best quality. While Freezing had some solid visuals, its story was wanting and pandering. Last season’s The Outcast was painfully bad in its opening episode, but Bloodivores seems an improvement. While it’s not perfect, and the story perhaps feels lacking in defining detail, I’m left optimistic, with enough right to make Bloodivores something I can recommended as a potentially decent watch for the season.
Linny: As a fan of survival match/game stories, I will admit that what really won me over was the teaser for Bloodivores’ second episode. While the first is definitely an improvement in terms of manhwa/manhua adaptations, there’s no denying that it still has a bit to go before it can blend in seamlessly with more Japanese styled works. Not that it necessarily has to. It’s differences are what give it a unique flavour and might help it win over more jaded anime fans. For now, the art style and non Japanese names are the most unique things about the story but here’s to hoping that it picks up in animation quality and delivers a thrilling tale of survival and mystery.
Bloodivores is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com