The anime under investigation this time, as you might have guessed from the title, is about a vampire. Points off if the “lad” in the title made you think that this series was set in Yorkshire. Which is a shame because the idea of an anime set in Yorkshire has a certain appeal. I personally like the idea of a boys’ love anime, i.e. a Yorkshire yaoi. Two guys get trapped down the pit, there’s not much else to do, if you get me.
Blood Lad is a supernatural comedy series that first began as a manga by Yuuki Kodama in 2009. A ten-part anime series was broadcast in 2013, along with a special Original Video Anime (OVA) episode, although as the manga is still going not all of the story gets adapted. It is not yet known if another series will be made.
The “Blood Lad” is Staz Charlie Blood, the vampire ruler of an eastern domain of the Demon World. Staz however, is not interesting in consuming human blood. He is an otaku – an anime and manga obsessive. He is mad for anything Japanese. The only thing that troubles him really is when someone from another territory comes to change him for his land.
One day however, Staz learns that a human has somehow entered the Demon World. The human is a Japanese girl called Fuyumi Yangai. Staz is obviously very interested in her, but then he has to go off to fight someone using man-eating plants to gain his domain. Staz easily fends them off, but one of these plants manages to eat and kill Fuyumi, leaving just her clothes and her bones… and her seemingly alive naked body? Yes, because she died in the Demon World, Fuyumi has now turned into a ghost.
Staz vows to make amends and to revive Fuyumi as a human. But things are problematic from that start. The two encounter a treasure hunter named Hydra Bell, who is able to use teleportation and spatial magic, and informs them she found a book about human resurrection. She has however sold this book in the western part of the Demon World, which is controlled by Staz’s friendly but not imaginatively named werewolf rival Wolf.
The worst thing however is that the book is written in code so Staz needs to meet the author to get it translated. The author just happens to be Staz’s hated older brother Braz. This means Staz has to talk to both him and his violent younger sister Liz, who is nicknamed the “Prison Warden” and she has her own dungeon known as her “Toy Box”.
Blood Lad’s plus points include the art, which is bright and colourful. To some it may be a bit garish but I think it is lively and fits in the otherworldliness of the setting. Also the characters are entertaining. Staz especially is a fun character. You have this fun combination of a violent, powerful supernatural being, mixed with someone who is rather a nerd.
Aside from the fact the series is still going on in manga form, there are some minor issues with the DVD and Blu-Ray release of this series in Britain. Nothing terrible-– it is just there is an issue with chapter selection. Some chapter points in particular episodes occur in the middle of scenes or title sequences.
But apart from that, Blood Lad is an entertaining and fun series. This vampire might not be as scary as ones that have visited Whitby for example, but Staz Charlie Blood is an enjoyable creation.
Blood Lad is released on DVD and Blu-Ray by All the Anime, and can be streamed on Netflix.