A haunting, beautifully animated anime series, "Blood+ One" is a spin-off of sorts from the movie, "Blood: The Last Vampire". The series focuses on a young Japanese schoolgirl named Saya Otonashi, who is both anemic and suffers from amnesia - she can remember nothing beyond the past year. Despite her problems, she is cared for by her adopted family and seems to live a normal life, going to school and other activities.
However, the life that she has grown accustomed to is shattered when she's attacked by a vampire-like creature called a chiroptera, and is saved by a mysterious stranger carrying a violin case. At first, she is understandably confused about the situation she's been thrown into, but with a blade in her hand in order to defend herself against the creatures, she begins to find out that she is the only one who can stop them.
The series follows Saya as she explores her personalities and tries to come to terms with her past as the world around her grows increasingly darker. "Blood+ One" is a fascinating anime series, as it offers a rich, deep mystery, as well as strong action and supernatural elements. The strong voice work and writing combine for a compelling series, with well-developed characters and engaging stories.
Usually, a studio offers up a series either in volumes (unfortunately, this seems to be a more frequent option these days) or, better yet, in full season sets. Thankfully, in this case, Sony has decided to offer fans of the series the option of either. There is a Volume 1 & 2 (more volumes coming soon) option, each of which offers 5 episodes or a full season box set, which offers 25 episodes, plus the bonus of a T-Shirt.
This volume includes the episodes:
6 My Father's Hands 4/22/2007 106
- David, Saya and Hagi are attacked by a Chiropteran when they try to rescue George.
7 I Must Do It 4/29/2007 107
- Hagi hands Saya a dagger and encourages her to rediscover her past.
8 Phantom of the School 5/6/2007 108
- Assigned to infilrate the Vietnamese boarding school, Saya learns of a mysterious phantom who bestows blue roses to girls before kidnapping them.
9 Rainbow for Each 5/13/2007 109
- As Riku and Kai continue their search for their sister, the Red Shield learns that Saya bears a striking resemblance to the phantom's prior victims.
10 I Want to See You 5/20/2007 110
- When Saya is left a blue rose, she and Hagi find a shack that leads underground.
VIDEO: The series is presented by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 1.33:1 full-frame, which appears to be the show's original aspect ratio (although I tend to wonder if the series wouldn't have benefitted from being produced in widescreen.) Sharpness and detail are quite nice, as the picture appeared finely detailed at almost all times. A touch of shimmer and a hint of artifacting was spotted on some rare occasions, but the majority of the episodes looked clean and clear. Colors had a nice pop, with pleasing saturation and no smearing, fading or other faults.
SOUND: The show is presented with its original Japanese stereo soundtrack, which is just fine. Audio quality is crisp and clean, with music that sounded moderately full and dialogue that seemed (at least as much as I can tell) recorded well.
Final Thoughts: "Blood+ One" is an intense, beautifully animated and mysterious series that offers terrific action, compelling characters and an engaging style. For those curious about the series, the first volume and second volumes offer an introduction. However, fans of the show can pick up the full box set, which offers not only 25 episodes, but a few extras and a decent price tag if one can find it on a very good sale.