Decades ago, a new drug manufactured to rid the world of all deadly viruses created an unforeseen, negative side effect in the humans who ingested it – they grew a craving for the blood of other humans becoming a new species of humans now referred to as “Bloodivores”. In the present day, due to a new caste system, the bloodivores are persecuted and belittled by the rest of the human race, being treated like cattle by the rest of society. Within this new society, emerges Mi Liu, a teenage boy who is half-human, half-bloodivore, referred to as the “Child of Hope” for it is believed his mixed heritage could lead to equality between the humans and bloodivores. However, due to some unfortunate circumstances, Mi Liu winds up framed for the murder of many civilians. With nowhere to run and no one to turn to, can Mi escape this situation? Or will all hope be lost for the future of the bloodivores?
The modern era of Anime is certainly a lot more interesting than it was a decade ago when it comes to the variety of adaptations. While in the past, most Anime series were simply adaptations of Manga or original works created from scratch, nowadays a ton of series are adapted from Light Novels, Webcomics and even Chinese Manga.
Did I say Chinese Manga? Yes. Yes I did.
Similarly to Hitori No Shita from last season, Bloodivores is an adaptation of a Chinese Manga, and is a co-production between the Japanese and Chinese branches of a small-time studio, who’s name have already slipped my mind. Unfortunately that’s not all Bloodivores has in common with Hitori no Shita, because just like that show, it’s cheaply produced, shoddily put together and just not engaging or interesting at all.
I will however give the show credit where it’s due: it’s probably the best Anime adaptation of a Chinese Manga ever produced. It’s nowhere near as terrible as Hitori No Shita, which was a whole new kind of awful that no one should ever have to suffer through. But so far, Bloodivores has very little going for it that I could consider to be worthwhile.
First of all, the production values are dreadful. The character designs themselves are pretty decent, and they actually do a great job of standing out from a lot of the other titles this season. But aside from that the colour palette is incredibly limited, with far too much grey and lifelessness, the animation has barely any movement at all, with a ton scenes being filled with awkward, still frames and the directing in general just feels so soulless and lacks creative energy.
I mean come on, just look at the title card!
Just, what is that?
There isn’t a spark of humanity anywhere in this production, and it’s a darn shame, because had the show been given a better budget and had more care and effort been taken into its production, maybe this opening episode would have been more appealing.
As for the plot itself, there’s some potential for it to become interesting as it goes on, and there’s a lot of room for theme exploration regarding the whole caste system and the nasty treatment of the bloodivores, but as things stand so far, we don’t seem to be getting any of that.
Even if we do get something to that effect further down the line, I’m not sure if it’s even guaranteed to make this show a success. The sheer number of shows with the premise of having man-eating humans who are persecuted and feared by the regular humans is absolutely staggering, and all of them trump Bloodivores in their overall execution and general approach.
There’s not a drop of originality in this production what so ever. The main character is, of course, some kind of super special “last hope” because he’s a half-breed, just like Kaneki was in Tokyo Ghoul. The bloodivores themselves were created from a side-effect of a drug manufactured to wipe out diseases, because we’ve definitely not seen that before. The main character ends up in some horrible predicament where he is framed for murdering lots of innocent people, just like what happened to Ganta at the start Deadman Wonderland… I think I’ve made my point.
But the biggest tragedy here is that Bloodivores isn’t even a bad show. It’s not that the show doesn’t work, because despite all it’s problems, it works just fine. But it’s so derivative, uninspired and soulless that it just fails to be entertaining in every single way. I wasn’t invested, and I didn’t care about anything that was happening at all.
Parasyte was amazing because it explored the theme of human cruelty and how our malicious and destructive nature towards other species and the very planet we live on made us the real monsters. Tokyo Ghoul was entertaining because it had style over substance. It was fairly weak in terms of theme exploration and story dynamics, but it had some very impressive directing moments and over the top flashy action sequences.
But Bloodivores has neither style nor substance. It doesn’t appear to be exploring any complex themes like Parasyte and it certainly doesn’t have any of the artsy flair or high production quality of Tokyo Ghoul to make it worth anything visually.
I think it’s wonderful that we’re getting Anime adaptations of Chinese Manga in today’s age. Such adaptations have the potential to produce some really interesting ideas that we’ve never seen from the medium before. But if this is all we’re going to get, shows that feel cheap, dry and uninspired then it’s a wasted effort.
I’ve been proven wrong many times in the past, and I’m hoping that I’m wrong with this one. Bloodivores has some interesting ideas that could be utilised for some great things as it goes on. But it all boils down to whether or not it uses them, and I have a strong feeling that it won’t.
Maybe it’ll get better from here on? I sure hope so.
So what are your first impressions of Bloodivores?