Short Run Series XI: When I Was a “Lad”
Being a demon is tough and when you are a territory boss in the East Demon World, it’s even tougher. In “Blood Lad”, Staz Charlie Blood is the descendant of a noble vampire, and his father would go to the human world to suck blood. Not Staz. If he went to the human world, it’s off to Akihabara for the latest in video games, animes and figures. However, one day, he meets Fuyumi Yanagi, a regular old-fashioned girl who wandered into Demon World through a portal that opened in her bedroom.
His staff wants to suck her blood; he wants to impress her with his ‘knowledge’ of human things (thus the bizarre get-up he has on). Sadly, this little tryst is broken up when a neighboring demon boss is set on taking Staz’ territory and unleashes some hideous beasts. Staz manages to defeat all of them….but one, who manages to get to his apartment and devour Yanagi, turning her into a ghost. Since this is the first girl Staz has ever met and seen really close up, he vows to do whatever it takes to make her human once again.
The show follows their trials and tribulations as they venture through the Demon World to save Yanagi and learn the deeper darker secrets that lurk in the shadows of Demon World and how the dimensional portal was opened in the first place (for its dire reasons).
This show does not take itself too seriously, and I initially shied away from it as another vampire tale (I was thinking closer allied to “Dance in the Vampire Bund”, when it is more like “Rosario + Vampire”, but with far less obtrusive fan service). And when you have a title like “Blood Lad”, you are just thinking it is a drain-it-off paradise of neck-biting excesses.
The absolute gyrations Staz goes through to not only protect Yanagi but his own bailiwick is hysterical, as it turns out he really doesn’t have that firm of a grasp on things. And since this is a devil dog-eat-devil dog world out there, you can’t be sure of anything or anyone. Trust is something you have your money in and Faith is the first name of a singer.
It pulls up way short at 10 episodes, highlighting the fact that you could have fully completed the series with 13 parts, but this means there is a lot more going on that we imagined, as the main story line is unresolved and the parallel story arcs have just been hinted at.
I enjoyed this show, as we play down the vampire parts of it, accentuated the weirdness of Demon World and realize that they are beset with the same problems and concerns we have up here in the real world (Can you get a decent cup of coffee down there?) Not having read the manga, I do not know how it unfolds, but I assume that there will be another 10-series run just around the river bend.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Fairly typical)
Plot 8 (Interesting reworking of a typical approach)
Pacing 8 (Marvelous fight sequences)
Effectiveness 6 (Chained down by the brevity)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 4 (A similar show would be “Gurren Lagaan”)
Overall 7 (I like it, but far too brief for me)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Are you going to drink her blood?