This was an unpredictable offering, in that it was a mere episode of 30 minutes, but gave the impression of potentially being a pilot show for a possibly fuller series (could this be that ‘Episode #0’ of which we have heard so much about?) “Noblesse” (which is derived from the term ‘Noblesse Oblige’ and denotes the concept that nobility extends beyond mere entitlements and requires the person who holds such status to fulfill social responsibilities, particularly in leadership roles to those less privileged) is, among other things, a vampire show. It actually is a webtoon, but it certainly offered up something more than mere neck-biting.
Cadis Etrama Di Raizel (a.k.a. Rai, those are numerous images of him to the left) is a vampire hunter protector. His job is to make certain that the vampire hunters can do their job without getting dispatched by their foes. However, he has been asleep for 820 years (Wait! He went away in 1196? Long before Vlad the Impaler made the scene? The big event of that year was that the North Dutch coast flooded) and those forces that wish him harm have been looking for him ever since. His coffin was magically found and he was awakened into a world that he has a hard time grasping. Really? When he went to bed, the Byzantine Empire was still around and the Third Crusade was an active memory. Now we have cell phones and the internet. And Donald Trump. I have a hard time grasping this world and I’ve been here for a while!
In order to blend in, he becomes a student at a local school, but the evil forces learned of his return and are now coming after him in numbers. Since we are playing a lot of catch-up (and it’s only a half-hour tale) the beginning sequences feel sluggish and confused. However, when students (his friends) are attacked by these evil-doers, Rai, along with his servant and friend, Frankenstein (blondie to the right), dispatch those naughty people in a brilliant fight sequence. Normally, in something like this, the fighting tends to fill in holes from the plot, as we don’t have to worry about character development or story progression (and in an open sense of the word, we don’t have to worry about the latter), but it just coalesces so strongly. It is well choreographed violence and not merely to show people getting skewered or separated from their important bits.
The other students at the school do not know who he really is, but that he seems so mature. This is where puzzlement sets in. It is a nice one-shot, but there is so much left on the table. This story has a strong direction to go in, as Rai is going to pick up the mantel and continue his work. But is it going to happen? Could this get bogged down between him trying to come off as a student? And what of the students? They are already involved, so they could always be pawns for the Evil Guys to make Rai their slave.
Another thing that bothered me is that the guys are amazingly handsome. GQ ain’t got nothing on them! I’m too sexy for my shirt! Letting these little problems fall away, this is still an intriguing offering. It does leave you wanting more and to see where this goes, but this might be the end of the line. All we can do is wait to see where it goes. In any case, I would suggest you see it. If I like something in the vampire realm, that says a lot.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 9 (Steamily appealing)
Plot 8 (Good but thin)
Pacing 7 (A rather slow start)
Effectiveness 8 (Picks up speed)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall 7 (I wish there was more out there)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I am here to serve.