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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? July 2019

August 4, 2019

Hello everyone! I apologize for the sudden disappearance, but it was a good break and I’m looking forward to getting things back to normal.
I wish I didn’t have to come back with bad news, and for most of you, I’m sure it’s old bad news at this point, which is worse, but it is certainly worth bringing it up nonetheless, and it’s about the horrible attack on one of Kyoto Animation’s studios which left 35 dead and many more injured.
It is a very sobering thing to hear. These are individuals who came together to bring countless smiles across the world through their medium – stories and characters which many of us, and many more of us will continue to hold dear, and to think that many of the men and women responsible have been removed from a world they’ve helped brighten, all by a single person, is a revolting thought to have.
Sentai Filmworks’ fundraiser has come and gone, and was very successful, and if you’re still willing to help, both Crunchyroll’s (link) and RightStuf’s (link) efforts are still ongoing among several others local and nationwide. Words and dollars will never bring the victims back, and will only hope to help mend the damage done to all of the families affected by the attack, but it is the least we can do for the people who spent the last months and years of their lives bringing such joy to the world through their creations, and for their families and friends who will feel the effects of this senseless loss of life for years to come.
No one is invincible, and life is precious. It is one of the disgusting truths of today’s world that terrible things such as this continue to happen.
Please be kind to one another.
 

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust-
In the far flung future, society as we know it has waned.
Humanity withers from within their villages as they defend themselves from the evil forces of the night – the chief threat among them being vampires.
However, thanks to the efforts of Hunters, mercenaries who track down and eradicate these creatures for a price, their menace is nearly overcome. Vampires are an endangered species.
When a young woman is taken in the dead of night, her family hire the services of a mysterious man, to track down her Vampire abductor. This man is known only as D, and has a reputation as being half vampire himself – a Dhampir.
As the silent man in black departs to track his new prey, the situation becomes a race against time, as not only does he have competition in the form of a band of Hunters, but a slumbering evil secretly plots against them all.

What I thought-
The first D film, which was covered (somewhat) recently here on the Soapbox was an interesting specimen. Though the action wasn’t great, nor was much of the artwork, nor was the narrative, that film had this sort of engrossing dread which enveloped you as the movie progressed. Whether it was intentional, or simply due to the shortcomings of the production budget, that film creeped along at a snails pace, often lingering longer than necessary on characters or locations. This worked for that film though, because it slowed things down and allowed you to soak in the atmosphere.
Bloodlust is in some ways the polar opposite of that first film by comparison. Here, the animation is fluid. The action, when it happens, is varied and exciting. There are numerous characters with different motivations and views and personalities. It looks and sounds modern, with outstanding character art and gorgeous environments brimming with detail. The voice work is also great, with English voiceover delivered with enthusiasm, even when the lines themselves are often clunky.
But the issue with this film is that while we have all of these wonderful, shiny things afforded by a more modern animation style and a higher budget, the overall narrative and accompanying tone greatly hinders its potential.
This is a tale of tragedy – of survival in a twisted world full of suffering and oppression, but because the cast of characters is as large as it is, and D himself has such little presence in his own film, the viewer is never properly let in upon the idea. Our heroes meander from one environment to the next with no sense of urgency, and the scenes which transpire at each stop do very little to add depth to the narrative. As the story progresses, new antagonists come out of nowhere, and pose a new threat to a love between characters we have barely spent time with. It’s easy to see the ideas at work behind the scenes, but even up to the climax of the film, there is never a driving force behind them, and while that worked for this film’s predecessor because its more limited scope left room for filler which ultimately ended up adding to its tone, Bloodlust feels like a movie which wants to be everything and manages to be very little.
If you can read between the lines, there is a narrative and world worth appreciating hidden beneath Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust’s stylish visuals, but this is a film largely incapable of presenting that narrative or that dark world in a compelling way.


 

WoW Classic is soon! Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (you know, the new one) is right around the corner! Video games are happening! October looms from afar, which means spooky stuff abound. Very exciting!
After the break, I’m also digging into several anime series, and I’ve accrued a nice collection of films to get to as well. I hope everyone has been getting their fill of the sun.
That’s all for now though. γ˜γ‚ƒγ€‚
(Last year this month.)

From → Anime

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