animation, horror, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: May 17th, 2014 Movie – Blood: The Last Vampire (2000)

blood the last vampire

Ahh, it has been a while since I have watched an anime movie so I am kind of glad to be rewatching one today. Now when it comes to this movie, I honestly don’t remember exactly why I got it. My best guess is that I was in a mood after getting Vampire Hunter D on DVD and decided that why stop at one vampire anime when I can have two. Now it was released by Manga Entertainment and I had enjoyed several of their other releases so I figured that Blood: The Last Vampire would be just as enjoyable. Now let’s see if it still is.

The plot: In 1966, a young girl named Saya is carrying a large cylindrical case on a subway train, with the only other passenger being a man in a suit. As the train moves through a tunnel and the lights start going out, Says rushes towards the man, pulling out a katana from the case, and killing the man as he tries to escape into another car. When the train stops at the next station, two men, David and Louis, meet with Saya and ask her where the chiropteran is, which the man she killed is supposed to be. David begins briefing Saya on her next mission, while Louis checks on the body but he rushes out to say that it looks like she killed a regular human. David ignores Louis and continues briefing Saya, who is shocked to learn that her assignment is on an American Air Force base. When Louis keeps going on about Saya’s possibly killing a normal person, muttering “Jesus” when they keep ignoring him, Saya gets enraged and grabs him by the mouth, lifting him up into the air but David convinces her to let him go. As she leaves, David decks Louis and tells him not to piss her off, as she is the last of the original ones. Meanwhile, outside Yokota Air Force Base, a young woman is found dead from apparent suicide and the townsfolk believe she was dating one of the soldiers. The next day, Saya is walking by an antique shop and notices a pair of katanas inside that are marked not for sale but she continues on her way towards the high school on the base grounds. At the same time, Nurse Makiho Amano arrives at the school and as she heads to her office, she notices Saya and questions her before taking her to the principal’s office at Saya’s request. Inside, they find David waiting for her with the principal and the principal dismisses her to her class but warns that not a lot of work will be done as they are preparing for the Halloween party. After Saya and David leave, Makiho starts to question the principal about the Saya, as well as the party, but the principal says he is tired of hearing her arguments and to get back to work. Meanwhile, David is talking with Saya and tells her that another body was discovered and they need to find the chiropteran before it goes into hibernation, where it won’t be able to be traced. In class, Sharon, the girl next to Saya, tries talking to her but when Saya tells her to leave her alone, she leaves with her friend Linda. As the school day ends, Saya is looking around the school when she senses something and heads to the nurse’s office, where she finds evidence that the chiropterans are feeding there. When Makiho walks in, she is startled by Saya’s being there and drops the papers she was carrying but Saya leaves before she can say anything. The next day, the students are getting ready for the party but Sharon tells their teacher that Linda isn’t feeling well and asks to help take her to the nurse’s office, unaware that Saya is listening to them outside the door. Makiho goes to get Linda some medicine for anemia but when she turns around, she finds Linda sitting up in bed and both her and Sharon’s mouths are moving but no sound is being made. Suddenly, Saya bursts into the room and kills Linda with her sword but when she goes to kill Sharon, Sharon manages to deflect the blade with a cabinet, snapping the blade’s tip off but injuring herself in the process. As she escapes, Saya turns to Makiho, who is screaming in shock, and slaps her in order to calm her down, then warns her to forget what she saw there. The wounded Saya grabs a banner to wrap around her wounded arm and screams out into the night and elsewhere in the city, a bartender hears her and leaves the bar and heads into an alley, where she starts a fire before transforming into a chiropteran and heading off into the night. Driving around in their car, David is shocked to learn that there are three chiropteran in the area and tells Louis that they have to step on it and make sure they don’t lose any of them. Back at the school, Makiho follows the blood trail from Sharon’s arm to where the dance is being held and discovers the changed Sharon pretending to be in costume. Saya suddenly appears, having broken into the store to grab one of the swords, but when she attacks Sharon, she discovers the sword is a fake. Sharon knocks Saya away and grabs Makiho before exiting the party but Saya attacks her again and causes her to release Makiho, whom Saya yells at to run. As David and Louis track the other one heading towards the base, Makiho runs from the school and ends up encountering a guard and trying to explain what is happening. The guard doesn’t believe her, as it is Halloween, but as he follows Makiho back towards the school, he is attacked and killed by the other chiropteran. Saya manages to wound it by throwing the remains of her sword into it’s eye and then grabs the guards gun before leaving with Makiho. Heading towards the base, another guard tries to stop them but Saya knocks him out and then drags Makiho into the motorpool to hide. Saya heands Makiho the gun, then tries to explain their situation while searching for a weapon. When Makiho tries giving her the gun back, Saya tells her that it won’t kill a chiropteran but she might need it to kill herself. Suddenly, the chiropteran break into the building and move to attack them. Makiho, reaching the breaking point with what’s happening, begins firing randomly at Sharon, hitting some gas cans and causing an explosion that knocks Sharon unconscious and sets the building on fire. As the other chiropteran heads to the roof of the building, David shows up and tries to get inside only to find that the chiropteran have used the guard’s body to lock the door. A recovered Sharon attacks Saya and Makiho goes to shoot herself but Saya yells at her to get in the jeep and drive through the doors. Makiho does so, knocking herself unconscious in the process, and David manages to make it inside and throw Saya a new sword, which she uses to finally kill Sharon. The other chiropteran cries out and begins changing again, growing wings, then flies off towards a cargo plane that is about to take off. Saya and David chase after it in the jeep, radioing Louis and telling him to grab Makiho before the authorities do, and Saya manages to wound it before it can grab onto the plane and escape. When David stops the car, Saya heads back to the dying chiropteran and after staring at it for a while, she allows some of her blood to drip into it’s mouth, which finally kills it, then leaves with David as more guards arrive. The next day, Makiho is being questioned about what happened but as all of the bodies have vanished, along with Saya and David, she has no proof to back up her story. As she is dismissed, she is showed a picture and asked if the girl in the picture looked like Saya and Makiho is shocked to notice that the picture is from 1892, and the word Vampire is written on it. As Makiho watches the motor pool being demolished, she thinks to herself that she did learn the truth about Saya and the chiropterans and wonders if she is still fighting them. As she drives away, she listens to the radio, where the news caster is reading the cover story that David and Louis’ team created to explain what happened, with the Viet Cong being blamed for the destruction, resulting in more American forces being sent to Vietnam in retaliation.

Ok, the first time I watched this movie, I will admit that I was a little confused about the plot. Watching it again now, almost 20 years later, I actually understood it a lot better and enjoyed it even more, but it is still not close to one of my favorites. The voice acting was pretty good though the mixture between Japanese and English among some of the people was a little weird to get used to. The story was interesting, as they don’t quite come out and say that Saya is the last vampire, referring to her as the last original. They also don’t really explain how the chiropteran came to be or why Saya is the one to hunt them but by all appearances, they are simply an offshoot of vampires and Saya feels like it is her job to eliminate them. The other thing I thought was interesting, and I didn’t catch this when I first watched it, was the setting for the movie and how it tied into the Vietnam War, making you wonder if the people that David, Louis, and Saya work for intended to blame the Viet Cong for the attack in order to start the war. The animation was honestly a little duller than I expected, not dull in a lack of excitement to it but dull as far as the color scheme. This was actually a good thing as the muted color scheme helped make the movie a little more dramatic in it’s telling. It’s a good anime and worth giving a watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5


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