Reviewby Mark Sombillo,
Trinity Blood Collection
Father Abel is travelling to the Vatican on board a flying ship. As part of his vow as a priest, poverty means that he is often down to his last few coins and opts instead for a meagre helping of sugar-tea. After a slight kerfuffle however, a kind-hearted stewardess opts to make him a sandwich instead. He never gets his sandwich however as at that moment, the ship's pilots are executed and a vampire takes control with the intent of crashing it into the Vatican. Pretty soon having an empty stomach becomes the least of his concerns. It's a good thing that he's a Crusnik and you won't find anyone better for dealing with a pesky vampire.
When it comes to the start of anime seasons, I'm not one to usually sample every single one that gets released and then drop those that are uninteresting. More often I wait a bit for the recommendations to start popping up before I give things a go. Consequently at least for the past half a decade, I've sampled most of the titles that have become favourites amongst the fans, whether or not I see them through to their finish. Trinity Blood however is an exception.
I've seen the lavish costumes in conventions aplenty and in a vague way, even knew its story as devotees are quick to discuss it time and again. Judged from the perspective of convention culture, it has certainly been a major contributor to the popularity of vampire stories that has exploded in recent times. Why I never got on board came down to two things; heaps of good titles also coming out at the same period, and my liking of Vampire Hunter D.
The story is a rich tapestry of political and mythological amalgamation interspersed with edge-of-your-seat action. It's an onion ring arrangement where the plot inevitably thickens the further you peel in, revealing more and more that not everything is as it appears from the surface. The high visuals and continuous action and intrigue essentially continue on unabated all through the series.
Dubbing is fairly well done. Troy Baker, an arguably underutilised voice actor in the industry plays the role of the lead protagonist Abel Nightroad to great effect. He does very well in playing the aloof Abel and equally menacingly when in Crusnik form, the cold uncompromising attitude showing through in spades. One particularly praiseworthy performance is by Brina Palencia playing the part of Elise Wasmayer, a distraught child with psychic powers. Palencia's solemnly heart-rending work to complement the character's quiet crying on screen was nothing short of inspiring.
When I first got the disk to review Trinity Blood with, I was under the impression that I got sent a dud as it wouldn't run on my DVD player. Once I realised I actually got sent the Blu-Ray version, I felt very glad that I wasn't seeing it in the DVD format. The crisp colours and attention to detail in the background really stand out vibrantly in this release. The character looks and in particular their exaggerated costumes are of such grand design, they've become a status symbol in the cosplay community of being costumes worn only by the best in the game.
Now that it comes to it, I do regret my initial preconceived notions of this series which prevented me from even giving it a go at the start. I mentioned Vampire Hunter D not entirely because I wanted to draw some parallels between it and Trinity Blood (though stylistically, you can say there's a lot to compare), but because Vampire Hunter D occurred at a time when vampires weren't fashionable. I liked it because it was unique, but as Trinity Blood gathered popularity, I was under the impression that it was only because vampires were the flavour of the month.
After having seen this first volume, I understand better now that there's more to it than just another immortal in need of blood to sustain himself. The political intrigue and character development is comparable to high budget epics like the Gundam franchise and the execution is as imposing Code Geass. It's been a while since I've added a title to my list of recommendation for converting people to become fans of anime but I must say this is an excellent show for both new and old connoisseurs.
© 2005 Trinity Blood Partners. Licensed by FUNimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Overall (dub) : B
Overall (sub) : B
Story : B
Animation : A
Art : A
Music : B
+ Rich story filled with complex characters
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