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Anime DVD Review

The acid test of any anime series is, after an episode is finished do you immediately want to watch the next one and see what happens next? Such is the case with Blassreiter; I just couldn't pull myself away from the TV!

Although each episode resolves an immediate crisis, the overall crisis of the story arc is unresolved, making you want to watch more, and even when they resolve a story arc, a new arc develops within that episode which then starts the whole process all over again. Skillfully directed in this manner, you'll not be able to stop at any point without feeling as if you'd just left the best slice of pie on the plate!

Blassreiter Set in a fictionalized version of Germany, the story centers around an outbreak of a virus that consumes humans and turns them into biomechanical creatures called "Demoniacs" which rise from the corpse and then attack mindlessly, killing everyone they come into contact with. They have some kind of survival instinct and are able to merge with other technology to overcome or escape the forces that are out to stop them.

Blassreiter And out to stop these creatures is the Xenogenesis Assault Team (XAT), armed with guns, rockets, motorcycles and anything else they need to destroy demoniacs. Except that XAT, despite being well-armed and well-funded and well-trained, seems to spend a lot of time getting their asses kicked. Most of the time, something else shows up to save them — either a Demoniac who isn't really a Demoniac (called an Amalgam), or the mysterious "Pale Rider" (known to XAT as "Blue"), neither of which is trusted by XAT, who feel they are in the middle of the battle, while the Amalgams feel they have no side of the law to turn to.

It's complicated. And it gets more and more complex as the series progresses, and the virus which is causing the problem in the first place begins to take it's toll on even major characters. Gonzo's staff keep the level of action very high, at no point does the series feel like it's dragging and every episode advances the plot — there's no filler here.

Blassreiter As an added plus, the series is full of sport-bike motorcycle action; bikes seem to the predominant form of transport, even for XAT. And Amanda is a cutie (how she gets all that hair under her helmet is a big mystery). There seems to be a significant amount going on just beneath the surface as well, such as why XAT is operating out of a church, which is never really explained, but clearly it ties into the later episodes which are filled with more religious symbolism.

And just when you think things are getting better... well, they aren't. It's a tight, tense, well-scripted, well-directed thriller of a series that puts you on the edge of your seat, and keeps you there, episode after episode. You'll be amazed at how easily the hours slip by, and you still won't be able to turn it off.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, December 2009

Below: Scenes from Blassreiter.

A scene from Blassreiter

A scene from Blassreiter

A scene from Blassreiter

A scene from Blassreiter

A scene from Blassreiter

A scene from Blassreiter


Blassreiter Website Links:

Blassreiter GONZO Site (Japanese)

Blassreiter GONZO Site (English)

Funimation's Official Blassreiter Homepage

Official Blassreiter YouTube Page

Siren Visual's Official Product Page

Blassreiter (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia

Blassreiter entry at Wikipedia

Below: Trailer for the American version of Blassreiter.

Below: The Japanese opening titles for Blassreiter.

Blassreiter: It's all about racing!

Blassreiter: It's all about racing!

Below: Promotional artwork for Blassreiter.

Promotional artwork for Blassreiter.

Promotional artwork for Blassreiter.

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