Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $59.98 US
Running Time: 288 minutes
Rating: TV MA
Release Date: Available Now
They saved the best for last in this final battle.
I have to admit that the first part of Blassreiter didn’t start off as a series I would really get into but it wasn’t final five episodes that this series just didn’t take off but actually exploded in your face in the most surprising and gratifying way. It wasn’t so much the bloody action that got me but rather the thought that just about anyone could die in this series that hooked me. Blassreiter, The Complete Series: Part Two, is a more dramatic, action-packed and even thought-provoking second part that you will not want to miss.
With the betrayal of Captain Wolf of the Xenogenesis Assault Team causing the death of every XAT member except for Amanda Werner who managed to escape after her longtime friend and partner, Hermann, helped eject her from a burning helicopter he was piloting. Picking up directly after that episode, Part Two begins with Amanda running into Joseph Jobson (AKA Blue). Having felt that Joseph was trying to help her brother Malek instead of causing his transformation, the two hide away as Joseph tells Amanda about his past and the events that lead up to his transformation.
The story is quite an interesting one and, on top of that, actually touching at times. Joseph, you see, grew up in an orphanage run by an elderly priest who is struggling to keep the children under his care fed and clothed. The priest often seeks donations door-to-door with Joseph accompanying him. Sweet natured and accommodating, Joseph was willing to do anything to help the children of the orphanage including taking a beating from the son of a rich snob and his friends He even takes the blame for a horrible mishap that said rich snob and his friends were really responsible for in the first place. Who were they going to believe … a boy from a wealthy family or a poor orphan?
It is during a contagious outbreak that the elderly priest passes away and Joseph takes charge of the church as well as the sick. It is there that he meets a dedicated and kind student doctor by the name of Xargin who befriends the young orphan. As it turns out, Xargin knows another fellow physician by the name of Sasha who – as it turns out – is connected to Joseph by blood. The three become good friends until tragedy strikes and Sasha (if you’ve been following the series since Part One I’m not really spoiling anything) dies by the hands of some punks who hate immigrants.
As a result of Sasha’s murder, Xargin could no longer turn a blind eye to what is going on in Germany. Immigrants are being targeted, children are going hungry to the point that they have to sell their much-needed medicine and this isn’t acceptable to the young doctor. It is the young doctor’s wish to end human suffering so he turns to the only thing that was destined to change the world … the project Sasha had been working on in the university. Xargin pushes his way into Sasha’s old research in nanotechnology by the universities Director … a man who is very familiar by now. It is then that a new Xargin is born and during a confrontation he changes Joseph’s life as well.
Well, as it turns out, Mei-Fong is still alive as is another person who surprises Joseph. Both Amanda and Joseph are taken into custody in the headquarters of an organization whose roots are connected to that of the Knights Templar. They are Zwolf, a secret branch that is home to the Apocalypse Knights that includes Mei-Fong as a mech operator, another pilot named Shido and that mystery person Joseph thought was dead. The familiar Director of Zwolf even asks Amanda to join while Joseph is being injected with an experimental treatment that will bring out his true abilities to stop Xargin and his minions.
With Amanda on their side include a member of the XAT she thought was dead, they go up against Xargin and his loyal follower Beatrice who has manipulated Wolf. The battle with Wolf is actually quite exciting as the traitor finally gets what he deserves. In the meantime, Joseph is pulled into madness until a friend pulls him out of it in time to finally take on Xargin who leads thousands of Amalgans against Zwolf. On top of that, the U.N. orders that Germany be wiped off the face of the map for fear of contaminating the rest of the world.
There’s a final confrontation that I will not spoil by even mentioning. All I could say is old friends are back – for a short time – and yes characters start dying. I did mention that just about anyone can die in this series and they certainly do but that’s what makes it so exciting. There’s a religious tones, mostly negative, that might not sit well with most. The series is still bloody but, strangely enough, not as much as Part One.
The finale is actually quite satisfying as The Complete Series: Part Two of Blassreiter makes an even better impression than the beginning of the series. As the enemy takes the fight to the good guys, the final battle is nothing short of exciting and the rest of the story is even sincerely emotional at times. Had the series began this powerfully, it would have been a truly unforgettable anime experience. Still, you’ll have a blast watching this one.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Surviving the attack on the XAT headquarters, Amanda meets up with Joseph only to be taken into custody by a familiar people both Amanda and Joseph recognize. Joining the Commander in a new unit calling the Apocalypse Knights in a shadow organization called Zwolf, Amanda, Joseph and a friend thought dead help fight against Xargin and his Amalgam forces.
VIDEO QUALITY: A+
Once again, the CG effects mix well with the 2-D backgrounds and characters throughout the show. The fights are more visually exciting in this second part and yes the teenage boy in me thinks Amanda is still the hottest character in the show.
AUDIO QUALITY: B+
The strong voice performances from Part One are back for both language tracks but the performances for the English dub side are brilliant thanks to the difference in the dialogue. The music is still amazing as well, although “Unripe Hero” is a far more awesome opening tune than the one heard in Part One.
ADR Director, Tyler Walker, once again sits in for the audio commentary track for Episode 24 and is joined by Todd Abercorn (Joseph) and J. Michael Tatum (Xargin). Their conversation touches on interesting subjects like re-writing the dialogue for the English dub. The Director’s Guide to Blassreiter features Director Ichiro Itano talking about adding 3-D CG effects into 2-D backgrounds and making the CG action scenes stand out. There are also trailers and the clean opening and closing songs as well.
They saved the best for last as Part Two of The Complete Series of Blassreiter not only gets more dramatic and powerfully emotional but also more intense as the remaining heroes fight to save the world and themselves. The religious overtones might not sit well with everyone but the story is deep enough to make Part Two good entertainment.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment