I love it.
Fun, fun, fun. I can’t believe Blood Lad will only have 10 episodes, but boy will these be 10 highly enjoyable episodes. Even as I write this, I still have a stupid grin on my face from just watching the premiere. And I suspect I’ll have this grin every week when I sit down for more Blood Lad.
An awkward elevator ride.
I already knew I was in for something whacky from the get-go, but nothing could have prepared me for the real deal. Let’s start with Staz, the reluctant gang boss in charge of his own territory in what can only be described as one continuous turf war. That’s right, the demon world is just like some sort of bad part of town with gangsters clashing day to day. Oh, and dragons flying overhead. But let’s not sweat the details. So Staz is a prestigious vampire, whose lineage is overshadowed by his love of all things Japan. In particular, he loves reading manga, playing JRPGS, and collecting figures. What a guy. I’m sure the elitists out there are foaming at the mouths at yet another textbook case of otaku pandering and self-imposition. But who cares. The point is, Staz doesn’t have time to suck the blood of pretty ladies and deal with rival gang encroachments because he’s too busy hiding in his man cave. Really, this guy is living the life. All he has to do is go out every once in a while and pop someone’s heart to keep things in control. And then everything else is taken care of for him by his loyal mooks, who attend to his insatiable appetite for more otaku goods.
Even vampires can hnnng!
But Blood Lad isn’t done here. As ridiculous as the whole premise already is, we are introduced to Fuyumi, a human girl who wanders into Staz’s territory thanks to a mystical curtain-portal-thingy. The goons capture and prepare to do all sorts of horrible things to her because they’re monsters and that’s what monsters do, but Staz has other plans. No, he doesn’t want to eat her or suck her blood. This is a rare opportunity to have a one-sided nerd-gasm speak with one of the humans who made all the things he loves, and Staz isn’t about to let it pass him by. Well ok, so he does develop a bit of an urge to bite into her “white, soft-looking neck” every time Fuyumi looks him in the eye, but honestly I think Staz’s attraction to her isn’t completely driven by his vampiric instincts. I’m betting the tough guy really fell in love at first sight, except he probably doesn’t understand what love is and his instinctual thirst for blood doesn’t help either. In any case, things happen, and Fuyumi ends up comically dead thanks to some giant man-eating plants. The last time I saw comic deaths done right was in Angel Beats!, so hats off to Blood Lad for this.1
Of course, if it were to end right there, Blood Lad wouldn’t be half as entertaining. So Fuyumi “returns” as a ghost, leading Staz to believe that there’s still a chance she can be revived. Thus begins an epic quest to bring back to life an unfortunate girl cut down in the prime of her youth. But first, a visit to the local “cafe” for some… beer and bar snacks.
Gosh, I just love this show. A ridiculous setting with ridiculous characters and ridiculous developments. All while disguising a constant progression of plot that is deceptively nonexistent because you’re too busy clutching your sides in pain from laughing so hard.2 If the rest of the show is going to be like this, I don’t think I have to be worried about the short length of only 10 episodes. Blood Lad will get it done; I’ll just be sad to see it go so soon.
1Someone’s sure to be offended, so I should add that death is serious and should never be made light of. But still, just let us have our fun.
2The humorous yet expositionally important cafe visit really impressed me. Although the bit with the mimic was a bit too obviously telegraphed and convenient.