Heart attacks were had.
Hey guys. It’s time for the Blood Lad finale! There’s just one problem though. This didn’t feel like a finale at all, and I’m not very pleased about it.
Well this is awkward…
A lot of this last episode is dedicated to Fuyumi. Only appropriate given that this whole shebang started off with her, but unfortunately it’s still not enough. Basically Staz has a little chat with Fuyumi’s father about her future. Except he’s not really her father, and more accurately Bell’s father looking to adopt Fuyumi because Neyn says so. And we’ve already gone over Neyn’s motives before. So what does Mister Hydra Heads want? Apparently he just wants to make Fuyumi and Neyn happy out of respect for Mister Yanagi in the human world. Of course, making both Fuyumi and Neyn happy might not be possible in the current situation, so now we have the heart-to-heart discussion with Staz. There’s the usual stuff about whether Staz truly cares about Fuyumi, something which many of us have been questioning since the beginning. And the answer is: no, Staz still doesn’t know what he wants to do with her. But it turns out that’s OK, because Fuyumi is also equally unsure of what she wants.
Hey, we don’t really know what we want but let’s keep on going.
So yeah. Not the kind of conclusion any of us were expecting, I’m sure. We’ve come all this way with the relationship between Staz and Fuyumi, and in the end there’s really minimal development. If anything, our heroes are only more sure of how unsure they are. Hurrah. Well, to be fair I am being a little too critical. I guess you could say that there has been a step forward now that Staz will be trying harder to consult Fuyumi and pay closer attention to her thanks to some duping on the part of Hydra Heads. But that’s little comfort when all we see of it is Staz forcing on a wooden smile (at least he’s trying) and then falling back to being pushy when Fuyumi doesn’t go down the track he has in mind. Despite being the closest thing to a wrap-up in this episode, it’s still frustratingly unresolved.
Demon World Stuffs
What a champ.
If you thought that was painful, you’re not going to like the whole rest of the episode. Basically it was my worst fears confirmed: a bunch of exposition and no conclusion whatsoever. Remember those shows where at the end of an arc it feels like the show could end right there?1 Well this is pretty much the exact opposite: a show where at the very end it feels like not even a single thing has ended. There are only a few instances where I can tolerate this, and Blood Lad’s circumstances don’t appear to qualify for any of them. This isn’t some mid-season break ala Fate/Zero or Jormungand. This isn’t a show apparently popular enough to quickly pull a second season out of thin air at the end of the first.2 Really, there is absolutely no excuse for such a shoddy unresolved ending. Well, except for the unfortunate lack of 2 or 3 more episodes, I suppose. But this episode cap was already preordained since the beginning as far as I know, so the staff should have been able to plan for it.
Here, have an action shot.
Instead, all we get is a bunch of “and then what”. Which is really disappointing. I’d use stronger language but fortunately I’m not that upset all things considered. Anyway, I’ve gotten off-track a little, so let’s get back to the topic. Back in the demon world Braz is still in an awkward position with Goyle. They chat and scuffle for a little bit, and then Liz flies in to save the day. Perhaps the point of this is to plant the seeds out doubt in Goyle’s mind and potentially setting up for some kind of rebellion from the demon world police against Wolf-Daddy. But we won’t know anything for sure because there’s no more Blood Lad. Next up is the revelation that the mystery body from last episode does in fact belong to Blood-Daddy. There was a lot of heavy hinting for it, but I couldn’t believe it until Braz confirmed it. What I’m confused about is why he would be willing to give his father’s body to Akimu. The way he talks it almost seems as if he thinks daddy is all resurrected now. But we all know that’s not true. All he’s done is hand his father’s body over for Akimu to use as a puppet. And if you ask me, that’s more of an insult than anything. Has he gone so far that he’s willing to abandon even this much dignity for his deceased parent?
Plus, I can’t imagine someone who has already been defeated by Wolf-Daddy to be the mystery “more qualified for the throne” guy. First of all Blood-Daddy is already dead so that’s moot. And I really can’t see this mystery fit for the throne being Akimu either. Sure, his ability to assimilate others’ body parts is rather impressive. And if he can eventually channel Pantomime’s ability to copy abilities, he would certainly be looking rather formidable. But something tells me despite all the strange things in the demon world, they would not stand for having an experiment on the throne. We’re talking about a guy who’s not even a real demon. If not the general public, surely the elite demons in the acropolis would not tolerate such a thing. Unless, of course, this is exactly what Braz is going for: to upset the existing hierarchy. But despite all of his scheming, I can’t see him wanting this to happen either. What would be in it for him and his family? They’re already noble demons, despite having been cast aside by Wolf-Daddy.
Boy it sure would be nice for all of these questions to be answered, wouldn’t it? Well too bad. Because now it’s all over and there’s nothing we can do about it other than pray that a second season or at least some OVAs will come out that help smooth things out. I personally don’t follow sales so I have no idea as to the future (if there even is one) of this franchise. But regardless, I still find it in poor taste to end things like this. I will admit that it does make some sense if you consider the anime to purely be a promo for the manga. And that does help temper my displeasure. But all the marketing rationale in the world doesn’t excuse an almost complete lack of conclusion. This is almost as bad as an ending for a manga that suddenly got axed. You manga readers know what I’m talking about. And surely we haven’t reached the point where an entire anime series serves only as an advertisement for its source. That would just be ludicrous. But anyway, now I’m venting again. So I’ll just leave off with some final thoughts about Blood Lad as a whole.
This wasn’t a bad show at all, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it for fans of the fantasy genre. There are some annoying bits where characters act wishy-washy and potential developments aren’t pursued, but it’s not so bad when you consider the light comedy and action aspects of the show. Basically, watch Blood Lad to pass your time with a few good laughs and a dash of fanservice. Plus it’s only 10 episodes so it should be fairly easy to get through even with a tight schedule. Just don’t expect an actual ending when you’re done.