Blood: The Last Vampire [Blu-Ray] Hiroyuki Kitakubo

Blood: The Last Vampire [Blu-Ray] Hiroyuki Kitakubo
With the added, clichéd and ridiculous back-story and frequently disastrous visual effects of Chris Nahon's recent feature-length live action adaptation of the 48-minute anime, the shallow minimalism of the original Blood: The Last Vampire seems almost inspired. In fact, while revisiting the new 1080p high definition version of the original, the lesbian subtext and bizarre flashbacks plunked into the remake seem downright absurd. During its brief running time, mixing traditional animation with CGI backgrounds, the gory Buffy fetish short follows demon-killing vampire Saya as she weeds out otherworldly creatures in the Yokota American military base in Japan, circa 1960. Given impending American involvement in the Vietnam War and the fact that the monsters and vampires are young Yankee girls and transgendered prostitutes, intended pedagogy provides some much-needed amusement. We aren't given any context for the young demon-slayer, other than her being the "last of her kind," as she hacks and slashes monsters to pieces, randomly protecting a panicked nurse. And that's about it. While flimsy, none could argue that it wasn't accessible for those less acquainted with the often convoluted and complex world of anime and manga. It clips along at a solid pace, featuring intense action sequences and exciting animation, which is sufficient in its own right. The Blu-Ray boasts both the new high definition transfer and the digital data version of the film, which technophiles can compare and contrast to their delight. In simplest terms, the background CGI has a heightened clarity and depth, while the animation in the foreground looks virtually the same. Also included with the Blu-Ray are the original Japanese trailers and the 20-minute "making of" featurette, which details, mainly, the groundbreaking combination of animation techniques, along with the musical score and other conceptual processes. (Anchor Bay)