Sometimes I look to watch shows full of comedy and joy, but more often than not I find myself watching shows like Blassreiter. Blassreiter is a story about a technologically advanced world, which on the outside looks pleasant enough. Very quickly however, as we delve into the German setting in which the story takes place, we find a mysterious infestation of monsters known as Demoniacs. No one seems to quite understand what Demoniacs are except that they are out to kill and therefore must be stopped.
Nothing is as it seems however as very early on members of XAT, the Xeogenesis Assault Team who confronts Demoniacs, discovers certain live humans are becoming Demoniacs by some mysterious means. Simultaneously, we have the arrival of a mysterious Demoniac, nicknamed Blue, who can control his powers and remain human, but shows no clear intention behind his actions. The mysteries appear to pile up exponentially, leaving the members of XAT no choice but to fight on with hopes of one day discovering the true nature of this plague.
Right up front I’d like to say Blassreiter on the whole is not the kind of show that would immediately pull me in. Indeed, the world and conflicts parallels Ghost in the Shell, which is always a plus for me; however, unlike Ghost in the Shell the CGI graphics in Blassreiter almost seemed too overbearing and the story a tad cliché. However, as with Samurai 7, Glass Fleet, and so many other Gonzo produced anime, I discovered the serious themes and complex characters compelled me to look past the CGI and enjoy the anime.
I would say in fact that the characters are by far my favorite part of the anime. To some degree, the characters are cliché, so as to match their seemingly typical roles in what initially seems to be a commonly structured story. However, after two episodes you quickly realize death and unimaginable hardships are far from uncommon in this world and with each passing conflict and tragedy, the characters become more individualized. In doing so, the show creators allow us to connect with the characters in a way very intimate manner, which further ties us to loving the characters.
I think it’d be fair then to say that this show only gets great when it’s at its most depressing. Admittedly even in those moments, of those characters that pass on many of their deaths cross into cliché territory. However, by that point in the story the audience is presumably well connected to the anime, and will continue on based on curiosity if nothing else.
In summary, Blassreiter is certainly not a perfect product. However, like many of Gonzo’s productions, while rough around the edges Blassreiter is full of heart.
Score: 3 out of 5