Sequential art out of sequence – beware spoilers for Blassreiter

I had selected a few frames from Blassreiter. However, you can watch episodes 18 and 19 if you want to see them in sequence. I am willing to scramble up their order because I don’t think much meaning is lost by such scrambling.

 

Many fantasy battle shows feature attractive young people who are not so busy battling that they can’t find the time to fall in love and at least get as far as kissing and holding hands.  I might very well complain about such shows – I probably have complained about them at some point in the past.

If these fantasy battle shows were taking place in a dangerous time, the young people might find that they did not have any time to fall in love.

Blassreiter has a lot of attractive young people. Spoilers below.

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Blassreiter took about 15 episodes to hit its stride.

Blassreiter requires a considerable degree of attention from the viewer. In the end, if you watch all 24 episodes in quick succession, you should be able to remember who the characters are, and why they care about each other.

The writing has a great deal of talent. And yet, in some ways, this show is silly. You must be willing to accept several wildly bizarre premises to watch this show.

The voice actress for Mei Fang is a major reason to continue watching this silly show.  Happily, I can report that she has been getting work in other shows.  Also happily, I can report that this show is not entirely silly.  It does eventually address some serious themes, such as “Will you lose your humanity if your body is transformed by nanotech?”

The final episode delivers at least one “moral of the story” but there are some bits of dialogue that suggest very serious themes. The quotes from the Bible eventually pull together quite a few important themes.


Blassreiter took about 15 episodes to hit its stride.

It is a show about attractive young people getting into super high-tech vehicles and sallying forth into combat. You have seen this formula for decades. Sometimes the young people get into giant mecha. Sometimes they form a sentai. The details can vary. However, the formula is clear.

Blassreiter Episode 14 transitions from bad writing to bad cliches

I really wanted to like Blassreiter. Early on, it was obvious that the Japanese writers liked selling pale-skinned European characters to Japanese audiences. That was fine by me.

Then the writers introduced the main conflict as driven by cruel natives who hated the outsiders. The outsiders had Muslim names like Malik, but were pale-skinned just like the natives. Thus having obfuscated the racial hatred that motivates Muslims to attack Germans, the writers felt free to unleash their favorite cliches.

Premise:

Long-Lost Sibling Cliche:

Tedious, politically correct attempt to whitewash muslim invaders in Germany as pale-skinned, victimized outsiders:

Penultimate cliche:

The supervillain was a pure-as-the-driven-snow altruist before her mad science research was perverted by evil white men:

The writing isn’t entirely horrible, it’s just super racist against white people. The cliches are solid old classics, and I don’t doubt that they will carry a story suitable for eight-year-olds who have never read any literary criticism.

Blassreiter, Episodes 12 & 13: You’re gonna groove. Then you’re gonna cringe.

I haven’t been watching Blassreiter for a while. I think my favorite character died early on. The fact that I don’t recall should be a warning sign of low-quality writing. It makes me feel that I should have watched Kamen Rider before starting Blassreiter because the later show is probably ripping off the earlier show with the similar premise.

Episode 12 gave us old-fashioned manly heroics, lots of horrible death, lots of suffering that didn’t defeat heroic resolve. It was silly in an action-movie sort of way. It is the kind of manly silliness that anime needs more of.

Blassreiter is not a terribly well-written show. It relies heavily on spectacular action sequences that don’t mesh well with its ridiculously syrupy characterization. The first season of Garo was similar in tone but somewhat more watchable because the characters were halfway believable. Blassreiter drags, in part because it gets distracted with syrupy cringe about immigrants. It’s not as bad as Now and Then, Here and There, but damn, it’s trying hard to get to the bottom of that barrel and start scraping.

Apparently the writers of the show love immigrants and believe that all immigrants in Germany are blond-haired, big-eyed, defenseless children. They give blond kids Arab names like “Malek” and assume that the target audience won’t notice. (Japs are oblivious, but are they really THAT oblivious? Was this show written and produced by embittered Korean immigrants to Japan?)

Meanwhile, back in reality:
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