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Kekkai Sensen- Blood Blockade Battlefront
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Anime & Manga - Kekkai Sensen- Blood Blockade Battlefront
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Just watched the first episode of this show today and by golly is it the most epically insane and over the top thing ever. We're talking entire buildings getting sliced and diced by in the first episode here, people. Basically the plot is that a portal to "Beyond" opened in New York and various weird supernatural creatures came out and colonized it, the city becoming known as "Jerusalem's Lot". The protagonist is a kind-hearted young photographer named Leonard Watch who came into Jerusalem's Lot to help his ailing sister after a demon stole her sight in exchange for giving Leo supernatural powers of vision. Leonard then becomes envolved in the mysterious crime fighting organization "Libra" and the machinations of the "masked lord of depravity" Femt (not to be confused with that guy from Berserk). The description doesn't really do it justice but trust me, this show is EPIC! It reminds me a lot of Kill La Kill actually, with the red blades, kanji flashing every time someone does a special attack and general over-the-topness. From the description it sounds like it could be a rather dark show but it has a wonderfully jazzy and bouncy atmosphere that makes it a pleasure to watch (possible it gets darker later on, as I said I've just seen the first episode). The various whimsically weird creatures seen in the background in various scenes add a lot of atmosphere too (honestly it reminds me a bit of Star Wars- The Clone Wars in that aspect). Anyways if you like Kill La Kill you're doing yourself a disfavor not to check this show out!

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Agreed, it's one of the weekly releases I'm looking forward most to every time, though I kinda wish the episodes were more.. connected.
So far it's a new "case" that starts and ends in every episode (only 4 out so far, so maybe that doesn't say much), would kinda like some longer endeavours.

Also, for anyone not convinced of watching this, this is part of a fight in the first episode, and the ones in other episodes are even better.

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The best part of that fight scene comes immediately afterwards when he turns his own blood into wires to bind the monster against a wall and then incinerates it with his cigarette lighter in the most badass way imaginable.

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Just watched the English dub of the first episode today. The voices were all pretty good, especially Femt. At first when I tried watching the dub on youtube I thought some of the voices (namely Leo's and the waitress's) were way too squeaky and nasally but it must have just been bad quality or something cause here they sound quite good. In the dub it's more obvious there's a fair amount of biblical references in this anime, not just "Hellsalem's Lot" but also Original Sin and "bearing witness". Also a bit of fridge logic that I didn't notice the first time around was how in the beginning of the episode Leo writes a letter to his sister, all well and good except later in the episode it's revealed that said sister (Michella) is blind. How does a blind person read a letter exactly (and it's not like it was written in braille or anything)? Oh well.

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Just watched episode 2 today and this show is great! All the characters are cool, quirky and funny in their own ways (especially Zapp, I laughed out loud during his scenes with Leo). Although it's an anime it's surprisingly western, considering that it's set in (what was formerly) New York City and all the characters have western or western-inspired names (albeit impossibly cool. I wish there were more people in our world with names like Steven A. Starphase). Even the little exposition at the beginning before the intro song is something you'd more see in an American cartoon/show.

The music is also really good and suits the show's atmosphere. I don't usually listen to jazz type music but that ending theme was finger-snappingly good (I even changed my signature to lyrics from it). This could be my new favorite anime after Kill La Kill.

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Got up to episode 8 today. This was a Zapp centric episode, although the other characters still got time in the spotlight. Lots of supernatural action in this episode and we even got to see Zapp's mentor and founder of the Big Dipper Blood Style. Zapp is always a hilarious character, he's basically a hedonistic, lazy hyper-sexual moron with supernatural powers but somehow you can't help but like the guy. It was funny when Stephen said (paraphrased) "Zapp may be incorrigible human scum but he's still an invaluable member of the team", some compliment LOL! Also good was when
Zapp basically powered up with his libido and instantly defeated the dormant Elder Blood Breed
, even impressing his master. I guess the only thing that can make Zapp get serious is the thought of scoring with a cute girl LOL.

The interactions between Black and White were also interesting (and yes, the show actually has two characters named Black and White). At first I assumed Black's
King Of Despair
persona was his real self and the way he was with Leo was just a façade but as of this episode it seems that
King Of Despair is actually a legitimate alternate personality of his and he really doesn't remember the things he does when that personality takes over
. Judging by that flashback and the dialogue between the two in the graveyard it seems that
Black purposely offered himself to be possessed by some kind of demon in place of his sister
, as a parallel to
Michella giving up her sight to the demon in exchange for Leo getting to keep his
. Interesting that although Leo said he always protects his sister and Black said he's always being protected by his sister it was ultimately Black that
sacrificed himself to a demon in exchange for his sister's wellbeing
, while Leo was too paralyzed with fear to do anything. Although this is still just speculation at this point it's definitely pretty suggestive.

Also there's apparently still one half of a vampire running around the city, looks like Libra's job isn't over quite yet!

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
I'm up to episode 9 now. We're introduced to a new character, fishman and fellow student of the Big Dipper Blood Style Zed O' Brien who doesn't seem to hit it off too well with Zapp (Zapp laughs at his appearance and Zedd pins him to the ground with a trident about an inch from his face).

We get more backstory about Black and White in this episode (real names
William
and
Mary
respectively). So I was right about
Black's allowing the demon to possess him in exchange for leaving White alone. The line he gives even directly parallels the one Michella said in Leo's flashback
. One thing I didn't expect however was that White
knew her brother was possessed and purposely got close to Leo because the demon told her that if she gave him his eyes he would give her brother back
. I highly doubt she'll be able to go through with it though considering she admitted that she came to genuinely like him anyway (at least as a friend, maybe more).

Even though the show's still pretty episodic you can definitely see a larger plotline brewing in the background at this point.

One thing I found a bit weird was in White's flashback when
her father told her to look after William in case he "tries to hurt someone or an animal"
. What kind of kid did the guy think he was raising exactly? Seems like the flashback was designed solely to fit White's current circumstances without regard for how it would sound in context. Especially since Black shows no signs of being a violent kid
until he's possessed by a demon
, which the father obviously couldn't have predicted.

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Episode 10- Run Lunch Run! To The End!

An episode about Zapp, Leo and Zed's search for a place to eat lunch. This show does comedy scenes really well, all the increasingly crazy restaurants they visited and Leo becoming increasingly deranged from hunger actually made me laugh out loud a bit. My favorite scene was in front of the sushi restaurant when Zed explained to Zapp how fish eat other fish all the time and his (Zapp's) attempt to "haze" Zed was completely moronic, as well as the "Tuna is not a number" bit. Even funnier when
Zed later admits he actually never eats sea creatures and was just bluffing with that speech
. Zed in general is a pretty amusing character, especially with how he plays off Zapp.

So it's pretty obvious at this point that Black and White
are the children of two of the original Casters who died sealing away the Alter World
. King Of Despair (AKA
demon possessed Black
) is an amazingly cool villain. His appearance, voice and mannerisms just exude that magnificently creepy and suave "bad boy" aura. The "say my name" game he played with those two thugs near the end of the episode was deliciously creepy.

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Episode 11- Paint It Black

So this episode was mostly dedicated to a flashback showing Black and White's childhoods. Interesting that White was a photographer too when she was a kid, adding another parallel to Leo. Her reason for taking pictures was quite poignant, saying that "If I were to die this instant at least the last thing I saw would remain behind". I actually think of that when I post on this forum, that if I dropped dead at least I would have sort of legacy that people could read and find out the parts of me that nobody else knows about. But I digress.

Also interesting was that both Black and White feel inferior to their respective siblings. Black because he was jealous of his sister's strength and maturity and White because she was jealous of her brother's psychic powers. I was totally expecting it to turn out that White's encouraging Black to use his powers would somehow lead to him going out of control and
accidentally causing the first Great Collapse and resulting in him getting possessed by the King of Despair
, thus adding to White's guilt and feeling of responsibility. But the show never actually explicitly said that, or that Black had anything to do with the Great Collapse beyond being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We've certainly hit the lowest point in this episode (thematically, the quality is still as amazing as ever). Leo's
had his eyes stolen
, White's
been shot
and the entire city's about to be plunged into the Alter World. Hopefully Klaus and the other Libra members will be able to save the day in time! I actually hope that Leo will be able to pull through somehow and be the hero this time around, although admittedly I'm not sure how. Ganbare Leo! You can do it!

I honestly didn't expect White to actually go through with
stealing Leo's eyes
but I guess I underestimated how far she'd go for her beloved brother. Makes you wonder how far Leo would go for Michella if he was put in a situation like that. Of course it turns out that
King of Despair has no intention of giving White her brother back
, that's what you get for trusting a demon!

King of Despair's
big speech about death on that staircase was glorious. I actually thought it was from Shakespeare when I first heard it but no, it seems to be original. I love those kinds of wild, melodramatic villains and
King of Despair
fits that archetype perfectly. Plus, his voice is great too. Every time the guy opens his mouth is practically an eargasm.

Also White was amazingly cute as a little girl (even cuter than she is now). Just take a look at this:



And this:



Tell me that's not the cutest thing you've ever seen (except maybe small fuzzy animals if you're into that).

Mod edit: Removed table stretch.

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Episode 12- Hello, World!

Warning: spoilers for the Kekkai Sensen anime series. The biggest ones like who lives and who dies are spoiled but details about the background and setting are generally not (otherwise it'd be pretty much unreadable looking), so readers beware!

Well, I've finally gotten around to finishing the last episode of this amazing show. It took flipping ages before the last episode to even get released and further ages for it to get dubbed. Have to say though, the wait was well worth it! The episode was just as incredible as I'd been hoping (expecting) it would be.

So where we last left off King Of Despair had broken all the seals save one (
in White's heart
) to the Alter World and just about initiated the second Great Collapse, which Leo and the gang have to stop. I knew that
White
wasn't really dead after the last episode, though I'm not quite sure how she survived a literal bullet to the heart (or did he not go through with shooting her? Don't quite recall how that scene went). Also it seems KOD hadn't actually stolen Leo's eyes so much as appropriated them with those weird goggle things. Leo still had his peepers intact and they were usable again once the goggles were broken.

A great final episode overall, with all the Libra characters getting the chance to show off and act like badasses. Leo especially, who dragged himself up an insanely high tower and defeated what was basically the anthropomorphic personification of despair by headbutting him (well okay, it was more than just a headbutt but that was how it was conveyed visually). The speeches various characters gave about "always reaching towards the light" and stuff were also very inspiring, plus Zedd and Zapp's respective pep-talks to Leo about how his very "normality" is what makes him special in Hellsalem's Lot and how it's his resolve, not his magic eyes that qualify him as a member of Libra.

This show just never fails to bring a smile to my face, to the point I probably had a quasi-maniacal looking grin on my face for some scenes. It was a bit of a letdown that some of the big fight sequence against KOD's mooks was reused from the episode 1 opener, but at the same time it was a nice touch to tie things together overall. Plus the show made up for it with the Klaus versus King Of Despair fight, which was disappointingly brief for its amazingly fluid animation. If only more anime fights had animation that good...

White was also cute as ever, and her scenes with Leo/her brother had a very genuine sweetness to them. Such a shame she had to
die in the end
, but at least she got to have a proper fairwell with Leo and
live on with her beloved brother in spirit form
(or at least I think that was the ending's implication).

Also for all the importance put upon the King Of Despair's name I'm surprised we never actually found out what his real name was. Unless it was really supposed to be "King Of Despair"? But that's more of a title then a name, and besides that was revealed fairly early on. I was expecting Leo to use his eyes to somehow "see" his real name and then Klaus to use it to seal him away.

Speaking of KOD, he made for quite an interesting as well. An immortal demon responsible for some of the worst events/monsters across history (flashbacks imply he had a hand in the rise of Hitler and even the crucifixion of Jesus among other things), he lost most of his powers in the Great Collapse and ended up being forced to take a human body (which ended up being
William's
). Intrigued by humanity, but at the same time contemptuous of them. Wanting nothing more than to eradicate the burden of his own immortal existence. Definitely not your typical "destroy the world just 'cuz" villain (though he sorta comes across as that at first blush).

A digression, but I wonder if the reference to The Shining that KOD makes was in the original or added into the dub for extra "American" flavor. Do Japanese people even know about The Shining? Probably, considering how popular it is... And the show is very "American-inspired" so I could believe the reference was in the original (whereas if it was most other anime I'd be almost sure it was dub-only).

As I've said, it was a great show, stylish characters, jazzy soundtrack and genuine pathos mixed with over-the-top ridiculousness that go together surprisingly well (at least IMO). Hoping for a Season 2 someday!

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
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