When Blassreiter first started, it was met with a lot of doubts, which is of course natural after Gonzo’s escapades with the infamous Dragonaut. Blassreiter looked like it would be the same bloody thing again. But as it turns out, the creators pretty much managed to nail down a very entertaining action-series. I am very picky when it comes to action-scenes, but the ones from Blassreiter left me very impressed.
You do need to get used to the fact that the fights are entirely done in 3D CG. If you’re one of those people that hate CG with passion, then you’re not going to like this series. However, because the fights make optimal use of this CG, the creators are able to do things that would never be possible with just 2D animation. CG means that there are no still frames, constant and smooth movement, and complex camera movement. Blassreiter takes this, and produces some of the best 3D fight scenes of the entire year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up labelling it as the best action-series of 2008. The camera-movements, combined with the character-movements result into a number of absolutely beautiful fight scenes.
Action-scenes are one thing, but I personally can’t enjoy a good action scene unless I care about the characters. That’s where Gonzo screwed up with Afro Samurai, because the characters and plot were utterly retarded. Thankfully, they avoid the same mistake here. The first half of the series has a very creative storyline, which goes away from the tried and true formula. The second half is more straightforward, but to make up for it the characters develop, and you’ll end up caring about them in a strange manly genuine fashion. The two complement each other pretty interestingly.
Blassreiter is not without its major flaws, though. Especially in the first half, it tends to be a bit too melodramatic for its own good, to the point of a few scenes that are just way too emo. Especially bullying subplot is just too extreme to be taken serious. This series is just too emo while trying to build up. The results are pretty awesome, but I can imagine how you’d not want to watch an angsting teen over and over.
There’s also the fact that the 3D-scenes don’t try at all to blend in with the 2D art, which will take some time to get used to. Overall, it’s been an interesting series, despite its questionable start. I recommend it if you’re looking for an action-series. This series has the three ingredients for awesome fight scenes: excellent choreography, sympathetic characters and a great soundtrack. I can’t recall having seen any series that made as much of an optimal use of the capabilities of 3D animation.