More than anything else, Blood+ is a reminder of the simple pleasures afforded by a well-written, well-executed mainstream anime. That's as true in its second half as in its first, even as the series exhausts itself with a few too many inconclusive battles before winding down to a rather tired conclusion.
Blood+'s enviable ratio of human drama to action stays tight as the series moves through its second half. The series flits from exotic set-piece to exotic set-piece: inhuman swordfights in the hotels and harbors of Paris, gritty confrontations on the fog-shrouded streets of London, desperate impromptu struggles in the picturesque English countryside, aerial battles in the dark skies of New York. For globetrotting anime action it's hard to beat. And those same locales also serve as backdrops for some potent emotions. The ancient streets of Paris enfold Kai as he accompanies a dying vampire girl on her last walk; the claustrophobic innards of a mid-sea cruise ship imprison Saya as a horrifying act shatters her dreams of a normal life; and the glittering emerald countryside caresses her as the hope rekindles. Rarely have bloody vampire action, musty old-European atmosphere, and gleaming modern alienation been so cleanly wed, and never with the visceral, emotional success seen here.
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