Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Watching the first half of Blassreiter brought about some very different views on the show in comparison to when I watched it in weekly form during its original broadcast. The series went from being one that I felt like I was kicked when it was down, repeatedly, to one that I actually liked quite a lot. The series has a lot better flow with the smaller arcs that made up the first set as everything clicks together and connects in a more obvious fashion. The second half of the series is different in its structure though and that gives it a different feeling as well.
In my mind, there are two core stories told throughout this set, though there is a nice side story mixed in towards the end as well. The one that kicks off this set gives us two episodes that takes us back to Joseph's past, when he was a young child living in an orphanage with the priest and the nun who took care of several children. The life of immigrant children is no less easy than that of adults and in many ways worse because of the kinds of pressures that can be applied to them. Joseph takes the role of the eldest male child seriously by suffering abuse from the local boys. They give him lots of physical abuse since they can get away with it and nobody would believe him if he told on them. And since the boys are children of those who give to the church and the well being of the other kids, Joseph truly has to suffer it.
His story progresses over the years until he's in his teenage years and an event occurs that causes the town to have significant problems and outsiders come in to help with the medical disaster. It's here that Joseph meets a promising young doctor named Xargin, who as it turns out is at the same university as the sister that Joseph never knew that he had, a young woman named Sasha. It's like a period of bliss for Joseph as he discovers he has a blood family for the first time and an extended family, both with Xargin as he feels very close to him as well as those from the church. Unfortunately, Sasha's brilliance in biochemistry has her working on something that gets corrupted by another medical disaster and the origins of Xargin as a cruel and cold man occurs, as does Sasha's death and Joseph's own transformation into Blue.
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