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Trinity Blood – The Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

March 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Humans vs. vampires, political corruption and more!  Featuring an intricate, deep and dark storyline with strong action elements, “Trinity Blood – the Complete Series” is a stylishly dark anime series worth checking out!

Image courtesy of © 2005 Trinity Blood Partners. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Trinity Blood – The Complete Series

DURATION: 24 Episodes (600 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16×9), Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV MA

Release Date: February 23, 2010

 

Originally novel by Sunao Yoshida

Directed by Tomohiro Hirata

Series Composition by Atsuhiro Tomioka, Tomohiro Hirata

Script by Atsuhiro Tomioka, Yuuji Hosono

Character Design by Atsuko Nakajima, Thores Shibamoto

Music by Takahito Eguchi

Art Director: Toshiyuki Tokuda

Chief Animation Director: Atsuko Nakajima

Art Design by Tomoaki Kaneko

Anime Production by GONZO

Featuring the following voice talent:

Hiroki Touchi as Abel Nightroad

Mamiko Noto as Esther Blanchett

Junichi Suwabe as Cain Nightroad

Junko Minagawa as Ion Fortuna

Kazuya Nakai as Tres Iqus

Kenichi Suzumura as Dietrich von Lohengrin

Michiko Neya as Astharoshe Asran

Shinya Kitade as Hugue de Watteau

Takako Honda as Catherina Sforza

Yoshinori Fujita as Alessandro XVIII

Yuki Matsuoka as Seth Nightroad aka Augusta Vradica

Armageddon. The ultimate sin of humanity, perpetrated upon itself, which cast the shroud of death across the world centuries ago. And out of that lasting darkness, they emerged… From the legends of ancient times, they have been called forth into the world anew… vampires.

Two races – Terran and Methuselah, human and vampire – are locked in a struggle for existence, trembling on the brink of war. Some seek the path to a peaceful coexistence, while others pursue a dangerous shift in the balance of power. The world’s enemy, Contra Mundi, is starting to move. Cooperation and goodwill between the two races may be their only chance for survival.

Abel Nightroad, a touring priest for the Vatican, walks calmly where others fear to tread. A member of the formidable AX, tasked with the protection of the fragile equilibrium. Neither human nor vampire, with an awkward yet optimistic nature, this Father is a force wholly his own. When the greater threat emerges, the enemy of my enemy is my friend… and Abel Nightroad seeks a safe path for all.

Be strong in your endeavors for the sake of the world.

“Trinity Blood”, the anime series that had captured the attention of anime fans with its vampire storyline and J-Rock feel, makes its first appearance on High Definition on Blu-ray courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment.

“Trinity Blood” began as light novels by the late Sunao Yoshida (and illustrations by Thores Shibamoto) back in 2001 and serialized in Japanese light novel magazine “The Sneaker” and was inspired by real life alchemist and noblewoman Caterina Sforza.  With Yoshida’s unfortunate death in 2004, mangaka Kentaro Yasui (author of “Ragnarok”), a friend of Yoshida’s would complete the novels.

The light novels received a manga series adaptation in 2004 (and is ongoing) while a 24-episode manga series was produced by GONZO and aired in Japan in 2005 on the WOWOW network.

The anime series would be directed by Tomohiro Hirata (“Irresponsible Captain Tailor”, “Crusher Joe” OVA’s) and a screenplay by Atsuhiro Tomioka (“Eat-Man 98″, “Hikaru no Go”, “Pokemon”, “Vandread”) and Yuuji Hosono (“Prism Ark”, “Pumpkin Scissors”, “Ray”).   Character designs are by Atsuko Nakajima (“Haunted Junction”, “Ranma 1/2″, “Violinist of Hamlin”), art direction by Toshiyuki Tokuda (“Mermaid Forest”, “Major”, “Inuyasha”) and music by Takahito Eguchi (“D.N.Angel” and “Rental Magica”).

“Trinity Blood” is a series that may seem like your typical vampires versus humans but the story is much deeper.  The series begins with a priest named Father Abel Nightroad who is riding on an airship.  All of a sudden, a vampire (known as Methuselah) abruptly boards the airship and kills the pilots and inhabitants with a pilot trainee/restaurant employee taking over the airship while father Abel Nightroad fights against the Methuselah.  We learn that Abel is a Crusnik, a vampire that feeds on the blood of a Methuselah.

We learn through the series that the introductions to Methuselah and Crusnik came from Earth dealing with its population increase and trying to colonize Mars.  During the colonization, they discover alien technologies: The Bacillus and the Crusnik nanomachines and sure enough, the colonists install the Bacillus into their bodies and they became Methuselahs.  While, four test tube babies – Seth, Cain, Abel and Lilith were given the Crusnik.

Back home in Earth, Earth was going through Armageddon and when the colonists came back to rebuild, unfortunately the humans did not take kindly to the vampiric methuselah’s and a war between the two have taken place with the Roman Catholic Church as the main force to fight the Methuselah with the use of the Crusnik’s (who are part of the AX, Arcanum Cella Ex Dono Dei) who specialize in taking on powerful Methuselah.  Among the Crusnik, Cain has deserted his brothers and sisters and has gone mad.  He now heads the Rosenkreuz Orden, a vampire terrorist organization who wants to make a new world order and destroy the Vatican.

“Trinity Blood – The Complete Series” consists of 13-episodes on three Blu-ray discs.

The main characters of “Trinity Blood” are:

  • Abel Nightroad – A compassionate Catholic priest who is always broke and hungry.  But he’s also a Crusnik known for his power and hunts down Methuselah.  One of the four test tube babies injected with the Crusnik nanotechnology.    His past was filled with hatred towards humans and during the war between the Methuselah and humans (terrans), he slaughtered seven million of them.  But after his brother Cain murdered his sister Lilith (she defended the humans), he went into mourning for 900 years.  But after meeting Caterina Sforza who was trying to escape from the Methuselah, he vowed to continue his dead sister’s work and is now a member of the AX.
  • Cain Nightroad - One of the four test tube babies installed with the Crusnik Nanotechnology.  During the Methuselah and human wars, when he saw his sister Lilith trying to bring Abel to her side of defending the humans, he killed her.  In revenge, his brothers Abel and Seth tried to kill him but he survived.  Now he leads the Rosenkreuz Orden in order to destroy the Vaticans and human kind.
  • Esther Blanchett – The legitimate granddaughter of the Queen of Albion.  Esther joins with Abel and eventually becomes an AX agent and becomes close to Ion Fortuna.  Her storyline becomes prevalent as the Crusniks try to protect her from being killed by the Methesulah.
  • Astharoshe Asran – An undercover agent of the New Human Empire (Empire for Methuselah) who teams up with Abel in trying to arrest Endre Kourza, a vampire mass murderer.  She despises humanity but through her partnership with Abel, she starts to see them in a different light.
  • Ion Fortuna – A member of the New Human Empire who is also the Imperial messenger negotiating with the Vatican.  He despises humans until he meets Esther Blanchett.
  • Augusta Vradica (Seth Nighlord) – The youngest of the test tube babies and is the empress of the New Human Empire and was responsible for find a home for the Methuselah and save them from persecution.
  • Caterina Sforza – Was instrumental in changing the mind of Abel Nightroad to defend humans.  She heads the AX Agency and wants peace between humans and vampires, which her brother Cardinal Francesco is against.

VIDEO:

“Trinity Blood – The Complete Series” is an anime television series which aired on television in 2005. It’s important to note that a) “Trinity Blood” is a television series and not an animated film or OVA. The second part to note is that when it comes to anime television series, prior to 2008, pretty much a lot of the anime TV series on Blu-ray have been upconverted.

With that being said, “Trinity Blood – The Complete Series” is an upconvert and is presented in 1080p High Definition, 16×9 widescreen.  You can see the compression artifacts, aliasing, edge enhancement and for me, I pretty much expected this because although released in 2005, it’s before many anime companies became serious about HD and because it is a TV series (which didn’t air on a major network but on satellite via Wowow), you’re not going to see major restoration being done.  But with “Trinity Blood – The Complete Series” being an upconvert, I will say the video was not as problematic as “Samurai Champloo” or “Basilisk” when it came to the discoloration problems.

But the series does benefit from it being a GONZO production and that means beautifully painted backgrounds and solid character design.  I actually enjoyed the animation of “Trinity Blood” as well as the overall look and feel.  From the eyes, free flowing hair, the uniforms.   It’s a very dark but artistic anime series and when it first came out on DVD, many people really enjoyed the overall look.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Trinity Blood – The Complete Series” shines with the lossless English dub.  From the very first episode, you realize how immersive the English DolbyTrue HD 5.1 soundtrack is as the action and fight sequences literally envelop the soundscape of your home with the center, front and surround channels along with LFE being utilized quite nicely.

Dialogue is clear and understandable.  I know some anime fans will take an offense by the Japanese soundtrack not being lossless but Dolby Digital Japanese 2.0.  But overall, voice acting is well-done on both audio tracks and definitely the English lossless track is the highlight of this Blu-ray release.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Trinity Blood – The Complete Series” contains the following special features:

DISC 3:

  • Historical Artifacts - Text-based historical information that was used in the anime series.
  • Textless Songs -Featuring the textless theme songs from BUCK-TICK and Tomoko Tane.
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment Trailers

EXTRAS:

“Trinity Blood – The Complete Series” comes in a slipcase and also comes with a 24-page booklet with interviews with light novel character designer Thores Shibamoto, character information, Kadokawa’s Editorial Department are interviewed and discussing how Sunao Yoshida wanted the anime series to be and pretty much giving them the freedom to not follow the original light novel too closely.

When “Trinity Blood” first began, the first thing I was expecting was a steampunk, “Devil May Cry” type of series.  Humans vs. Vampires and a guy who was a vampire helping the humans and my love for the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” TV Series led me to originally watch the series when it was first released on DVD.

But by episode 3, you start to realize that the series is much deeper as it begins to focus on the political and opposing sides of humanity (Terrans) and the New Human Order (Methuselah) and with each episode, the series goes much further into the corruption and politics as there are those who want peace between the two groups and those who will never accept the Methuselah.  While we try to figure how the AX Agents and those of the New Human Order can work together to protect Esther, who may be the next in line for royalty.

The storyline of “Trinity Blood” was definitely far off what I was expecting but nevertheless, I did enjoy how deep the series was and how intricate the storyline would go into the warring factions but part of the difficult of the series is that there are a good number of characters introduced and because the manga series is ongoing and the light novel series never completed, the creators of the anime series had to come up with an ending that would be satisfactory for viewers but also fans of the manga and light novel series.

As for those who have owned the previous DVD series, as mentioned, this is a series that came out in 2005 and is an upconvert.  Video quality is not going to be the greatest upgrade on Blu-ray and it doesn’t have a lossless Japanese soundtrack.  But for those who never purchase the DVD, will probably want to pick it up on Blu-ray and if you enjoy the English dub, you’ll definitely enjoy the lossless soundtrack.

Overall, “Trinity Blood” is going to attract those who love stories with vampires and for those looking for a more deeper and darker anime series on Blu-ray.  Featuring an intricate and deep storyline with strong action elements, “Trinity Blood – the Complete Series” is a series worth checking out!

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