tek's rating:

Trinity Blood, WOWOW
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It is set centuries after like some kind of nuclear holocaust, I guess, so the world's a very different place. In many ways the world (particularly its politics) seems almost Medieval or something, though there is a fair amount of use of lost technologies from before the holocaust, many of which are of course more advanced than what we have today. Anyway, it all makes for a pretty cool setting for a sort of noir horror series. It's also essential to note that at some point in the past, virus-like nanomachines were discovered on Mars, which transformed humans into a species very much like the legends of vampires (so most people simply call them vampires, naturally). But they call themselves "Methuselahs." The Methuselah Empire, I guess, is based in Eastern Europe. Western Europe is dominated by the Vatican. So, there's sort of a war between humans (or Terrans) and vampires. Or at best a tenuous peace....

But it's more complicated than that. The Vatican is officially led by a shy 18-year-old boy named Pope Alessandro XVIII, though he can't make his own decisions. He's advised by two people, his half-sister, Cardinal Caterina Sforza (the Duchess of Milan) and his half-brother, Cardinal Francesco di Medici (the Duke of Tuscany). However, Caterina and Francesco don't agree on anything. Caterina is the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, but she also leads a special-ops force called AX, which is dedicated to the belief that humans and vampires can live together peacefully. One of the people who works for the AX is Father Abel Nightroad, who is actually a Crusnik, which is a kind of extremly powerful vampire that feeds on the blood of other vampires. Abel is the main character of the series. Other members of the AX include: an android priest named Tres Iqus, codenamed Gunslinger; Sister Kate Scott, who mostly appears as a hologram, to relay messages and so forth; Sister Esther Blanchett; and um... several others who I'm afraid I never really got to know that well. Meanwhile, Francesco is the Secretary of Inquisition. The Inquisition is the Vatican's army, and wants to wipe out all vampires. Its members include Brother Petros and Sister Paula, who are more likely to fight Abel, but might occasionally help him.

There's also an extremist group called the Orden of Rosencreuz (at least that's how I've seen it spelled, but I have no idea what an "orden" is, and in the anime it always sounds like "order" to me, which makes more sense). It's led by a mysterious figure called Contra Mundi ("Against the World"), whose identity will turn out to be of great importance to Abel. Comprised of both humans and vampires, the Orden wants to destroy the world and then, I guess, build a new utopia. They work against both the Vatican and the Methuselah Empire, and hope the two will destroy each other. The rivalry between the factions within the Vatican just makes this easier...

There seemed to be a lot of more or less "stand-alone" episodes early in the series, which I suppose was meant to introduce us to the characters, though I'm afraid I never had a particularly great idea of what's going on in this series, and most of what I do know, I've learned from research. But eventually there was an arc which was a bit more interesting, in which Abel and Esther went to the Empire, along with a Methuselah who looked like a young boy, named Ion Fortuna (the Earl of Memphis), whose grandmother (the Duchess of Moldova) was murdered, and the crime pinned on Ion. This was part of a plot against the Empress (who looks like a young girl), who has a connection to both Abel and Contra Mundi. Like the members of AX, she believes humans and vampires can live together in peace... Abel, Esther, and Ion are helped by a Methuselah called Asta, who had previously met Abel in the course of an earlier mission. They'll have to try to clear Ion's name and protect the Empress, I guess. And there was some other Methuselah who was supposedly a friend of Ion's, but who turned out to be an enemy.

Later there was an arc set in another country, Albion, which is apparently in control of most of the world's lost technologies. And there are vampires who are forced to live underground as virtual slaves, so eventually they rebel, which occurs while Abel, Esther, and Alessandro are visiting, I guess. And of course Contra Mundi complicates things. Plus we learn a secret about Esther's true identity and destiny, the seeds of which had been planted when she was first introduced in the series....

Well, I always had the sense that even if I didn't understand what was going on, the series was building up to something. And perhaps it was, though even after having seen the whole series, I still don't understand everything, and it... well, the final episode felt like an ending, sure enough, but it didn't feel like a resolution at all. So, I dunno, I can't really say I liked the series as much as I'd hoped I would. But I do love the concept, and I think it's beautifully drawn. It has plenty of good elements, including action, drama, and humor. But I wish I'd gotten to know more of the characters better. Abel, of course, is basically a lot like any number of characters from other anime, of a type most commonly represented in anime fans' minds by Vash the Stampede, from Trigun. That is, basically a very goofy character who can quickly become very tough and serious. There's not alot I can say about the other characters... Sigh. I dunno, the concept and the artwork, yes, those are the best elements....


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