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Black Blood Brothers episode 1: Black Blood Brothers

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This series introduces us to a world where humans are at war with vampires. We're not really given a whole lot of information about how they came about, whether it be through natural or supernatural means, but we're just expected to roll with it.

Honestly, this series could have used an audience identifier of some sort. I know, that sort of character can be eye-roll inducing, but I really felt like I needed an exposition dump as terms are used that aren't given any context and character interactions are affected by a history we know nothing about.

Our main character is Jiro, a vampire (or half-breed? maybe? I don't know) who fights against others to seemingly protect humans. My initial impression was that this guy was just going to be a poor man's Alucard. The fact that he's motivated by the death of his girlfriend didn't exactly inspire hope that we were going to get a very original, fleshed out character. I was set to write him off entirely, but he later shows himself to be incredibly pleasant and polite. Not only that, but he seems to have a hint of a pacifistic streak as he makes a point not to harm the soldiers who attack him during his cross country travels and merely disables their weapons.

This episode can't really decide what it wants to be. When it opens, a lot of emphasis is put on action as vampires riot through the streets (wielding automatic weapons, which I have to admit, you don't see too often) and Jiro goes out to battle them. Then one or two attempts to be creepy are thrown in before the tone shifts to a lighthearted slapstick.

Kotaro, Jiro's younger brother, is rather annoying, but I feel like that's intentional. He does make a decent foil for Jiro and it was worth it just to see Jiro telekinetically toss the kid around. By all accounts, it should be horrifying to see Jiro treat his brother that way, but it's presented in such a goofy way that you can't help but chuckle at it.

The tone shifts again as we get some heavy emotional moments, notably a flashback where a mother begs a vampire to turn her daughter in order to "save her life", as it were. It's a fairly effective moment, but we had only seen this character for only a few seconds.

In fact, a lot of characters seem to have fairly small roles. I guess with a wider cast, it was necessary, but at the same time, some focus would have been nice.

The episode didn't blow me away, but I didn't hate it either. Hopefully, the show finds some footing and becomes a bit more consistent. I understand the desire to give audiences a little bit of everything, but for a pilot episode, it's a lot to deal with. Pilots are supposed to give you a glimpse of what's to come and I really have no idea what sort of show I'm in for with this. That should remedy itself over time, but we'll get to that when we get to it.

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