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Marvel Anime: Blade episode 9: The Bond

Blade and Kikyo throw down. We get a glimpse of the fight, but it isn't long before we cut to flashbacks to establish their relationship.

While this show has a tendency to build up to an awesome scenario, only to dodge it at the last second, this actually worked out fairly well as we got insight into both characters. The way they're characterizing Kikyo still seems off to me, but they seem to be running with it. I did like seeing younger Eric. It's weird seeing him be so civil and polite. It's refreshing and stands as a stark contrast to the gruffer man we see today.

We learn that Kikyo has an obsession with being the best. He tries to take on the Vegeta role as he refuses to accept the fact that he and Eric are evenly matched when they are training together. Unfortunately, Eric intends on leaving the training compound, leaving the score unsettled.

When we cut back to the present, the fight is interrupted by the surprise appearance of their old master, who is now a vampire. Both students are shocked to find out about this and it leads to another flashback where we find out how he was turned. It turns out the master was dying of lung cancer and jumped at the chance to join Van Helsing for one last battle against a vampire. It turns out to be a trap set up by Frost, who ends up getting the upper hand

Between the two, I liked this flashback sequence better. It felt more dramatic as Frost offers the teacher immortality at the cost of his soul. It was a solid exchange, a bit overdramatic with the music, maybe, but still good for what it was.

While it wasn't his fault, Kikyo accepts responsibility for abandoning his master and offers to put an end to the monstrosity.

Now, I know what you're thinking, "sweet a 2 on 1 fight, this is gonna be awesome seeing Kikyo and Blade take on their former master". Nope, Kikyo gets knocked out surprisingly quickly, leaving it up to Blade to win the day. I kind of get why they did it this way, but seeing the two working together would have been cool to see.

To the episode's credit, the fight between Blade and his teacher is one of the better ones in the show as we actually get to see it as opposed to still shots. A lot of emphasis is put on the various "techniques", which was a detriment, but there was enough fight there to get engaged.

The sudden "realization" on the master's part was lame. Just as Blade stabs him, he momentarily regains his humanity to tell his students that he was proud of them. It comes out of nowhere and felt tacked on. It was probably going for heartwarming, but I was too busy calling BS on it.

It's weird, even after the fight ends, Kikyo walks around like he's wounded. He has a healing factor! The episode even points out this fact earlier, but for some reason, he's vulnerable to trees.

Mokoto largely sits this one out, but she does appear a couple of times. She sees Frost's aircraft heading back towards Blade, so she makes her best effort to get to da choppah. Alas, she doesn't make it in time and Frost is able to knock Blade unconscious and take him so that Frost can accomplish his goal. Before departing, Frost terminates Kikyo's contract, which is apparently enough for Kikyo to declare himself an enemy of Frost. The episode ends as he tells Mokoto where Frost is taking Blade.

The episode has some strengths, but a lot ends up working against it as well. It does seem like we're starting to build towards the final confrontation so we'll see where things go from here.

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