Rarely does an anime adaptation of a manga surprise me, but when it does it’s a welcome surprise.
There was never really a question in mind that Blood Lad wouldn’t be an enjoyable watch. Having read the manga beforehand, I could tell you its a fun. not-so-serious adventure action series with a hint of romantic comedy. Bearing that in mind, it was never anything extraordinary. A story of a vampire and a human girl is an old concept, no matter the quirks, so there are limitations to what the anime could have accomplished. Even so, this episode was a pleasant surprise.
Granted there’s nothing extraordinary here either. It’s still the same story, but with a nice colourful palette and an accentuation of the comedy elements. For those familiar with the manga, you can see a vast difference an array of colours makes to the already quirky artwork Blood Lad started off with. In this respect Brain’s Base was a wise as a studio and unlike the rest of their anime this year, this one looks more like their signature style.
Yes the adaptation is benefiting from the fun, colourful animation. It also benefits from the series composition, which adapted two chapters of the manga to comprise this episode. The reason for this? Blood Lad only has 10 episodes, so it’s taking its time constraint seriously and trying to cover as much ground as possible. Just looking at the OP, we should be expecting a sizeable chunk of the source material to be covered (15-20 chapters at least out of a possible 47 currently out). Whilst the episode restraint is tough, it’s reassuring to see the studio making do and finding a pace that doesn’t feel too rushed.
Finally, there’s the voice cast. Blood Lad‘s lead is the up and coming Ryota Ohsaka, who makes the easy transition from voicing the lead of Hataraku Maou-sama! His involvement gives this series the same type of feeling, mostly due to his voice acting skills. Comedy-wise the two series are similar in some ways, though Blood Lad‘s humour is less subtle – the similarity being that it comes from the (over)reactions of the main character.
Overall, a good first episode. We were introduced to the characters and given plenty of comedy, whilst setting a course for the next few episodes. It beat expectations and shows promise for the rest of the series.