Blood: The Last Vampire’s live-action film adaptation opened in Japan on May 29th, which made the leak online a lot easier to obtain for an early viewing. Going into it, so far, the film hasn’t managed to gain any major praise from critics so early hopes for this film aren’t nearly as high as they once were for me. Which is a shame because the anime movie [Review](of the same title), was very groundbreaking at its time. The live action version of the animated short, Blood: The Last Vampire is a disjointed movie about Saya and her weird adventures in 1970 Tokyo hunting the demoness Onegin.
On the surface, Saya is a stunning 16-year-old, but that youthful exterior hides the tormented soul of a 400-year-old “halfling”. Born to a human father and a vampire mother, she has for centuries been a loner obsessed with using her samurai skills to rid the world of vampires. Director Chris Nahon decided to spice things up a bit through extremely fast cuts, close ups, and a dash of time-lapse or slow motion here and there. There are two awesome fighting scenes; one in the streets of Tokyo between Saya and modern vampires, and one set in the 16th century with Kato, Saya’s caretaker, and a group of deadly black-garbed ninja vampires that pretty much rock.
It has almost all the elements of the anime movie in the firstpart, then some changes they inserted in the second half of the movie. I don’t want to contain spoilers, but it has more flashbacks related to Saya’s past and about her revenge. Also, the same problems that plagued Memoirs of a Geisha also infect this film. The problem of course being, the casting choice of a Korean playing a Japanese in an English speaking role. Not only was the blood in this movie completely CGI, the artificial blood was used in torrents. CG blood cascaded from every cut, slash and wound. Exceedingly exaggerated, unnatural and out of place.
Someone should have set director Chris Nahon in front of a projector screening Blade 2 to get a clue on how to transfer kinetic anime fight sequences into live-action. Poorly done special effects made the film look campy and even B-movie-ish. The start of the Live Action Movie was exactly the same as the Original Animated Movie. Having the train scene at the beginning was a great way to instantly pull fans of the Anime into the movie and get them into that familiar world of the Blood series. The lead actress did a good job and although slightly dissapointed overall, I think viewing this movie is necessary to cure your curiousity if you’re a fan of the anime movie.