I’m venturing gingerly back into anime with Blood Blockade Battlefront – it’s been a rough couple of days to say the least (food poisoning). I don’t know how coherent my thoughts are going to be, but this seems like a good show to tiptoe into the water with. Why? Because it’s quite visceral, as opposed to intellectual. It’s smart, don’t get me wrong, but Kekkai Sensen is really driven by the sensory experience of watching it (and listening to it). And what an experience it is.
There’s just so much star power here. Matsumoto Rie is a star director, even if she’s still young and relatively unknown. The cast is full of legendary seiyuu in roles that seem as if they were written for them. You can add to that list not just Miyano Mamoru and Fujiwara Keiji – which would be awesome enough – but sharing the same damn body. And the reason they are is Aligura (Koroogi Satomi), who’s ground up her beloved but ugly Deldro Brody (Fujiwara) into a bloody pulp and injected him into the bishie body of Dog Hummer (Miyano).
Koroogi’s name may not be a household word among younger anime viewers, bur she’s a bit of a legend in her own right, with a resume loaded with anime classics. She delivers the kind of brash, risky performance here that I think a less-established actor might not have the courage to deliver, and it’s really Aligura’s barely-contained lunacy that drives the episode. Is Aligura in fact one of the 13 Elders? I’m not absolutely sure, but it seems strongly implied. What’s for certain is that Klaus “stole” the Deldro-Dog composite from here, and she’s been rather anxious to get it back.
The anime-original storyline continues apace, as we have the rather interesting development of White’s “brother” (or whoever he may be) having a private meeting with Femt, back for the first time since the premiere. And it’s obvious they know each other very well, though less obvious what either of them have in-mind for the long game. Femt gave the impression in the premiere of being a troll, more or less, but not necessarily someone who wanted to bring about the apocalypse. Is it possible he and White’s brother might be trying to save humanity from the Elders?
In any event, it’s all a hell of a ride, as Kekkai Sensen usually is – though with the almost Mad Max styled first half perhaps a bit more literally than normal. For all her insanity Aligura does seem to have nudged the plot forward in kidnapping Leo seemingly for the sole purpose of talking about romance – she’s goaded him into asking White out on a “date”. That turns out to be yet another incredibly cool setting, the two of them watching a hackneyed “comedy” projected onto the side of a building, and it seems a genuine emotional bond is developing between White and Leo.