New Manga Releases: July 22, 2014

Here are the new manga releases for July 22, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Battle Angel Alita: Last Order Omnibus GN 4
Black Butler GN 17
Blood Lad GN 5
In Clothes Called Fat GN
Inu X Boku Secret Service GN 4
Is This A Zombie? GN 8
No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular GN 4
Omamori Himari GN 12
Pandora Hearts GN 21
Soul Eater GN 21
Soul Eater Not! GN 3
Umineko: When They Cry GN 7: Alliance of the Golden Witch 1

Viz Media Premieres Blood Lad on Neon Alley and Hulu

Viz Media has made the English dub of all 10 episodes of the Blood Lad television anime series available for a limited time on Neon Alley and on Hulu.

Blood Lad will launch on NeonAlley.com, Viz Media’s consolidated online destination for FREE streaming anime content in the U.S. Episodes will also be available on the free, ad-supported Hulu and Hulu Plus subscription service, where users can watch on a variety of devices including Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 (PS3) or PlayStation 4 (PS4) systems, Roku, Chromecast, and mobile devices.

Viz Media is the North American master licensor for the Blood Lad (rated TV-14) anime property. The company also plans to release the entire series for home media in a special Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo-pack, as well as a Standard Edition DVD set on September 2, 2014. Both editions are available now for pre-order from leading retailers. The Blood Lad Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo-pack MSRP will be $69.99 U.S. / $89/99 CAN; the Standard Edition DVD MSRP will be $44.82 U.S. / $43.23 CAN.

Adapted from Yuki Kodama’s bestselling manga, Blood Lad introduces Staz, who is one of the toughest vampires in the demon world. But unlike his ancestors, he finds being a vampire to be a serious pain and prefers to spend his time watching anime and playing video games instead. When a Japanese girl named Fuyumi wanders into his territory, Staz cannot hide his excitement at finally meeting a living human from his favorite culture. Unfortunately, Fuyumi dies after being swallowed by a monster, leaving her bare soul behind. Staz vows to Fuyumi that he will bring her back to life by any bloody means necessary.

Charlene Ingram, Senior Manager, Animation Marketing, says, “A nerdy vampire’s obsession with the human world collides with a girl that becomes lost in the demon world after wandering into a portal that suddenly opens in her bedroom, and the stage is set for plenty of thrilling supernatural action and laugh out loud comedic hijinks. Anime fans will not want to miss this special premiere of BLOOD LAD, which features an amazing English dub cast including Bryce Papenbrook and Xanthe Huynh in the lead characters’ roles and supported by other top voice talents including Cristina Vee, Wendy Lee, Johnny Yong Bosch and Kyle Hebert. Catch the premiere of BLOOD LAD on Neon Alley and Hulu ahead of its special home media release this September!”

English Dub Trailer for Blood Lad

Viz Media has released an English dub trailer for the Blood Lad television anime series, and has also made the English dub of all 10 episodes available on both Hulu and on the Neon Alley service.

The series is scheduled to be released on home video on September 2, 2014, with a DVD/Blu-ray limited edition release that’s priced at US$69.99.

The set will include:

  • All 10 episodes of the series
  • OVA episode (Blood Lad EX)
  • Art galleries (production art & illustrations)
  • English dub outtakes
  • Convention chalk art video
  • Clean opening & ending
  • Original Japanese trailers
  • 96-page booklet, with exclusive manga from creator Yuuki Kodama, art galleries, actor interviews and more!

I am embedding the English dub trailer for the series below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view the video due to region blocking.

English Dub Cast for Blood Lad

Viz Media announced the English dub cast for the Blood Lad television anime series during the company’s Anime Central panel.

The cast includes:

  • Bryce Papenbrook is Staz Charlie Blood
  • Xanthe Huynh is Fuyumi Yanagi
  • Kira Buckland is Hydra Bell
  • Cristina Vee is Mamejiro
  • Ben Diskin is Wolf
  • Johnny Yong Bosch is Braz D. Blood
  • Jason Baker is Yoshida the Mimic
  • Lucien Dodge is Akim Papradon
  • Patrick Seitz is Franken
  • Erik Scott Kimerer is Hydra Knell
  • Wendee Lee is Neyn
  • Keith Silverstein is Hydra Heads
  • Richard Epcar is Wolf Daddy
  • Ben Pronsky is Chief Goyle
  • Julie Ann Taylor is Officer Beros
  • Taylor Henry is ONIQLO Store Manger
  • Derek Stephen Prince is Sabao
  • Caitlin Chang is Mayu
  • Kyle Hebert is Dek
  • Brian Beacock is Shamkid
  • Matthew Mercer is Sam
  • Erica Mendez is Jasmine
  • Todd Stone is Roy

Kirk Thornton directed the dub and Chris Cason wrote the English script.

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: February 23-March 1, 2014

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of February 23-March 1, 2014, according to the New York Times.

1. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
2. Attack on Titan Volume 11 by Hajime Isayama
3. Deadman Wonderland Volume 1 by Jinsei Katoka and Kazuma Kondou
4. Naruto Volume 64 by Masashi Kishimoto
5. Attack on Titan Volume 2 by Hajime Isayama
6. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 1 by Naoshi Komi
7. Kamisama Kiss Volume 14 by Julietta Suzuki
8. Attack on Titan Volume 3 by Hajime Isayama
9. Blood Lad Volume 4 by Yuuki Kodama
10. Black Butler Volume 16 by Yana Toboso

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: February 16-22, 2014

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of February 16-22, 2014, according to the New York Times.

1. Blood Lad Volume 4 by Yuuki Kodama
2. Bleach Volume 59 by Tite Kubo
3. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
4. Attack on Titan Volume 11 by Hajime Isayama
5. Judge Volume 3 by Yoshiki Tonogai
6. Naruto Volume 64 by Masashi Kishimoto
7. No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular! Volume 2 by Nico Tanigawa
8. Kamisama Kiss Volume 14 by Julietta Suzuki
9. Toradora! Volume 6 by Yuyuko Takemiya
10. Monster Musume Volume 1 by Okayado

Yen Press Licenses Blood Lad Spin-Off Manga BuraBuratto Buradora

Anime News Network is reporting that Yen Press will be releasing the four-panel Blood Lad spinoff manga BuraBuratto Buradora by Yuki Kodama and Kanata Yoshino.

According to the report, Yen Press will be releasing the manga as the second volume of the Bloody Brat spinoff in September 2014.

New Manga Releases: February 18, 2014

Here are the new manga releases for February 18, 2014. if you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Blood Lad GN 4
Bokurano: Ours GN 10
BTOOOM! GN 5
Cage of Eden GN 13
The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan GN 5
GANGSTA. GN 1
Is This a Zombie? GN 7
Judge GN 3
No. 6 GN 5
Pandora Hearts GN 20
Puella Magi Kazumi Magica GN 4
Strike Witches: Maidens in the Sky GN 1
World War Blue GN 4

Anime Spotlight: Blood Lad

Introduction

Blood Lad is an anime based on a manga series by Yuuki Kodama. The anime began airing in Japan on July 7, 2013.

As of this writing, Viz Media holds the North American streaming, home video, and download-to-own rights for Blood Lad.

About Blood Lad

The main character of Blood Lad is a powerful vampire named Staz Charlie Blood who is the boss of his territory and doesn’t really like being a vampire. Staz is also big into Japanese anime and manga, as well as video games. When a human girl named Fuyumi Yanagi manages to wander into his territory, he is overjoyed to meet someone from Japan. Unfortunately, Fuyumi dies in the Demon World, with her bare soul being left behind. Staz promises Fuyumi that he will find a way to bring her back to life; in the meantime, he helps to sustain her by allowing her to suck his blood. As the series progresses, it’s obvious to the audience that Staz has feelings for Fuyumi, although he doesn’t seem to realize that he does.

The two are joined by a young woman named Hydra-Bella, a top-level spatial magic user who is looking for the person who stole her black curtain and cast it; it was this curtain that allowed Fuyumi to wander into the Demon World. As the series progresses, Hydra-Bella develops feelings for Staz; as you can expect, Staz is just as clueless about Hydra-Bella’s feelings as he is to his own feelings toward Fuyumi.

Staz reunites with his old friend, Wolf. Another layer is added to the love triangle when Wolf realizes that he has developed feelings for Fuyumi.

Later in the series, as Staz is trying to get clues on how to resurrect Fuyumi, he is forced to see his estranged siblings, Braz D. Blood and Liz T. Blood. Through the introduction of Braz, the audience, along with Staz, learn a secret about Staz.

Near the end of the 10 episodes of the series, important revelations are also made in regards to Fuyumi and Hydra-Bella.

My Impressions of Blood Lad

When I watched the first episode of Blood Lad, I thought it was rather humorous, especially since the humor in that episode focused on Staz’s otaku interests. However, even though the series remained comedic through the 10 episodes, Staz’s otaku interests ended up being downplayed dramatically after the first episode. I can only think of three or four references to Staz’s otaku interests in the remaining nine episodes of the series. With how much emphasis this received in the first episode, I had assumed that this would be a running gag throughout the series. It turned out I was wrong. But when the otaku references do make an appearance, I found them to be rather funny; this could be due in large part to the fact that several of the references are made in regards to the Dragon Ball franchise, which is an anime and manga franchise that I enjoy.

Fuyumi is a very sweet character, but isn’t exactly the brightest person in the cast. It’s not to say that she’s stupid, but she did come across as a bit naïve at times. Hydra-Bella was a character that was hard to figure out for most of the series, so it was hard to know at times if she was a protagonist or an antagonist. Near the end of the 10 episodes, her motivations seemed to become a bit clearer.

Right now, I’m not entirely sure what Wolf’s purpose in the series was, because after his introduction, he was only around regularly for a couple of episodes. After that, he only popped up in brief scenes every now and then.

Braz was a complicated character. On the one hand, he comes across as really caring about his younger brother, Staz; but on the other hand, he was definitely a scheming and conniving character. His feelings toward his little sister, Liz, however, seemed to be a bit clearer. When Liz was first introduced, she loved Braz greatly and disdained Staz. However, as she spends time around Staz and Fuyumi, her attitude seems to change. There were some other characters introduced, but if I talk about them, I’d be providing “spoilers.”

Overall, I found Blood Lad to be an enjoyable series, with the right mix of humor and plot to keep me coming back week to week. However, episode 10 seems to end just as a new plot element is introduced. According to Wikipedia, there are nine volumes of the Blood Lad manga released in Japan at the time I’m writing this piece. So I’m wondering if, within these 10 episodes, the animation studio either caught up or were just about to catch up to the manga. If so, that could explain why the series ended the way it did. To me, it also feels like there’s a setup for a second season in place; hopefully, Blood Lad did well enough in the ratings in Japan that it will receive a second season.

Conclusion

I would be willing to say that Blood Lad will probably appeal to anime fans who enjoy Soul Eater. This series may also appeal to viewers who enjoy humorous series that feature supernatural creatures such as vampires, werewolves, etc. However, if you decide to watch Blood Lad at this point, just be aware that the story does not conclude at the end of episode 10.

As of this writing, Blood Lad is available for viewing at Viz Media’s Vizanime.com website.

Blood Lad: Episode 10 – “The Dark Hero Rises”

Blood Lad is an anime that features a powerful vampire named Staz who is the boss of his territory and doesn’t really like being a vampire. When a human girl named Fuyumi manages to wander into his territory and dies in the Demon World, her bare soul was left behind. Staz promises Fuyumi that he will find a way to bring her back to life. They are joined by Hydra-Bella, a girl who is a top-level spatial magic user who is looking for the person who stole her black curtain and cast it; it was this curtain that allowed Fuyumi to wander into the Demon World. In the third episode, an old friend of Staz’s named Wolf joins the cast, and he develops an interest in Fuyumi. Staz’s siblings, Braz and Liz, are now also part of the cast.

This episode begins with Staz in the area that Hydra-Bella had sent him to in episode nine. Staz encounters a three-headed creature named Hydra-Heads. It uses spatial magic to move elsewhere and transform into a man. Staz and the audience learn that Hydra-Heads is the father of Hydra-Bella and Hydra-Knell.

Staz, as well as the audience, learns about what happened when Hydra-Bella and Fuyumi’s mothers merged 14 years earlier. Hydra-Heads also insists on knowing what Staz’s feelings and true intentions are toward Fuyumi. Once Hydra-Heads is satisfied, he destroys a recording device that allowed Neyn to overhear the conversation. Hydra-Heads takes Staz to his room, and says he will allow Staz and Fuyumi to be together on a couple of conditions. After some hesitation, Staz agrees to the conditions; the audience learns that Hydra-Heads was being a bit deceptive.

Meanwhile, Braz and Goyle have a confrontation. Just as all seems lost, Liz arrives on the scene and the siblings escape from the situation.

Staz and Fuyumi are reunited and have a very important discussion that determines how the two of them will progress going forward into the future.

While this is the last episode of Blood Lad for the Summer 2013 simulcast season, this is definitely not the last episode of the series. There are now three plots that have loose ends: Staz trying to help Fuyumi return to life, Braz trying to overthrow Wolf-Daddy in order to get his revenge, and what will happen to Staz’s territory. I expect that at some point in the future, another season of Blood Lad will be produced and aired. I’m looking forward to such a time that this happens, because I’m definitely very interested to see how the story of Blood Lad will continue from here.

Overall, I thought that this episode works very well as a season ender. While some questions have been answered, there are also enough loose ends and unanswered questions to help propel a second season of the series. Another notable thing about this episode is the fact that Staz’s otaku tendencies were references a bit more than it had for most of the episodes in the series. Outside of the first episode and the episode where Staz thinks he can battle someone with a Kamehameha, his otaku tendencies didn’t really appear that much. So as a viewer, it was kind of nice to see Staz’s otaku mindset appear again.

All 10 episodes I saw of Blood Lad were very enjoyable, and this is definitely a series I will want to add to my anime collection at such a point that the series is available as a home video release.