Trinity Blood is an anime adaptation of the light novel series of the same name. Apart from the similiarity to Hellsing and Trigun, the series is also notable for its variating adaptations the manga being shojo oriented, the light novels going for a more seinin route and the anime leaning more to a tv-ma route. The story is about a battle between the humans and a long lived race of vampires called Methuselas, and Crusniks, a powerful species of vampires.
The main character Abel Nightroad is the vampire counterpart of Vash the stampede as both are chaotic destructive forces everywhere they go and both have an obsession with a particular food item in the case of Abel its 13 spoons of sugar for tea and both only go after bad guys, not humans. The anime is inspired by the film Equilibrium and the action scenes are based off John Woo movies. The action scenes were gory and ultra violent.
The show is set in Mars where humans are trying to colonize the planed because of overpopulation on earth. The story takes place 900 years after a bloody war between vampires and humans, and genetically enhanced beings called Crusniks, who feed on the blood of other vampires. There are various factions each with its own agenda. The Rozen Kreuz are a group of vampires that want to peace talks with humans. The new human empire wants to coexist with vampires and the Vatican wants to eradicate all vampires.
Vampires are called the Methuselah or the “Long-Lived Race”. They have extraordinary abilities, immense strength and stamina and they lack most of the weaknesses other vampires have such as being able to go out in daylight. Vampires are either born or infected.
Crusniks are just as powerful as other vampires and they are the results of human creation for colonizing Mars. Cruzniks have special abilities that other vampires do not have such as being able to use elemental powers or transfuse blood to use as weapons. In order for Crusniks to use their special powers, they must orally or mentally command the nanomachines in their bodies to use them but overuse of it can lead to them being a danger to others and themselves. Crusniks feed on the blood of other vampires.
Lost technologies like airships, computers and missiles are used by the various factions. Abel Nightroad is a Crusnik and his main goal is to carry out the Vatican’s orders which is to stop the vampire threat. Abel works as a member of AX, a subgroup of the Vatican that focuses on dealing with supernatural threats such as vampires. A young nun Esther joins him on the mission to stop Rozencruz led by Abel’s twin brother Cain, who wishes to destroy all humans.
Abel has two personalities, his human side is a lovable goofy, optimistic and always eager to help priest who has poor financial management skills and is a glutton as a side effect from his vow of poverty. But he remains modest nonetheless. His true vampire nature is a cold, calculating, vicious killer who hides his true nature through his clumsy guise. Abel is a pacifist who does not target humans only vampires. He also wants to see peace between both species and is willing to work with either human or vampire when they both share the same goals.
Most of the humor in the show comes from the antics and clumsiness of Abel or the eccentric behavior of William Wordsworth, a Vatican professor. The humor was not really good and the cheesy comedy didn’t go well with the grim themes of the show. The characters were quite complex and multilayered and the manages to get the viewers very emotionally invested in the characters.
Each side is as destructive and vicious as the other. The Vatican wants every single vampire to be eliminated and many members have a fanatical devotion to religion and are willing to kill anybody in the name of God. Francesco Medici, one of the commanders of the Vatican, is a power-hungry bastard son who harbors bitterness for not being the pope due to his heritage. He bullies his half brother to follow his ways of thinking and he will kill anyone, even his own kin to further his ambitions.
The vampires have an understandable misanthropic view of humans and they kill indiscriminately. The human empire has notable figureheads of both vampires and humans and they both seek to find common ground with one another and form a peace treaty between both species.
The best thing about the show is its high quality art style. The cinematography was well shot and the shadowy visuals complimented its gothic science fiction art design and the character designs were well drawn. There are also many European renaissance art designs throughout the show and various European landmarks as well. Fanservice is subtle and doesn’t really distract from the main plot. The audio quality was superb and the musical score fits the gothic themes. The CGI was very obvious and at times the animation was a bit sloppy and sluggish. This is a common issue sometimes seen in other animated adaptation by Gonzo.
The main problem of this show is its disjointed and inconsistent storyline. It succeeds in setting its gothic atmosphere and strong cold war like intrigue. It is pretty long with about 24 episodes so it takes its time with story development and lore. It was overburdened with cliches that became annoying.
Plot points are added every episode and information of the show and major plot points are thrown out at you all at once instead of more measured pace. Some sub plots and side stories were just dropped and characters appeared in an episode and were not seen again. The editing of the scenes tended to jump back and forth. Asta a undercover vampire agent for the human empire was very gullible and her gullibility was so bad that it allowed her to think that all humans were just degenerates and her easy to anger impulsive nature didn’t help either as in episode 11 she accidentally destroyed a bridge in the midst of battle that killed multiple innocent humans who were just attending a fair. She still remains trigger happy even after the events of the episode. Some of the characters were cartoonish in their illogical decisions. The pope Alessandro XVIII was an incompetent pushover who is manipulated by his siblings. Pacing issues are common, some parts are just slow world building but the action scenes were fast paced. There were parts where not much happens and it is just dialogue. If you haven’t read the books, you are going to find it difficult to follow the events.
The voice acting for both the sub and the dub were good. The English voice overs had the occasional script hiccups and mistranslations. The ending was a massive disappointment as there is still is the threat Rozencruz and Abel’s half brother Cain. It sets up for another season but this unlikely to happen as both the manga and light novel are done. Besides, the original creator of the series Sunao Yoshida, died.
The lore was very interesting but it didn’t receive much fleshing out to explore of the backstory. In fact much of the lore was explained in the mangas and the light novels and it gives more detail of the origins of vampires, both Crusniks and the Methuselas. It also doesn’t explain why the vampires are against humanity and what made Cain become a villain. The reason for Abel siding with the Vatican is not covered. The ending was very sudden and left a lot of stuff unexplained and was unsatisfactory.
It gets 3 out of 5 stars.
Had the show receive more polish and more creator involvement, it could have been much better. If you like vampire shows you can find certain amount entertainment in it but don’t expect a sequel anytime soon.