Light Novel / Trinity Blood

"Humans feed on birds and cattle, Vampires on the lifeblood of Humans. Didn't it ever occur to you that there might be something yet higher on the food chain?"
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Trinity Blood originally began as a series of Light Novels penned by the late Sunao Yoshida, which were later adapted into a manga and anime series. The manga is known for its lush and Baroque artwork by Kiyo Kûjô; and the anime adaptation is similarly lavish in its visuals and animation quality.

The anime continuity opens on a time far into the future, 900 years after a disaster which nearly destroyed Earth's population. The Catholic Church has re-emerged as a major military superpower and is currently waging a Cold War against the Methuselahs, a vampiric race comprised of humans which have been infected with an alien bacillus. (Said bacillus prolongs the victims' lives, grants them magical powers and super strength, at the cost of being vulnerable to sunlight — and leaves them constantly hungry for human blood, hence the reason they're considered such a nuisance.)

It is not uncommon for stark, be-trenchcoated heroes to emerge during times like this. However, the main be-trenchcoated hero of this story appears anything but heroic at first glance. In fact, Father Abel Nightroad seems a bit of a ditz, although under the right circumstances, his true form will show itself. (His true form being that of a Crusnik, a powerful and monstrous being which feeds on vampires the way vampires feed on humans.)

The series isn't just about Father Nightroad kicking vampire ass for the Lord, though. There's also plenty of intrigue going on in both the Vatican and Methuslean camps. And a shadowy conspiracy called the Order of Rosenkreuz, which seeks to bring about The End of the World as We Know It. Again.

It's probably worth noting that one of the reasons the anime is so light on content, and that the manga is sort of... hanging... is because the original author died before the series could be finished. And the mangaka aren't really sure how to finish the series well enough so as to honour the author and keep the fandom happy.

Trinity Blood provides examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage
    • Worn by a nun, believe it or not.
    • Jane sports this too.
  • Accidental Pervert: Abel Nightroad, oftentimes.
  • Adapted Out: Many characters from the novels (such as some members from the Vatican and Rosenkreuz Orden) do not appear in the anime, though some of them make it in the manga.
  • All There in the Manual: Seriously. The show tells you almost nothing about the setting and backstory. The manga is more clear and forthcoming about these details. The novels are your best bet if you want to have a clue what's happening, though. There's also the notes left by the original author prior to his death which explains the events after Esther was crowned Queen of Albion. But those events are worse than what has already happened.
  • Alternate Continuity: The novels, manga and anime differ greatly from each other.
  • Altum Videtur: Aside from the assumption that most characters affiliated with the Vatican probably speak Latin via Translation Convention, there's also Contra Mundi, whose name and motto are often dropped entirely in untranslated Latin.
  • Angel Face, Demon Face: Inverted with Abel, whose Crusnik-form appearance is disturbing/demonic, and Cain whose transformed appearance is more classically angelic.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Subverted BIG TIME with Dietrich. He's described as extremely handsome (with the face of an angel)... and is also a total psychopath with no regard for human life.
  • Big Bad: Cain Nightroad.
  • Big Good
    • The Pope
    • Queen Esther of Albion
  • BFG: Tres sure loves his heavy artillery.
  • Big "NO!": At the climax of episode 22, and to a lesser extent, episode 3.
  • Bishōnen: Just about every male cast member is one, including the Pope! The manga even lampshades it a few times. And Abel appears so many times with Bishie Sparkles...
  • Bishie Sparkle:
    • Abel, too often to count.
    • Shahrazad, completed with a dose of Love Bubbles every time she smiles at Esther's direction.
    • In the manga, whenever Ion is in good term with Esther.
  • Bi the Way: Jane Jocelyn, one of the candidates for Albion's throne. She's apparently had seven husbands, and is not even remotely shy about showing her blatant, leering interest in Esther.
  • Bloody Murder: One vampire could cause his blood to spontaneously combust with air. Abel could form a scythe out of his.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Abel and Esther. Although Abel thought she was a boy when they met.
  • Crapsack World: Before the events of Trinity Blood, the humans and the Methuselahs (who were orignally humans and colonizers of Mars but got infected with the bacillus) wage war against each other which almost destroy the entire human race and the planet. During the events of the series, humans and Methuselahs still hold antagonistic feelings against each other. According to the original author's notes, it got worse.
  • Crush. Kill. Destroy!: Tres in Genocide mode.
  • Cursed with Awesome: ... which is what infection of the Bacillus would be if it didn't require the constant craving for human blood. Given the wondrous powers it bestows, one wonders why all or part of humanity doesn't allow itself to be infected and then just survive on a diet of synthetic blood. Lampshaded during the fairy synthetic vampires arc: it said that the successful conversion rate is extremely low (at least in the light novels).
  • Deceptively Human Robots: Tres and the other Killing Dolls
  • Decoy Leader: The vampire empress.
  • Demotedto Extra: The anime reduced some of the characters' roles. For example, Mary Spencer has a very prominent role in the manga and novels where she is the illegitimate daughter of the Crown Prince of Albion (making her Ester's half-sister) and a possible successor to the throne. The anime never mentions this.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Isaak Fernand von Kämpfer whose 'agenda' and 'goals' are described as mysterious and is compared with Karla of Record of Lodoss War in interviews.
  • The Empire: The vampires' form of government.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Brother Matthew
  • Expy: Abel's particular brand of ditziness, along with being one of the strongest characters in the setting when he pulls a Let's Get Dangerous!, right down to the very name of the manga, may bring to mind one Vash the Stampede.
  • Flash Step : In the manga, many methuselah (Mauve Shirt and above) can do this. Brother Petro Orcini is also able to do this because he used a drug in FULL-BODY METAL ARMOR.
  • Flowery Elizabethan English: In the English version of the manga released by Tokyopop, the Empress speaks like this... but only with other noble Methusalehs.
  • Food Chain of Evil: Many vampires are shocked and horrified to learn that they are the natural prey for the even more badass Crusniks.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Inverted. Abel's are a scary black and red, while Cain's are white feathered.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • Hungarian words and names occasionally crop up untranslated, especially in the manga continuity. Justified, though, since Esther is a naturalized citizen raised in Istvan, a Hungarian border city which a handful of story arcs center around, and, presumably, picked up Hungarian as her first language.
  • Gratuitous German: Scanlations of the manga tend to have Deitrich throw in a word or two, and even complete phrases, of German into his dialogue for no reason in later chapters.
  • Gun Kata: Father Tres, in episode 2.
  • The Gunslinger: Quite a few characters, but mainly Tres, to the point that Gunslinger is actually his callsign.
  • Heroic Vow: Abel to Lilith, Esther to Shahrazad).
  • Large Ham: Brother Petro, who seemingly can't go five minutes without making a grand proclamation of justice.
  • Lolicon:
    • Seth Nightlord & Mirka Fortuna.
    • Ion Fortuna. The anime ending has hints of Abel×Ion.
  • Love Hurts: When it doesn't make you evil or is unrequited, happy protagonists and villains in this series have to deal with the demise of their spouse/lover: Like William and his fiancé, Helga and her husband, Monica and her husband, Leon and his wife, Gyula and his wife Maria, Abel and his beloved Lilith.
  • Love Makes You Evil
    • Caterina Sforza in the novels and the manga. When Abel shows too much concern for Esther to her liking. She subtly moves to arrange Esther's accidental death twice. Later on, in Stories Untold, she realizes the grave consequences of her actions and uses this hatred and jaded love to win herself a place in the Orden, in order to destroy them from within.
    • Could also apply to Gyula and his wife.
  • Machine Monotone: Tres and Brother Bartholomew are robots without much variation in their tone of voice.
  • Meaningful Name: Shout Outs to historical and religious figures abound in this series.
    • Abel, Cain, and Seth Nightroad: Obvious reference to the three sons of Adam and Eve.
    • Lilith Sahl: Reference to Lilith, Adam's first wife in some interpretations of Genesis.
    • Esther Blanchett: Reference to the biblical queen Esther. Also lampshaded by Dietrich as being homophonous to Greek "Aster," or "star." Revealed to be Esther White in the manga, the White Rebellion.
      • Edward White is not her biological father, but a knight faithful to the Crown Princess who saved Princess Esther and was framed by the real conspirators of the crime. Also Blanchett/Blanchette is a French heroine of a novel with the same name. Also also, "Blanchett" approximately translates from French as "Little White," and Albion, one of the traditional, poetic names of Britain is etymologically related to Latin "albus," or "white."
    • Radu Barvon Named after Vlad "The Impaler" Tepes' traitorous brother, he was the puppet ruler of Wallachia whenever the Ottoman Empire occupied it.
    • Hercules Tres Iqus: Number 3 out of 10 (Iquis is Latin for "X", or in numeral form, "10") Killing Dolls created by Geppetto Garibaldi.
    • Augusta Vradica: Augustus Caesar meets Vlad Dracula
    • Astharoshe/"Asta": Reference to Ashtoreth/Astarte, a Canaanite goddess mentioned in the Old Testament, and namesake of Astaroth, a high-ranking demon in Medieval demonology
    • Suleyman: Reference to Suleiman the Magnificent aka Suleyman I, the longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
    • All codenames (Except maybe Dandelion?)
      • Nope, even Dandelion. He's a dandy, and his name is Leon. That's it.
      • In fact, Dandelion translated to Spanish is "Diente de León", that can be literally translated to "lion's tooth".
    • All members of the Vatican are connected to Renaissance's important politicians or members of the Church: Borgia, Caterina Sforza, Medici, Alphonso D'Este.
    • The nicknames "Calamity Jane" and "Bloody Mary".
    • Baybars/Baibars is a reference to another famous sultan known as Abu al-Futuh.
    • Scheherazade/Shahrazad
  • Ms. Fanservice: Noelle Bor, Monica Argento, and Jane Judith Jocelyn.
  • Minored in Asskicking: Professor Wordsworth
  • Nice Hat: Many, but Empress Augusta's is the most notable.
  • No Ending: At least by the original author. His friend, Kentaro Yasui, author of the Ragnarok novels, was asked to continue the series.
  • Noisy Guns: Played utterly straight. Any time a gun is even pointed at something, it makes random clicky sounds.
  • Power Limiter
    • Abel has imposed one on himself. His Evil Twin hasn't, and the results show why Abel has done so.
    • Seth and Lilith limited it too. Since releasing 100% power would mean the Nanomachines taking possession of the host which is what happened to poor Cain. Sadly, the Anime forgets this fact and the other little detail that Lilith had no nanomachines in her bloodstream otherwise she wouldn't be dead, or that Abel got his head blown off to be in stasis during Throne of the Roses.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Whenever you hear Abel's voice change uttering the words, "Crusnik 02. Nanomachine output 40%. Activate," you know someone is about to get wrecked in a horrific manner.
  • Prehensile Hair: Vanessa. Holy fricking crap, Vanessa.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: A few vampires and Crusniks.
  • Putting on the Reich: The RKO's uniforms are modeled after the Nazi's Waffen-SS. Probably to invoke Red Right Hand.
  • Really 700 Years Old
    • The Crusnik and Methuselah.
    • Special mention must go to Seth and Mirka, who are ancient but look about the same age as Ion. What's really striking is that Mirka is Ion's grandma!
  • The Reveal: Big time in episode 19, in which Seth is revealed to be The Empress, while The Empress is revealed to actually be Mirka Fortuna, Duchess of Moldova. In all fairness, there was a bit of a Chekhov's Gun that should have at least clarified who Seth really was: at the end of episode 11, you see the bottom portion of her head, revealing her childlike face and giveaway hairstyle (not to mention her voice when she speaks).
  • Requisite Royal Regalia The crown Esther is, well, crowned with, and she also had an ermine cape in the manga
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Shahrazad and Esther are a rare inversion, because Esther had 'romantic friendship/partnerships' with a lot of men (Dietrich, Abel, Ion) before 'graduating' from them and establishing one with a true sense of lasting commitment with a girl. Too bad Shahrazad dies minutes after Esther realizes this.
  • Say My Name: Esther and Ion, stuck in a cell together. You wouldn't think they'd have to cry out the names, what with being in the same cell, but they do.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: In the episode Overcount I. The Belfry of Downfall Cardinal Caterina Sforza breaks Vatican protocol in seeking to stop a weapon that could destroy all of Rome. As a result she placed under house arrest and is hinted that that she might have been executed. However, she is cleared when the weapon is used.
  • Sexy Priest: The AX agents seem to be ranked according to how attractive they are. Abel of course is first. Tres may be an exception, as he was designed that way.
  • Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness: On the friendlier side. Only cruel or debauched vampires go on blood-guzzling sprees. Most live on cloned blood.
  • The Spock: Tres is very stoic and analytical.
  • Stripperiffic: Most female vampires. Sister Monica and Sister Paula also, despite being nuns.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Esther Blanchett, in Star of Sorrow. Also Vanessa Walsh.
  • Sweet Tooth: Abel would like thirteen sugars in his tea, please.
  • Shout-Out: Episode 2 of the anime has Tres throw it out to John Preston by pulling a similar "bust into badguy hideout, kill the lights, and blow everyone away while standing in the same spot" entry.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial
    • Oh, Brother Petro. "I'm merely been assigned to be His Holiness's escort! It's not as if I'm on another mission and have been sworn to absolute secrecy or anything! Because I am definitely not! Don't get the wrong idea!"
    • Also the Duke of Tigris: "W-Whatever do you mean? Why would I ever blow up Your Majesty?"
  • Tarot Motifs: an entire tarot deck released with the DVD box sets.
  • Technical Pacifist: Abel in the anime. He's rather less disturbed by killing in the novels and manga.
  • Tin Man: Tres has his moments
  • Token Mini-Moe: Seth and Mirka Fortuna (only in the novels and manga)
  • Tsundere
    • Astharoshe "Asta" Asran, and using that nickname without permission is an easy way to trigger the tsuntsun side. Ion Fortuna. Esther Blanchett to a degree is a tsundere type B, usually she's polite and kind, but she has her triggers specially around Abel in the novels.
    • Vanessa Walsh as well.
  • Unknown Rival: Brother Petro and Tres, who really couldn't care less.
  • Unrequited Love
    • Sister Noelle, for Abel.
    • And Caterina Sforza for Abel (maybe Tres for Caterina).
    • Ion Fortuna and the Pope, for Esther Blanchett.
  • Vampire Monarch: Empress Augusta Vradica the First is the leader of the Methuselah vampires of "The New Human Empire". In reality, she is the childlike Seth Nightroad, a Crusnik Vampire and is Really 700 Years Old.
  • Winged Humanoid: The Crusnik when they're at 80% and over.
  • Walking the Earth: Abel and Ion at the end of the anime.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Some members of the Orden, particularly Balathasar, are like this. Esther could have been one in the beginning, specially in the novels. Also Suleyman.

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