Manga / Blood Blockade Battlefront

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Kekkai Sensen (translated as Bloodline Battlefront), officially titled in the west as Blood Blockade Battlefront, is a manga created by Yasuhiro Nightow, the creator of Trigun and Gungrave. It received an anime adaptation from Studio BONES in Spring 2015.

Three years ago, the barrier between the Beyond and Earth broke down... in New York City. In one night, the city was destroyed and rebuilt, renamed Hellsalem's Lot (according to the characters, or New Hellsalem in the manga). Demons and monsters are now commonplace in city life, and magic has become both a blessing and a burden. In this city where almost literally anything can happen, human life is very difficult.

The story follows the path of Leonardo Watch, The Everyman. Due to an attack from a mysterious being, his sister, Michella, lost her eyesight and he gained the All-Seeing Eyes of God, two glowing blue eyes that allow him to see things that cannot be viewed with normal sight, through any illusions and all obstacles. It also follows the secret society Libra, which protects Hellsalem's Lot from malevolent inhabitants. Leo joins Libra in an attempt to cure his sister, becoming wrapped up in the ensuing barrier war between the vampiric superhumans known as the Blood Breed, and the rest of Hellsalem's Lot. Along the way, Libra fights other criminals such as Femt, the King of Depravity, or other horrific monsters.

Originally, this was a one-shot story called Barrier War (Kekkai Senso) released in 2008, the story taking place in a contemporary city with an emphasis on vampire hunting.

After a long delay, its finale finally aired in October 2015. The anime was hugely popular in Japan, leading to the announcement of a second season set to air in 2017 and titled Kekkai Sensen & BEYOND a.k.a Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyond.

Blood Blockade Battletropes:

  • The Alcatraz: Pandorum Asylum, a prison with 40 million paranormal criminals.
  • All There in the Manual: The anime is great, but barely touches on the most of the characters with some just making one appearance through most of it's short run (despite all appearing in the Dance Party Ending). You want more information, you have to read the manga. The second season places more focus on the supporting characters; with Steven, Chain, Gilbert, and K.K. all receiving A Day in the Limelight.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Werewolf Bureau, which Chain is a member of, is made up entirely of women, with the power to erase their presence.
  • Amusing Injuries: Something in Hellsalem's Lot seems to be preventing people from permanently dying, or preventing them from realizing that the city is a suicidal deathtrap, as thousands are killed in the chaos every day (lots of alien restaurants take No OSHA Compliance to another dimension, and some frequented subways have a staggering 12% survival rate) and nobody bats an eye. This extends to the main characters, who endure injuries that would even kill superheroes and get out of the hospital in a few weeks. However, people can die for good if the villains try REALLY hard (drain their lifespan, slice up their corpses repeatedly, or just lots of magic).
  • Animal Motifs: Monkey for Zapp, Dog for Chain.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Could give JoJo a run for its money. We have names like Leonardo Watch, Zapp Renfro and Steven A. Starphase, not to mention the names that vampires have.
  • Big Applesauce: New York City has been transformed into Hellsalem's Lot, but it still acts as New York City, only with aliens and demons walking around in plain sight, and with monster attacks being an everyday occurrence.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The character introductions.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Leo manages to save the day and foil the King of Despair's plot, but since the barrier has been destroyed, White has to sacrifice herself to reestablish a new barrier. Black promises to live on for his family's sake. And that's for the Anime, the Manga is still continuing with a sequel said to come around.
    • The anime eventually got a second season where the ending is much more sweet than bitter. While White is still dead, her spirit is heavily implied to still be watching over Leo, as a dream about her when he's near-death gives him the drive he needs to survive. After the threat in season two's final episode is thwarted, the anime book ends on another Monster of the Week similar to the ones faced in season two's first episode.
  • Black Comedy: Brody and Hummer's experimentation by Aligula is pretty gruesome: Brody was liquefied into living blood while Hummer's blood was drained from him in a painful way... THEN Brody was inserted into Hummer. The images are as gruesome as you'd expect in the manga, but in the anime, Aligula explains it via cooking show terms and use of Heinz ketchup. Hilarious!
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Zapp said that he watched a samurai slicing radish with a katana at Yo!tube, with a screen looking like Youtube.
    • Leonardo works for Dogimo's (Domino's) Pizza.
    • Hainz (Heinz) Tomato Ketchup.
    • Blur Moon Beer. (Blue Moon)
    • Kentudgy Fried Chicken (KDFC) instead of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).
    • Peiniken (Heineken) on a certain sign that shows up many times throughout the series...but below the mention is a picture which is not beer.
    • Leo has a Codac digital camera.
    • Peps (for Pepsi) shows up all over the anime.
    • "John And Rocket" is Johnny Rockets, a mildly popular real life burger chain that's actually mostly found in New Jersey.
    • Leo is seen using Skypo (Skype) near the end of season 2.
  • Blatant Lies: In the end of episode 5, Leo keeps saying that he's going straight home to rest, when really he just wants to make amends with White.
  • Bloody Murder: A majority of Libra members use their blood to fight in one way or another. Zap can turn his blood into a sword, and can light it on fire. Klaus uses Brain Style Grid Blood Fighting technique, which uses harsh punches and binding techniques. K.K uses Blood Bullets. Stephen A. Starphase freezes things with his Esmeralda Blood Freeze.
  • Book Ends: This is subverted in chapter 11/episode 6 with Leo's trip for takeout, with Leo even lampshading why he bought enough for two the second time around.
    • Season 1 begins and ends with Leo's letter to Michella, only this time he finishes the letter, whereas in the first episode he only finished partway.
    • Season 2 begins and ends with Femt attacking the city with Demonbeasts.
  • Brain in a Jar: Phillip, the Battle Butler who covers for Gilbert after he gets a broken back, has his brain removed from his head so that demons can acquire information on Libra.
  • Brick Joke: In the beginning of episode 1, Leo says, "Get used to abnormal and it will become normal." When the episode ends, Femt snaps, "Dammit! He (Leo) is normal!"
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: After Black reestablishes the barrier, a butterfly can be seen fluttering past Leo before fading into the light.
  • Call-Back: "If you must take it, take it from me!" Originally heard from the mouth of Michella in a flashback when she sacrifices her vision so that Leo can have the Eyes of God, it's again heard word-for-word in episode 9 in a flashback when Black offers his body for the King of Despair to use so that he'll leave White alone.
    • The Final Episode has this.
      • The duo from the demon talk show in the 1st episode make a return.
      • The "ordinariness" of Leo is lampshaded to hell.
      • The idea of games should be played on boards is invoked by Klaus.
      • Klaus also stands up to a being much stronger than he is...and gets his ass handed to him.
      • Leo manages to save the day as well by using the All-Seeing Eyes of God in a timely manner, like in Episode 1.
      • The restaurant where Leo eats in gets destroyed...again.
      • Leo and Klaus also have a talk after the former saves the day, much like in the First Episode.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Most Libra members do this whenever they use their special attacks.
    • At one point they all call their attacks at the same time, and the text for their attacks are overlapping and unreadable, with one character moaning in the next panel that their names all got garbled from being shouted at the same time.
  • Canon Foreigner: White, the girl that Leo regularly visits at the hospital, and her brother Black were created specifically for the anime, and have no manga equivalents. Even when season 2 shifts gears to cover more of the manga we still get reminders of White after she dies for good, and Black contacts Leo near the end of the season.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Every episode to feature a fight abounds with it. Zapp is frequently a source.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: Klaus' fighting style involves creating crosses from his blood, and when he seals Blood Breeds they turn into one.
  • City of Adventure: It's clearly stated that the city is full of advanced technology, ancient magic and criminals of every stripe. Much of the city is full of impenetrable magic fog, resulting in entire parts of the city having never been seen by human eyes.
  • Electronic Eyes: Leo's eyes become this when using his powers.
  • Expy:
    • Klaus' cross looks like a miniaturized Wolfwood's Cross Punisher.
    • Zapp looks a lot like Sherry Walken-MacDowell's appearance in Gungrave Overdose. Their outfits essentially mirror each other's in both color and structure, and they're both Ambiguously Brown with white hair. Would also make more sense, since Yasuhiro Nightow is known more for retooling his own designs than making new ones based on older anime characters.
    • Deldro Brody is basically Carnage.
      • Brody looks an awful lot like carbon!Greed. Not to mention also being a notorious criminal made of red liquid, capable of creating impenetrable armour and forced to share a body with a polite, cheery young man voiced by Mamoru Miyano.
    • The Sonic Speedmonkey is essentially this series' version of Kuroneko-sama.
  • Fantastic Racism: While most humans in Jerusalem's Lot don't mind the Otherworlders, people on the outside are so afraid of them that many chain restaurants and the like pulled out of the city en masse out of the fear that images of Otherworlders with their products would lead to bad PR. There's also a cordoned off humans-only area of the city that's indistinguishable from how New York was originally, complete with a roof that keeps the fog out and projects a blue sky. This is all despite the fact the overwhelming majority of Otherworlders are completely harmless.
    • Zed experiences a lot of this, as he's neither human nor Beyondian. Season two reveals that he was an experiment who was left abandoned after his admittedly kind creator passed away.
  • Fictional Currency: "Zeroes" are apparently the Alterworld's preferred currency, but American dollars seem to also be referred to as Zeroes on occasion.
  • Foreshadowing: The movie Leo takes White to see is a parody of Twins, which she tears up at. At the end of the next episode we're formally introduced to her older twin brother, Black.
    • White also tells Leo that she's a ghost. Which is apt since she's part of the barrier sustaining the city, so the moment the barrier disappears, she goes as well.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Quite a few in the second season's ending mostly due to how fast paced it is. But in particular there is a few shots near the end of it that pass by in a blink of the eye. Notably a picture of Leo, White, and Black together shows up.
    • In the OP of the second season, after a close-up of Fampt and Aligula, a figure that resembles White can be seen going through the crowd at the carnival.
  • Genre Savvy: By Episode 5 of Beyond, Leo has gleaned the fact that the universe treats him as a Butt-Monkey, and after getting his wallet stolen two episodes earlier, has started keeping his money in other places (like the soles of his shoes, in the lining of his pockets, or under his sleeves), with the wallet acting as a decoy.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Almost all of the members of LIBRA Call their attacks in a foreign language.
  • Healing Factor: Gilbert possesses one, but it only activates when they sustain a fatal injury, such as being sliced in two.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Happens to Zapp when a glass shard hit his forehead as a result of Abram's curse.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Zapp lures Klaus into an underground fighting ring so he can pay off a gambling debt, Leo immediately figures out what's happening, and calls him out. He then proceeds to start gambling on the fights himself.
    Leo: "ZAPP, YOU DIIIIICK!" (Beat) "Twenty Zeros on Klaus please."
  • I Know Your True Name: Blood Breed, or more traditional vampires, cannot stand being called out by their real names since doing so is apparently linked to how you defeat them.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Dog (of the Dog and Deldro pair) is supposed to be ridiculously handsome (enough that, as shown by episode 5, he has the female segment of Libra swooning over him), and yet due to the art style doesn't seem to be any more handsome than Zapp or Leo.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: The narrator casually explains, "It is said that several million died or were injured... but the authorities stated the actual number was unknown. I'm sure it became too much of a hassle halfway through!" after the Monster Truck exploded.
  • Living MacGuffin: Leonardo bears the All-Seeing Eyes of the Gods, a powerful ability that allows him to see things that no human or even Otherworlder should see, and through even the most powerful illusory magic. It's explicitly stated at the start of episode two that a lot of people will be after that kind of power.
  • Loads and Loads of Rules: Prosfair, a chess-like game that gets exponentially more complicated the longer you play.
    • To make things even weirder, it's played in it's own pocket dimension with a ridiculous concept of time. Ninety-Nine hours of Prosfair is a matter of minutes outside of the game.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Rather, "Love Makes You Tear Up New York With a Monster Truck" and "Love Makes You Combine a Serial Killer With a Hot Guy" in the case of Aligura.
  • Meaningful Name: White and Black's parents insist that they're the "two-in-one" who work better together. Their real names of Mary and William MacBeth are named after co-regents of England, Ireland and Scotland, who ruled the English Isles together.
    • Also Klaus V Reinherz, since Rein(es) Herz in German means pure heart(ed)
  • Mugging the Monster: In Z's Longest Day - Part 1, some Otherworldians try to extort cash from Zapp. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot
  • Oh, Crap!: Zed had this expression when he realize his teacher ditch him and left him in the care of Libra.
  • Oracular Head: The two thugs that robbed Leo's wallet had their organs sold are left alive with only a head on top of a jar when they failed to pay the bill in a pub after Chain beat one of them in a drinking contest and stole it back for Leo.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires, known as the "Blood Breed" were created by writing magic directly on DNA. They lack traditional weaknesses, and are functionally unstoppable by the means available to any of the factions in the city barring (perhaps) Femt. However having access to their True Name can allow a particularly powerful Blood User like Klaus to seal them.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Chain Sumeragi is an 'invisible werewolf'. She has never exhibited wolflike qualities, although she has turned invisible.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Zapp Renfro can drain blood bags dry in a matter of moments to fuel his abilities.
  • Production Throwback: In the second season of the anime, one can spot character dolls of Milly and Meryl on a shelf.
  • Reality Ensues: Zapp tries to haze Zed by bringing him to a sushi restaurant expecting him to freak out due to him being part fish. Zed's perfectly fine with it and points out that creatures in the sea normally eat other creatures from the sea.
    • Chain defeats a mountain of a man in a drinking contest, apparently effortlessly; cue The Stinger showing her hunched over the toilet with a massive hangover the next morning puking her guts out.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Subverted, see the Shown Their Work entry.
  • The Reveal: White is technically no longer alive; part of her is energy being used to keep the barrier surrounding the city stable.
  • Rule of Cool: This is a Yasuhiro Nightow series, after all.
  • Satanic Archetype: The King of Despair, who makes deals with White and Black before subsequently screwing them both over. Which is appropriate, as it is highly implied in the finale that he IS in fact Satan.
  • Scenery Porn: The attention to detail of the scenery is bar none one of the highlights of the show. From the grandness of the city skyline in the intro to even the mundane items like the subway and the show delights in showing this to the viewer. Episode 6 is a stunning example as it heavily features several real locations in Central Park that are animated with a level of detail rarely seen anywhere.
  • Shout-Out: So many they've been moved to their own page.
  • Shown Their Work: Every now and again physics will apply to the fights. In episode five, Brody and Hummer punch a giant machine hard enough to stop it in its tracks, but thanks to Newton's Third Law, they get pushed back with the same force they applied to the monster and go flying across the city.
    • This is also the case with their attention to the details of the New York City Greater Metropolitan area, in one instance in Episode 4 Leo is talking to a young boy on the subway and later on travels to the central station on a different train. Both of these trains were very different in design, but as of the show's airing both are currently in service in the New York City subway system.
  • Sleeping Dummy: Leo does this with a bag and a pillow so that White can go watch a movie with him.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Stephen and Klaus, the most level-headed of the bunch, are playing chess in the first episode. Klaus even moreso in the following episodes, since he's shown playing a complicated chess variant popular amongst humans and demons.
  • Something Else Also Rises: Used dramatically in episode 8, with no less grand a metaphor than the sun rising over the earth out in space and a detailed thermographic image showing the body temperature of Zapp's "hot zone". Although the anime doesn't shy away from showing the same Raging Stiffie in detail in the very next shot.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: All the time. A good example would be in episode 5, where in the wake of Aligura's rampage we're shown her monster truck disintegrating, and raining its parts on the city, all with while with Leo narrating that the casualty count was in the hundreds of thousands. All while a jaunty jazz tune plays in the background.
    • Episode 6 has a lovely soft-rock romantic ballad... with a chorus that goes like this (it's played over both a lighthearted friendship montage and a scene where a character is brutally beaten):
    Bruising / Baby we have got to stop this cruising, 'cause it only takes us nowhere / We are bleeding
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is the city called Jerusalem's Lot, or Hellsalem's Lot because of how the Japanese voice actors pronounce the "J" in Jerusalem as an "H"? Or should we go with the official manga translation of New Jerusalem?
  • Stuff Blowing Up: We get a few explosions at the very beginning of episode one.
  • Two Beings, One Body: Deldro Brody and Dog Hummer. You don't want to know how they got like that.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Several villainous couples, including Gilica and Tonio, as well as Aligula and Deldro Brody before their relationship hit the skids in a very big way.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The credits of the final episode shows the aftermath of a climatic battle.
  • Whole Costume Reference: Leonardo's pizza delivery get up is identical to Peter Parker's, complete with moped.


Alternative Title(s): Kekkai Sensen

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/BloodBlockadeBattlefront