Blood: The Last Vampire (2000) is an anime film produced by Production I.G and Aniplex and directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo. A single-volume manga sequel, Blood: The Last Vampire 2000 written by Benkyo Tamaoki, was published in Japan in 2001 by Kadokawa Shoten, and in English by Viz Media in November 2002 with the title slightly modified to Blood: The Last Vampire 2002. Three Japanese light novel adaptations have also been released for the series, along with a video game (which is the 6th game of the interactive adventure Yarudora series). A Live-Action Adaptation of the film with the same title was released in May 2009.
The story is set in the American Yokota Air Base located in post-World War II Japan on Halloween 1966, a few months before the beginning of the Vietnam War. Its main protagonist is a girl named Saya, who hunts blood-drinking bat-like creatures called chiropterans for a secret organization known as the Red Shield.
All adaptations Contains Examples of:
- Cleanup Crew: Red Shield (The Council in the live-action movie) do this to cover up any evidence of chiropteran existence.
- Dhampyr: Created by crossbreeding experiments between vampire hunters and captured chiropterans.
- Fictional Counterpart: The USAF Kanto Base. The live-action movie doesn't mention Yokota, but the backdrop of Mount Fuji does imply it's USAF Yokota Air Base.
- Katanas Are Just Better: The katana is Saya's weapon of choice.
- Last of His Kind: It is implied that Saya is the last of the vampires ("originals") as opposed to the vaguely vampiric bat-monster chiropterans.
- The Last Title: "The Last Vampire".
- Meaningful Name:
- Multiple meanings for Saya. In Hindi & Kurdish, "saya" means "shadow", and in the latter language, it figuratively means "care, attention". In Japanese, it means scabbard, referring to the peace that comes with sheathing your sword (making Saya's name ironic, though also a nod to her katana). A set of Kanji, 沙耶, means "question mark".
- A ningen is a Japanese underwater cryptid and also means "Earthling" (but in a way that looks down on Earthlings). Onigen's name sounds similar to this.
- Neck Lift: Saya has a habit of grabbing those that piss her off by the mouth.
- Not Using the "Z" Word: They're called demons, monsters and Chiroptera. Averted once, presumably for the benefit of the Muggle nurse who just gave an unbelievable story to identify Saya.
- The Chiropeterans aren't called by this in the 2009 movie. Instead, they're known as blood suckers.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Though not a whole lot is expanded upon in the film, it is shown that Saya cannot be hurt by sunlight. She does, however, seem to have a fear of religious symbols and reacts angrily to those who mention God.
- Really 700 Years Old: Saya, who has been physically fifteen years old since at least World War II and wasn't much younger-looking in 1892.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Saya, whose eyes are dull red by default but glow dangerously when her vampiric abilities kick in.
- Vampire Hunter: Saya's profession is killing chiropterans, who are vampires.
Blood: The Last Vampire Anime Contains Examples of:
- Ambiguous Ending: The existence of Chiropterans as well as the true nature of the killings are covered up as per The Masquerade. We learn that Saya is a vampire and is at least a century old, but nothing else as she disappears once her job is done. Our main human character is left with horrific memories of what happened and is left to wonder if Saya is still out there waging a one-woman war against the Chiropterans.
- Bat Out of Hell: Chiropterans appear as monstrous bat creatures and feed on human blood.
- Big Bad: The unnamed Chiropteran attacking the school.
- Bilingual Bonus: Much like Bon Cop, Bad Cop, the dialogue switches languages every so often.
- Black Dude Dies First: The script seemingly goes out of its way to find a black character to kill first (some monsters had died, but he was the first human to have a graphic onscreen death.) We have an old white woman, running from demons when she runs into a giant black American military man on base. She explains to him that said demons are chasing her, and he starts laughing stereotypically, complete with giant nostrils and lips. Needless to say, he ends up standing under that one creepy tree, and the demon grabs him by the head. Disemboweled instantly.
- Dramatic Chase Opening: The first scene is a hunt inside the subway train.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Vampires attacking a military base on Halloween.
- Last of Her Kind: In accordance with the title of the film, Saya is presumably the last vampire in existence; no others beings like her are shown or even hinted at in the film. It raises the question of what became of the other vampires and how/why Saya alone has survived up until now.
- The Masquerade: The public has no idea that Chiropterans exist as a result of a mysterious organization called the Red Shield ensuring that their attacks on humans are covered up. The one person capable of effectively killing Chiropterans, Saya, works with/for the Red Shield and poses as an ordinary girl when undertaking a mission.
- The Men in Black: David and Louis are members of an organization called the Red Shield which are charged with protecting the world from Chiropterans. Per The Masquerade, they hide the existence of the Chiropterans from the public and support Saya’s battles against them.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Saya is a vampire but she has no problem walking around during the day. She also doesn’t prey on humans for their blood. Her only traditional vampiric trait is her aversion towards religious objects as well as becoming irritated when people mention God around her.
- The Chiropterans definitely live up to this trope as while they feed on humans for their blood, they have monstrous appearances and behave like mindless predators in most instances. They aren’t shown as having any weaknesses towards religious paraphernalia either.
- Rain of Blood: Type 2, with a body in a tree.
- Really 700 Years Old: Saya is a vampire (presumably the last of her kind given the film’s title) and while she looks like a teenaged girl, she is at least a century old.
- School Uniforms are the New Black: Saya wears a uniform for most of the movie and in the manga as well.
- The Unreveal: Neither the characters in the film receive much insight into the nature of Saya and/or the Chiropterans. We learn that Saya is a vampire and is at least a century old, but where did she come from? Why does she fight the Chiropterans when she doesn’t seem to like humans all that much? Where do Chiropterans come from and how were they created? If Saya is the last vampire of her kind, what happened to the others? These questions and more have no answers.
- Translation Convention: Various characters on the American Marine base in Okinawa, speak fluent English, or Japanese as appropriate. The DVD didn't offer dub selections for either, but allowed the viewer to choose, which language was subtitled.
The Manga Contains Examples of:
- Ambiguous Ending: Possibly bordering on Downer Ending. To make a long story short, Akiko is manipulated into murdering her entire family and is rendered into a catatonic state and hospitalized. Maya reveals the truth behind Saya's past and offers Saya to either eat her and become "complete" vampire or let Maya kill her. Maya's body is never found and Saya's handler promptly chews her out for this and threatens to discard her. Cut to a woman that could either be Saya or Maya walking the streets and two panels of the handlers remains...
- Bleached Underpants: The artist, Benkyo Tamaoki, also did several short stories for hentai anthologies.
- Car Cushion: Used when Saya jumps off the roof of the school.
- Domestic Abuse: In the manga, Maya to Akiko. Eventually manipulating the poor girl to murder her entire family.
- Hotter and Sexier: The original anime film had virtually no sex or nudity in it. This changed a great deal in the manga.
- Meaningful Name: Akiko's name sounds similar to Mahiko, with both having the same last syllable.
- Theme Twin Naming: Saya and Maya.
- The Un-Favourite: Akiko felt that her parents loved her younger sister more.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Akiko eventually slides into this due to Maya's influence.
The 2009 movie Contains Examples of:
- Absurd Cutting Power: Saya cuts rocks thrown at her in half with her Katana, and contrary to what one would expect isn't left with a broken sword but a perfectly sharp blade afterwards.
- Alice Allusion: Alice McKee's name is derived from Alice in Wonderland for her first name (for Alice, it means she gets mixed up in a supernatural world; for Saya, both Saya & the story's Alice are lost girls in a world that is strange to them), and her last name is from the first syllables of Mahiko, who she replaces in the live-action adaptation. It also might be referencing how this Alice gets a "key" into "wonderland".
- Audible Sharpness: All over the place. At one point Saya's sword makes noise in its sheath.
- Badass Long Coat: Saya has one in the beginning of the movie. Later she dresses as a Joshikousei.
- Big Bad: Onigen, the leader of the Chiropterans attacking the school in the live-action movie.
- Bullet Time: The movie sure loves this for the action scenes, almost every move Saya makes is shown in slow motion. Visual Shout-Out (or blatant rip-off) to The Matrix occur when both Saya and Onigen perform the famous dodge by bending over backwards.
- The Dragon: One Eye is this for Onigen in the movie, considering that it was him who killed Saya's mentor, this is kinda expected.
- Interesting Situation Duel: Saya battles The Dragon on a truck stuck between two cliffsides, saving her friend from falling down in between swordstrokes.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Onigen is Saya's mother. Or possibly she's just messing with Saya.
- Mythology Gag: Saya's mother is Onigen, the leader of the Chiropterans, similar to how Saya from Blood+ is the most recent descendant (along with Diva) of a line of Chiropteran Queens.
- Shout-Out: Alice McKee is the adaptation's version of Makiho, highlighting that she's just an ordinary person that goes Down the Rabbit Hole when she gets mixed up in one of Saya's missions. At the end of the movie when asked if she knows the whereabouts of Saya, Alice answers that she is "searching for a way back from the other side of the looking glass." (as in, describing Saya as a lost girl like the Alice from the story).