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Anime / Marvel Anime: Blade

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Marvel Anime: Blade is the fourth and final of the Madhouse anime series based on Marvel Comics characters. A "Daywalker" born with all of the strengths and none of the weaknesses of a true vampire, titular vampire-hunter Blade is out for revenge against the powerful Deacon Frost, the vampire who killed his then-pregnant mother and caused him to become half-vampire. The story follows Blade as he tracks Frost through modern day Southeast Asia, where he runs into Frost's underground society of vampires, Existence. Making both new allies and enemies along the way, Blade soon discovers a vampire plot in Vietnam that could change the world for the worse.

Featuring a story written by Kenta Fukasaku, son of the late Kinji Fukasaku, the series premiered on July 1st, 2011 in Japan. The dubbed version began airing in January of 2012, with Harold Perrineau providing the voice for Blade.


  • Action Girl: For a good chunk of the series, Blade fights vampires alongside Makoto, a young woman who has dedicated her life to slaying vampires to avenge her father.
  • And This Is for...: Though he never actually says those words, the message is clear enough when Blade kills Deacon Frost with the help of his mother's knife and Makoto's knuckledusters.
    Blade: My partner sent this for you! Take it!
  • Anti-Villain:
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: In episode 3, he's a vampire that appears to hunt humans in a similar way to a fox hunt.
    • All of the "purebloods" (traditionalist European vampires) seem to have this trait.
  • Badass Normal: Makoto and Noah fight vampires without being vampires themselves.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: In their final battle, Deacon Frost is able to block Blade's silver sword by catching the flat of the blade between his hands thanks to his Super-Speed and Super-Reflexes.
  • Big Bad: The vampire Deacon Frost, head of the organization Existence, is the ultimate vampire authority that Blade is hunting over the course of the series, and directly responsible for all of the particular obstacles that our hero faces.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Episode 11, Noah busts in to save Blade, toting a mini-gun and a crapton of strategically placed explosives.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The finale has tinges of this. Blade finally kills Deacon Frost, but it's now to avenge two people instead of one — his mother and Makoto. Existence may now be gone forever, but the purebloods are still out there wreaking havoc on innocents. Blade may have won the day, but he knows his job isn't over until all vampires are destroyed, so he, Noah, and Razor are off to Europe to continue their vampire hunter duties.
  • Blood Knight: Kikyo, the stoic, fight-loving mutant samurai from the Wolverine anime, returns in this series, still searching for a Worthy Opponent. He'll happily cut down anyone in his way if he needs to, but what he craves more than anything are strong foes who can test his skills.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: In stark contrast to the other three series of the Marvel anime universe, which rely on Bloodless Carnage, Blade holds no such punches. Blood spills from cuts and stabs, vampires drink life's blood from human victims, and gore generally punctuates every act of physical violence, even if the vampires themselves tend to burn into ashes when slain.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Downplayed. Blade normally fights without calling out individual techniques, but has several very distinct moves that he always verbally announces the name of whenever he prepares to use them.
  • The Cameo: Yep, Wolverine appears in this one too, as the trail takes Blade and Makoto to Madripoor. It also turns out that Kikyo survived his duel with Wolverine, and is now working for Existence.
  • Composite Character:
    • Noah Van Helsing is a character from the comics, and his relationship and first meeting with Blade have similarities to that of Abraham Whistler in the films, which in turn means he's got elements of both Jamal Afari (Blade's mentor) and "Bible" John Carik (character traits).
    • Blade himself is a composite of the movie version (black trench coat, silver katana and the majority of his weaponry) and his comic book version (primarily in backstory, being born and raised in England).
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Makoto tears her way through a nightclub full of vampires with nothing but silver spiked knuckledusters. Faced alone, however, Deacon Frost is able to effortlessly toss Blade around.
  • Cool Old Guy: Noah Van Helsing and Tanba Yagyu, both teachers of Blade, are older men who are still very capable fighters, being capable of hunting and slaying vampires despite being human.
  • Darker and Edgier: This is the darkest of the four Marvel anime, even more so than its precursor Wolverine. Aside from being Bloodier and Gorier, it explicitly deals with topics such as human trafficking, murder, revenge and the death of children.
  • Death by Origin Story:
    • Naturally, Blade's mother, as it was well-established in the comics that she had Blade and then was killed. The story is told via flashbacks in the first episode.
    • Episode four reveals [[spoiler:Blade's mother later came back as a vampire herself, whereupon she killed her former friends, Blade's foster mothers, only to then be slain by Blade himself as his first kill.
    • Deacon Frost's backstory revolves around the fact he had a son who was killed by vampires, which galvanized him to become a vampire himself and found Existence.
  • Dirty Cop: Several corrupt cops who take bribes from Existence to cover up their slavery, murders and other criminal acts appear in the second episode.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Eric's mother, Tara and her friends, killed by Tara herself. Later invoked by Deacon Frost to make Blade angry.
  • Dying as Yourself:
    • When 10 year old Blade stabbed his vampire mother, she had a brief moment of lucidity where her humanity came back to her before she died. The same thing happened again when Blade killed his vampirized sword master, who had also been turned by Deacon Frost.
    • Makoto gets this pre-emptively. After being bitten by Deacon Frost, she begs Blade to kill her so she can die while she's still human.
  • Finishing Move: The man who taught Blade and Kikyo how to use a sword taught him a few techniques for finishing a battle.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Stan, a Shell-Shocked Veteran of the Vietnam War, and the last survivor of a unit of vampire soldiers. By far the most moral vampire in the series, he stays away from people and steals blood packs from neighboring towns so he doesn't have to prey on them. Naturally, this makes him Too Cool to Live.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • Invoked by Blade, who fears a more literal version of this trope as opposed to worrying about the morality of his existence as a vampire hunter. Being a dhampyr, Blade constantly has to struggle with the same hemovoric appetites as a normal vampire, and so he fears that one day, he may lose this battle of wills and become a blood-sucking predator no different to his quarry. His hope is that he will be destroyed before he can lose that battle, but he's determined to take as many true vampires out before it happens.
    • To get revenge for his son, who was murdered by a vampire, Deacon Frost turned himself into a vampire and created Existence in order to be able to destroy the Purebloods, becoming the very thing he hates.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Carol, young Eric's foster-mother, as well as the other prostitutes he lived with. His biological mother too, before she became a vampire's victim.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Jaral wants to become a vampire because he thinks that being human isn't good enough in a world full of vampires and mutants.
  • Killed Off for Real: Makoto after she is bitten by Deacon Frost. She asks Blade to Mercy Kill her before she can turn into a vampire. Notable for being the only time (excluding flashbacks) that Blade cries in the series.
  • Kick Chick: Makoto's fighting style, complete with silver-tipped Combat Stilettos.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: For the most part, vampirism is treated as a virus that people can be infected with, and Existence is trying to use advanced science to create a perfect bloodline. At the same time, one of their weaknesses is White Magic and purebloods can use animals as familiars, suggesting that they are still at least partly supernatural in nature.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Lucius Isaac is one for the Vampire Council.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Blade.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Despite Blade being from England like in the comics, Harold Perrineau doesn't try an English accent. Nor Noah Bentley (who voices the young Eric) or Nayo Wallace (who voices Blade's mother, Tara) or any of the actresses who voiced Tara's friends do for that matter.
  • One-Winged Angel: Frost goes this route before his final fight with Blade, mutating into a larger, more muscular form with bony protrusions sticking out his forearms, which enable him to parry Blade's sword slashes.
  • Our Vampires Are Different. And how.
    • They all have the same set of weaknesses (sunlight and silver), but range from the typical human vampires to a variety of sub-species seemingly based on folktale monsters from Southeast Asian countries. And while they aren't harmed by holy symbols, they are vulnerable to various forms of White Magic.
    • And, as it turns out, the mythological sub-species were genetically engineered by Existence, mainly to give Blade more dangerous adversaries, making this a partially Invoked Trope.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: The reason why Frost is the way he is? Because of his son Edgar's death.
  • People Farms:
    • The plot of the second episode is centered around one. Existence filled it with young women and kept them alive in water-filled jars to harvest their blood.
    • Another one of these is seen in the finale, and it's huge.
  • Power Fist: How Makoto fights.
  • Professional Killer: Kikyo is an assassin for hire, and while he has some honor and standards, he tends to get hired by people who don't.
  • Red Right Hand: Deacon Frost has four fangs, marking him as different even from other vampires. It is later revealed that this is because his vampirism was artificially induced.
  • Red Shirt Army: Frost's mook-level soldiers. They even have red uniforms.
  • The Rival: Kikyo is this to Blade, who really isn't interested in said "rivalry."
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Makoto after her father turned vampire was killed by Blade. Blade for what happened to his mother.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Played with. The Purebloods attack Existence's base on horseback, with plate armor and broadswords, plowing through the Red Shirt Army with ease. Frost's genetically-engineered monsters give them quite a bit more of a fight.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Blade's special techniques which are shared with Kikyo and Master Yagua are given notably different names between the official English dub and the English subtitles used on the DVD release. In the dub, the techniques are preceded by "Deadly Sword Technique Number (X)", whereas in the sub they are preceded by "Deadly Sword Technique: The (Numbered) Blade". Additionally, the first technique has a different name depending on the version, being called "Residual Moon" in the dub and "Savage Moon" in the sub.
  • The Quisling: The humans working for Existence. Especially Jaral, who doesn't have any particular loyalty to Existence, but is selling them weapons in exchange for the promise of becoming a vampire, which he believes will give him the power to take over Madripoor.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: Blade's reputation with the monsters.
  • Sequel Hook: The post-credits scene has Blade uncovering a new Vampire plot in London.
  • Shipper on Deck: Wolverine ships Makoto and Blade.
  • Shown Their Work: The anime uses quite a few rarely-seen breeds of mythological vampires as villains, including the Manananggal, a Filipino "vampire" that hunts by separating its entrail-dangling upper torso from its lower torso and sprouting batlike wings to fly through the night.
  • Tank-Top Tomboy: For some reason, Makoto thinks that the best outfit to run around the world fighting vampires in is a midriff-baring ensemble.
  • Teach Him Anger: Deacon Frost's intent is to drive Blade into a rage in order to draw out the full power of a Daywalker.
  • Theme Naming: All of Blade's special attacks are named after the moon in some way.
  • They Call Him "Sword": Blade, where he gets his "known" name, although his given name is Eric Brooks.
  • Tsundere: Makoto especially when Wolverine starts pairing her up with Blade.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sorry Makoto, but your father was a real dumbass for thinking "charge in and shoot all of your bullets" was going to work on Deacon Frost of all people.
  • Truer to the Text: While it does take some cues from the movies, many aspects are truer to the comics than the films, including Blade being English — even if Harold Perrineau, Noah Bentley (who voices the young Eric), and Nayo Wallace (who voices Blade's mother) don't even remotely speak with English accents — and Deacon Frost being a white-haired older man.
  • Vampire Hunter: Well, duh.
  • We Are Everywhere: A Dirty Cop (specifically the police chief of the Osaka PD with a few uniform and plainclothed officers) working for Existence basically says this to Blade and honest cop Sakomizu. When Sakomizu's partner pulls this again, threatening Mizu's family if he continues to dig any deeper, it earns the Smug Snake an elbow to the face.
  • Weird Moon: The moon is always abnormally large and bright red whenever it appears in this series.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Detective Sakomizu is never seen or heard from again after the second episode.
    • We never see what happens to the Vampire Council after the final battle. The last we see is their leader grimly observing Deacon Frost won, but we never actually see if the Council is destroyed or not. Given the post credits scene showing Blade finding a new vampire plot, the Council presumably survived.
  • You Killed My Father: Deacon Frost kills Makoto's father, but after he turns into a vampire that is destroyed by Blade, she shouts this at Blade in her grief.

Alternative Title(s): Blade