Land of the Rising Daywalker

Written by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

Eric Brooks, aka Blade, got an anime facelift thanks to Marvel Anime on G4.  The animated series Blade would have flown completely under The Fright Channel radar if it wasn’t for our return to Attack of the Show and its commercial breaks as the show’s ads persuaded us to watch.  Our first surprise came at the end in the credits where Warren Ellis was listed as a writer for the series.  Of course, we promptly sat up and took notice though it’s unclear if he wrote the English translation but his name alone is enough to make it worth viewing.  The show is produced in conjuction with Marvel Comics Entertainment and Studio Madhouse, whom you may know from such little animes as Death Note, Vampire Hunter D: Blood Lust and Ninja Scroll.

In this particular episode, Blade traveled to a remote island in the Philippines to track down his archnemesis Deacon Frost, who continues his quest to develop the ultimate Vampire.  Frost hopes to overthrow the pureblood vampire high council using Blade’s blood, and ultimately rule the world of humans and vampires alike.  Blade, the ever present party crasher, stops the operation but fails to kill Frost.  Instead, he is pulled into helping the indigenous people of the island, where an ancient evil has awoken.  This evil comes in the form of a horrible and terrifying monster that resembles that of a Nukekubi, a Japanese vampire-like creature.

The story revels in the anime genre rather than getting bogged down with the troupes that can be cumbersome to non-anime fans.  Take for example when Blade is delivering the final blow to the Nukekubi-like creature.  With most anime, he would have yelled the name of the specific finishing move but instead he utters the line in a cool, almost pillow talk manner.  Also, in this story Frost has more power than in previous incarnations of the character; a fight between Blade and Frost turns out completely different than previous fights between the two as Blade is overpowered.  What viewers can expect, if Ellis is indeed writing the English translation, is amazing high concepts, bizarre monsters and massive amounts of insane violence.

The character design combines both Japanese anime and American animation, lending itself to both anime and non-anime fans.  Blade’s design follows that of the movies and TV series, minus the horrible Wesley Snipes flat top.  The action is extremely fast with the standard fare holds on the killing blows and frizzle-fried vampire deaths.

Blade is voiced by Lost alum Harold Perrineau, also known for his roles in TV’s Oz, 28 Weeks Later and The Matrix sequels.  Perrineau turns in a cool as ice performance as Blade, easily making the transition from live acting to voice acting with no trouble.  The other standout is J. B. Blanc, a season veteran of voice acting who has worked on all Marvel Anime productions as well as Naruto and Ghost in the Shell to name a few.  Blanc’s voice gives off a tired feel that captures his disdain for the purebred vampire politics and their subsequent rule.

Set your DVRs to record more than just Attack of the Show and sit around for the latest incarnation of the Daywalker.

Feedback is always welcomed at shaun@horrorhaven.com and sharon@horrorhaven.com

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