Blood: The Last Vampire
Distributor Manga | Certificate 15 | Price £16

On the brink of the Vietnam war, a US air force base on Japanese soil is plagued by Teropterids – evil demons with taste for human flesh. A surly Japanese schoolgirl is sent in – sword in hand – to deal with the situation without causing too many waves.

Blood: The Last Vampire is superbly animated, well scripted and perfectly judged in terms of tone and character. Its only achilles heel is its length, at 48 minutes you’re left champing at the bit.

Production IG is currently putting that shortfall to rights with the release of a TV Serial called Blood+ loosely based on the movie. So with that problem out of the way, The Last Vampire can safely be declared the genuine article, a classic.

Saya, the main character is different to most of anime’s lead females. She doesn’t giggle, or even crack a smile. In fact she’s as cold as ice, she has to be because it’s her job to dispose of these shape-shifting vampiric beasties.

The original voice acting suits the visuals throughout, giving this movie the kind of seamless appeal that can be lost by poor overdubs or weak subtitling. And to some extent the brevity of the movie adds to its appeal.

If you like horror anime then Blood will enthral you, and probably prime you for the series once it’s released outside Japan.

Its refusal to fill in back-story or explain characters might be a problem for some, but it could be seen as a simple lack of complication leaving you free to experience an exciting episode from this vampire-hunting teenager’s lonely existence.