This season’s new dystopian future anime is Bloodivores. Like many of its dystopian ancestors, like Psycho Pass and Tokyo Ghoul, Bloodivores is set in a world where a particular class of slightly overpowered individuals is discriminated against for inherent characteristics. In this case, it is because they are vampires who go crazy and attack civilians when they are low on blood. So I guess the discrimination is slightly justified.
Bloodivores does seem to borrow a lot from prior anime in this genre. All of the Bloodivores are forced to wear a collar, à la Psycho Pass, which activates to call law enforcement when things get bad. It is not readily apparent what actually triggers the collar. Based on the two times the collars trigger in the show, it seems likely that the collars react to either the screams or the emotions of the people surrounding the Bloodivore.
The protagonist of our tale is a young Bloodivore named Mi Liu. Early on, Mi Liu’s attitude is light to the point of being flippant. He seems genuinely relaxed and police officers shoot at him during the opening car chase. It is not until much later in the episode that I gained any hope that his character would have depth.
Mi Liu heads a gang of teenage Bloodivores comprising four collared youths: himself, Win Chao, Chen Fong, and Zo Anji. Of the three, Zo Anji is given the most screen time as the obvious love interest of the protagonist. In the beginning, I got the feeling that she was going to play the part of the constantly scared side kick to the protagonist. I was a pleasantly surprised to find out later that I was wrong.
Episode 1 of Bloodivores centers around a bank robbery and its aftermath. Mi Liu and gang set out to rob a bank for reasons that will likely be explained later in the series. Everything seems to be going according to plan until, during the the escape, a young child exits a bathroom and glimpses Chen Fong’s face without his mask.
Chen Fong immediately prepares to shoot the boy (which is silly because his mask basically only covered his eyes), but is stopped by Zo Anji who stands between the young child and the angry robber. When the young child begins crying, Anji’s collar activates, alerting all nearby law enforcement.
Had the show ended with an escape from the police or a violent shootout, I probably would have been done watching. But Bloodivores surprised me by making the aftermath of the robbery compelling. All four robbers, including the over-confident Mi Liu, are captured by the police.
Mi Liu shrugs off the questioning, noting that the punishment for a simple bank robbery would just be added indentured servitude. The surprise moment of the show is the reveal that fifteen civilians were found dead at the bank, leaving our basic bank robbers facing charges of murder. The four are found guilty and sentenced to death. Mi Liu wonders if his friends were responsible for the murders just as they wonder the same thing about him.
Mi Liu gets one additional scene with the head of the Bloodivores Task Force, Mi Tenju, who also happens to be his father. The scene hints at a much darker past for Mi Liu and his family. Mi Liu lashes out at Tenju over some past event concerning his mother. Tenju keeps a stoic expression as he grabs Mi Liu with a glove that can apparently burn Bloodivores.
The show had some stumbling blocks early on with a little bit of corny dialogue, but the addition of the murder, the added character in Anji and Mi Liu, and the hints at a darker past make the show engaging enough to keep watching.