Blood Blockade Battlefront
Blood Blockade Battlefront (Japanese: 血界戦線, Hepburn: Kekkai Sensen, lit., "Bloodline Battlefront") is a Japanese shōnen manga by Yasuhiro Nightow. It has been published bimonthly in the magazine Jump SQ19 from February to April 2009 and moved to Jump Square upon the former's ending. The plot revolves around a young photographer named Leonardo Watch, who obtains 'the All Seeing Eyes of the Gods' at the cost of his sister's eyesight. After the incident, Leonardo moves to the city of Hellsalem's Lot to join an organization known as Libra to fight several monsters as well as terrorists. The manga has been published in the United States by Dark Horse Comics.
|Blood Blockade Battlefront|
Cover of the first volume of Blood Blockade Battlefront, featuring Klaus V. Reinherz
|Genre||Adventure, science fiction, urban fantasy|
|Written by||Yasuhiro Nightow|
|Imprint||Jump Comics SQ.|
|Original run||January 5, 2009 – February 19, 2015|
|Blood Blockade Battlefront: Back 2 Back|
|Written by||Yasuhiro Nightow|
|Imprint||Jump Comics SQ.|
|Magazine||Jump SQ Crown (2015–2018)|
Jump SQ Rise (2018–present)
|Original run||July 17, 2015 – present|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Rie Matsumoto|
|Written by||Kazunao Furuya|
|Music by||Taisei Iwasaki|
|Original network||MBS, Tokyo MX, BS11|
|Original run||April 4, 2015 – October 4, 2015|
|Episodes||12 + OVA|
|Anime television series|
|Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond|
|Directed by||Shigehito Takayanagi|
|Written by||Yasuko Kamo|
|Music by||Taisei Iwasaki|
|Original network||MBS, Tokyo MX, BS11|
|Original run||October 7, 2017 – December 23, 2017|
|Episodes||12 + OVA|
An anime adaptation by Bones premiered in early 2015; Funimation licensed the series for streaming in North America. Both the manga and anime were well received by publications due to its story and characters. A second season aired from October to December 2017.
Blood Blockade Battlefront centers around the crime fighting organization "Libra" and their battles in Hellsalem's Lot, formerly known as New York City. Hellsalem's Lot was created when a portal to the "Beyond" opened, becoming a paranormal melting pot of monsters, magic and the everyday mundane life, and it is up to Libra to clear the streets of trouble and prevent the horrors of this city from spreading to the outside world.
- Leonardo Watch (レオナルド・ウォッチ, Reonarudo Wotchi)
- Voiced by: Ryōta Ōsaka (Vomic), Daisuke Sakaguchi (Japanese); Aaron Dismuke (English)
- A kind and humble young photographer who came to Hellsalem's Lot to help his ailing sister. A mysterious entity gave him the "All Seeing Eyes of the Gods" (神々の義眼, Kamigami no Gigan), granting him a variety of powerful ocular powers, at the cost of his sister's sight. His eyes have their limits; when overused, they have a tendency to "shatter", causing his eyes to bleed. He tends to be bullied by Zapp and his lack of fighting skills usually puts him in danger, especially against those who covet his power.
- Klaus Von Reinherz (クラウス・
V・ラインヘルツ, Kurausu Fon Rainherutsu)
- Voiced by: Tarusuke Shingaki (Vomic), Rikiya Koyama (Japanese); Phil Parsons (English)
- Leader of Libra. A large, very powerful man with a distinctive underbite, he is actually very well composed and gentlemanly and honest to a fault, with an unshakable will. Master of the Brain Grid Blood Battle Technique (ブレングリード流血闘術, Buren Gurīdo-ryū Kettō Jutsu), which he can use to create large cross-shaped weaponry and seal away enemies. Klaus is also very intelligent, being able to play a chess-like called Prosfair for a period of ninety-nine hours against a being that has studied the game for thousands of years.
- His ultimate technique allows him to imprison the Blood Breeds, as they can not be killed due to their immortal nature, but to do so, he must learn the enemy's true name, thus requiring Leo using his powers to reveal it.
- Zapp Renfro (ザップ・レンフロ, Zappu Renfuro)
- Voiced by: Yoshimasa Hosoya (Vomic), Kazuya Nakai (Japanese); Ian Sinclair (English)
- A hot-blooded, womanizing Libra member and master of the Big Dipper Blood-Fighting Style (斗流血法, Hikitsuboshiryū Keppō)'s Kagutsuchi branch, which allows him to manipulate his blood into blades and explosions. He is very well trained, being able to keep up with beings much faster than what the human eye can normally follow. His juvenile actions often get him and the rest of Libra into trouble. He is Leonardo's partner and despite his usual attitude, he cares about him in some way. He is always trying to defeat Klaus in a battle but is always the one to lose.
- Chain Sumeragi (チェイン・
皇, Chein Sumeragi)
- Voiced by: Seiko Yoshida (Vomic), Yū Kobayashi (Japanese); Trina Nishimura (English)
- A suit-clad werewolf with the power of invisibility and collaborator from the Loups-Garous from Nowhere (
人狼局特殊諜報課, Rū-Garūzu furomu Nōuea) organization. She can move at high speeds (being able to keep up with Zapp's chain of explosions from one end of the real world to deep into the alter-world) and does a large portion of Libra's reconnaissance work. Her personality is sadistic, often causing physical harm to others or showing indifference to those in peril (mainly to Zapp for his womanizing tendencies). However, she is shown to be somewhat caring of her teammates at certain points in the series, mostly evidenced towards Leo. Her power is erasing her presence, which needs a link (a chain) to connect her to the world in order to counter the effect of her ability or she will cease to exist.
- Steven A. Starphase (スティーブン・A・スターフェイズ, Sutībun Ē Sutāfeizu)
- Voiced by: Kenji Hamada (Vomic), Mitsuru Miyamoto (Japanese); J. Michael Tatum (English)
- Libra's second-in-command. A shady man with many connections. Master of the Esmerelda Blood Freeze (エスメラルダ式血凍道, Esumeraruda-shiki Kettōdō), a kick-based fighting style that freezes enemies on contact. He is a gentleman, like Klaus.
- Voiced by: Ai Orikasa (Japanese); Stephanie Young (English)
- A lively and confident Libra member who sports an eye patch, who can be very impatient at times, but also motherly. She is very devoted to her husband and two young sons and fights with 954 Blood Bullet Arts (954
血弾格闘技, Nain Faibu Fō Buraddo Buretto Ātsu) using high-power guns that electrocute enemies.
- Deldro Brody & Dog Hummer (デルドロ・ブローディ ＆ ドグ・ハマー, Derudoro Burōdi & Dogu Hamā)
- Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara & Mamoru Miyano (Japanese); Mike McFarland & Orion Pitts (English)
- Two men in one body. Dog Hummer is a handsome man who had his blood replaced with the liquefied body of the serial killer and "bad boy" Deldro Brody. Brody can materialize as a gigantic living armor that surrounds Hummer called Exocrimson (
殖装甲血槌のハマー, Ekisokurimuzon), granting him immense physical strength. The two are often kept sealed away in the deepest part of Hellsalem's Lot's largest prison but are sometimes called up to aid Libra in dire situations, due to their raw power. Based on Carnage.
- Zed O'Brien (ツェッド・オブライエン, Tseddo Oburaien)
- Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (Japanese); Alex Organ (Season 1), Christopher Wehkamp (Season 2) (English)
- A stern merman with similar powers to Zapp, as they were both taught by the same master. However, Zed's ability is wind-based, unlike Zapp, who is fire-based. Joins Libra after being abandoned by his master in Hellsalem's Lot. Zed is trained to use the Shinatobe branch of the Big Dipper blood-fighting style, which generates Tridents and threads from his blood. Based on Abe Sapien.
- Gilbert F. Altstein (ギルベルト・F・アルトシュタイン, Giruberuto Efu Arutoshutain)
- Voiced by: Shinya Fukumatsu (Vomic), Banjō Ginga (Japanese); Francis Henry (English)
- Klaus' butler and member of Libra. His face is covered with bandages, making him appear similar to a mummy. He is known for being a famous combat butler, and has regenerative powers. He drives a custom vehicle with many weapons, and is very fierce despite his even demeanor. Handles most of Libra's intelligence work.
- Blitz T. Abrams (ブリッツ・Ｔ・エイブラムス, Burittsu Tī Eiburamusu)
- Voiced by: Akio Ōtsuka (Japanese); Mark Stoddard (English)
- Klaus' former mentor and world-famous vampire hunter. His nickname Lucky Abrams (豪運のエイブラムス, Gōun no Eiburamusu) is the result of the many curses placed on him by his vampire enemies that he has made over the years. Whether it's due to his luck or the curses counteracting each other, Abrams has never actually been harmed from it. However, countless people have fallen victim to the curse in his stead which has left him to be rightly feared by some of his colleagues at Libra.
- Patrick (パトリック, Patorikku)
- Voiced by: Unshō Ishizuka (Japanese); Major Attaway (Season 1), Ray Hurd (Season 2) (English)
- Libra's arms craftsman, dealer and occasional combatant.
- Neyka (ニーカ, Nīka)
- Voiced by: Reina Ueda (Japanese); Alexis Tipton (English)
- Patrick's ponytailed assistant, very skilled and also gluttonous, having spent an entire Libra office party just eating food.
- Sonic Speed Monkey (音速猿, Onsokuzaru)
- Voiced by: Yūma Uchida (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)
- A monkey that's capable of moving at the speed of sound, also known simply as Sonic. It steals Leonardo's camera, but eventually becomes his pet after Leo saves him.
- Femt (フェムト, Femuto)
- Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese); Josh Grelle (English)
- The self-proclaimed King of Depravity (堕落王, Daraku-ō), ruler of Hellsalem's lot, and the ringleader of a powerful crime syndicate operating in the city known as the Thirteen Kings. Known for his sadistic personality and tendency to stir havoc in Hellsalem's lot merely for the sake of excitement. To this end, he's always willing to give his enemies a chance to win (though he'll often throw temper tantrums when they do).
- Aligura (アリギュラ, Arigyura)
- Voiced by: Satomi Kōrogi (Japanese); Tia Ballard (English)
- The Queen of Monomania (偏執王, Henshū-ō). She is the one who fused Dog and Deldro in order to create her "ideal boyfriend" with the power and ruthlessness of the latter and the handsomeness of the former. As her title of monomania implies, when Aligura finds something she wants, she'll devote everything she has to get it without any regard for whatever may stand in her way.
- Theodora (ゼオドラ, Zeodora)
- The Queen of Hypersensitivity (過敏王, Kabin-ō), considered the hardest of the Thirteen Kings to handle. Theodora is said to reside in the deepest part of Hellsalem's Lot. She possesses such a sensitive nervous system that it is able to detect almost all activity in the city. Through contracts, she is also capable of improving the nervous systems of others to a similar level provided they can handle the stress of it.
- Michella Watch (ミシェーラ・ウォッチ, Mishēra Wotchi)
- Voiced by: Nana Mizuki (Japanese); Sarah Wiedenheft (English)
- Leonardo's little sister whose sight was stolen by a demon who forcibly implanted the "All Seeing Eyes" on her brother. The events of the series are narrated to her by Leonardo.
- Vivian (ビビアン, Bibian)
- Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese); Lindsay Seidel (English)
- A girl working at a diner that Leonardo usually frequents. She cares about him quite a bit, comforting him with food or drink when he needs it.
- Master (マスター, Masutā)
- Voiced by: Riki Kagami
- Master of the diner.
- Don Arlelelle Eruca Fulgrouche (ドン・アルルエル・エルカ・フルグルシュ, Don Arurueru Eruka Furugurushu)
- Voiced by: Shōzō Iizuka (Japanese); Kenny Green (English)
- Powerful mob boss of the alterworld, and huge fan of Prosfair. Being made out of various brains, and with the ability to bend space and time, Arlelelle's skill on Prosfair is insurmountably high. Because of this, he does favors to humans who win Prosfair endurance matches against him; losers give the "remainder of their lives" to him, their minds incorporated into Arlelelle's brains so as to continue playing the game against him until life's end. Klaus is a friend of Arlelelle's, having endured 5 matches against him, and thus Arlelelle is much more lenient and accepting of Klaus' requests.
- Amagranoff Luozontam Ouv Lee Neji (アマグラナフ・ルォゾンタム・ウーヴ・リ・ネジ, Amaguranafu Rozontamu Ūvu Ri Neji)
- Voiced by: Ikue Ōtani (Japanese); Alison Viktorin (English)
- Nicknamed "Neji", a beyondian with a huge affinity for hamburgers from the segregated franchise Jack & Rocket's (a take on Johnny Rockets). He has physical characteristics similar to a mushroom, and releases memory-erasing spores when put through heavy stress. The power of the spores is evident: he does not remember his mother and neither does his mother remember him. Leonardo bought hamburgers for Neji, and the two became friends; however, after certain events happened in the series with people trying to sell Neji's spores as weapons, Neji releases spores that are too powerful, and thus he and Leonardo must restart their friendship, as they have forgotten each other.
"Neji" means "screw" in Japanese. So he was designed as short plus screw shape.
- Raju Jugei Shizuyoshi (裸獣汁外衛賤厳, Rajū Jūgē Shizuyoshi)
- Voiced by: Hidekatsu Shibata (Japanese); R. Bruce Elliott (English)
- A legendary blood fighter, considered a "Blood Battle God" (血闘神, Kettōshin), founder of the Big Dipper style blood technique and the master of Zapp & Zed. It is not known if he is alien or human, as he lost most of his body during blood training, being only an arm and a barely visible face under a tattered robe & a wild boar skull. With a biting personality and brutal discipline of training, he and Zapp stood on acrimonious terms. Known for disappearing for decades at a time and taking down high-ranked Blood Breeds, he comes to Hellsalem's Lot while fighting the Blood Breed Herlelle Lucando Lozo Thietkaua gi Murmhavat, along the way rigorously testing Zapp and leaving Zed at the hands of Libra, before a sudden disappearance.
- Lieutenant Daniel Low (ダニエル・ロウ警部補, Danieru Rō Keibuho)
- Voiced by: Yūya Uchida (Japanese); Justin Cook (English)
- Police officer who requests cooperation from Libra on risky situations in exchange for not arresting the organization.
- Angelica (アンジェリカ, Anjerika)
- Voiced by: Rina Kitagawa (Japanese); Jamie Marchi (English)
- Code name used by the secretary of the League of High Order Spirituals. She can use her powers to teleport. Zapp develops feelings for her when he first meets her at a KDFC restaurant.
- Elder (長老, Chōrō)
- Voiced by: Ikuya Sawaki (Japanese); Duncan Brannan (English)
- Code name used by the general manager of the NY branch of the League of High Order Spirituals. He acts as a fixer for the league, and also works as a hospital doctor. He is a mastermind of bai sema. In the anime, he asks for Libra's help in tracing the whereabouts of Black and White.
- White (ホワイト, Howaito)
- Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya (Japanese); Megan Emerick (English)
- An original anime character. A mysterious and beautiful girl that appears before Leo and becomes friends with her. She is, in reality, not a human, but a sentient barrier, one of the many (not sentient ones) holding back the Great Collapse from happening. The reason for her still being on the Earth is by her parents' sacrifice to make her part of the barriers. At the end of the first season, she sacrifices herself to completely reseal the Great Collapse again, as the rest had been destroyed by her brother. Her brother aids her in this feat, being repentant of his actions. Though she dies at the climax of the first season, the second season strongly implies that her spirit is watching out for Leo. Her real name is Mary Macbeth (メアリー・マクベス, Mearī Makubesu).
- Black (ブラック, Burakku)
- Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya (Japanese); Micah Solusod (English)
- An original anime character. White's older twin brother who shares his body with the King of Despair (絶望王, Zetsubō-ō), one of the Thirteen Kings who has an interest in Leo. Black had taken up the mantle of a blood breed host in order to save his sister. His Blood Breed also tries to cause the Great Collapse a second time but at the end he rebels against his Blood Breed and accepts his sister's wish to sacrifice herself in order to save the world, and helps her with it. His real name is William Macbeth (ウィリアム・マクベス, Uiriamu Makubesu).
- Benjamin Macbeth (ベンジャミン・マクベス, Benjamin Makubesu) and Emma Macbeth (エマ・マクベス, Ema Makubesu)
- Voiced by: Hidenobu Kiuchi and Yukana (Japanese); Chris Hury and Jessica Cavanagh (English)
- Original anime characters. The deceased parents of William and Mary, both of them came from families of pureblood psychic casters and were investigators for the League of High Order Spirituals. Benjamin and Emma also worked, respectively, on a whiskey factory and as a housewife, and both were shepherds. The family's story is based on the play of the same name.
The manga of Blood Blockade Battlefront originally released in 2008 as a one-shot chapter called Kekkai Sensō by Yasuhiro Nightow, which only featured very few members of the final cast and had a much different tone, with more emphasis on it being a vampire hunting story in a contemporary city. The publication originally began on January 5, 2009 in the Jump Square magazine with the title Kekkai Sensen − Mafūgai Kessha (血界戦線 -魔封街結社-) where it ran until March 4, 2009, followed by another one-shot in October 2009 in Jump SQ-M magazine.
In May 2010 the manga switched to Jump SQ19 magazine for serial publication. Jump SQ19 magazine ceased publication on February 19, 2015. The first tankōbon volume was released on January 4, 2010; ten volumes have been released as of April 3, 2015. In 2010, the series was licensed for an English release by Dark Horse Comics.
The manga was adapted into an anime television series produced by studio Bones and directed by Rie Matsumoto as first announced in May 2014. Funimation Entertainment is licensing the series to stream on its official website. The anime adaptation premiered on April 4, 2015. The series was licensed by Madman Entertainment and AnimeLab for an English release. The final episode was originally scheduled for broadcast on July 4, but was delayed further due to exceeding the length of its normal 30 minute timeslot. It was eventually scheduled for October 4, 2015. A 25-minute original video animation titled "King of the Restaurant of Kings" was bundled with the official Blood Blockade Battlefront guidebook that was released on June 3, 2016.
A second season aired from October 7, 2017 to December 24, 2017, running for 12 episodes. A 24-minute original animation DVD was bundled with the fifth volume of the Blood Blockade Battlefront Back 2 Back manga which was released on July 4, 2018, with Shigehito Takayanagi and Bones returning from the second season of the anime series to direct and animate the OAD, respectively.
In the sixth volume of Blood Blockade Battle Front Back 2 Back, it was revealed that a live action stage play inspired by the manga was being produced. It ran at The Galaxy Theatre in Tokyo from November 2–10, 2019 and at Umeda Arts Theater Dramacity from November 14–17, 2019. Daisuke Nishida (Hakuōki, Sengoku Basara, Blue Exorcist stage productions) directed and wrote the play.
The manga series of Blood Blockade Battlefront received generally good critical response. Dustin Cabeal from Comic Bastards said "The writing is strong and the dialogue is very sharp." He also praised Nightow's art calling it "unique." Additionally, he referred to it as "strange at first, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite mangas [sic] of all time." Brigid Alverson from MTV Geek criticized the artwork for being hard to follow and stated "it boils down to a matter of taste. Blood Blockade Battleground is a good choice for readers who like a lot of action and don't mind being dropped into the middle of the story, without a lot of setup." On the other hand, The Fandom Post's John Rose praised the artwork more specifically the monsters' designs. He highly recommended it to Trigun's readers as well as superhero comic reader, sci-fi hero and Futurama fans. Several of the volumes have also appeared in rankings for bestselling manga.
The anime adaptation of the series has received generally positive reviews. Jacob Hope Chapman from Anime News Network praised the cast and studio Bones' work. Additionally, he liked the consistency in quality and commented "The contiguous threads laced through these episodic adventures are beginning to converge fast, and while I can't see the full picture yet, I know Rie Matsumoto is building the anime-original material of Leo's romance into something special. The animation continues to be jaw-dropping. The music continues to be soul-warming. There's never enough time in one writeup to talk about everything that makes the episode so damn good. Blood Blockade Battlefront continues to be The Very Best." Jarius Taylor from the Fandom Post called it "both ridiculously cool and ridiculously weird" and praised the cast like Chapman. In a later review he said "It’s still not entirely clear what this show is going for yet but for now it’s a good ride and I have more than enough faith in the people behind it to believe the destination will be worthwhile." Rachael Verret, a writer from The Mary Sue, gave the series a perfect score having pointed out its "energy and joviality" seen through the cast and the ending sequences which reminded her of another series, Baccano!. Similarly, Chapman wrote an article titled "Three Reasons Why Blood Blockade Battlefront is the Best Show of the Spring" commenting "It's the coolest, cutest, and cleverest anime I've seen in a long time, easily the best new show of the Spring 2015."
The first DVD of the series sold 4,784 units during its debut. Meanwhile, the first Blu-ray sold 12,171 units in its first week of release. For the Newtype preliminary awards for 2015, the series was sixth in the category "Sound" while fourth in the category "Theme Song" for "Sugar Song to Bitter Step." In the category "Best Mascot", Sonic ranked first. In another poll by the Japanese magazine Entermix, the series was voted as the second most popular one.
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