Studios: GONZO (Full Metal Panic!, Rosario + Vampire), Nitro+
Manga author: Noboru Kimura
Genre: Action, Sci Fi
First complete run: 2008
Regular episodes: 24
I watched Blassreiter while trudging through Gintama, a massive episodic wonder rich with satire, social criticism, and humor. Enjoying the show but eager for the intensity of a short, plot-driven miniseries, I turned to Blassreiter; suffice it to say, the anime did not disappoint. Blassreiter takes place in futuristic Germany, a world filled with killer robots, elite police units, and the show's trademark combat motorcycles. Though its style is unique enough, the viewer will barely appreciate it at first as the show launches you into action from the first instant and virtually refuses to let you come up for air until the midpoint in the series. It features a combination of run-and-gun action, high speed chases, and modest philosophical quandaries. All in all, just the relief I needed from Gintama's plodding pace, and a sure thriller for fans of the intense, action-centered miniseries.
Stylistically, Blassreiter is all about the bikes. The show uses a semi-3D graphical style to make the most of its vehicular fetish, and the result is pretty smooth visually. The score is fast-paced and accompanies the action well; I truly found the show's first half to be heart-pounding visual and intellectual masterpiece. The latter half is not a disappointment per se, but it is harder to love. As the show winds down, its unique aspects--the 3D graphics and bike chases--gradually give way to more generic action and plot scenes. If I enjoyed the entire show as much as I did the first arc, it would have undoubtedly cracked my top 10. As is though, Blassreiter is a gripping Sci Fi thriller with an above average plot progression: a short one well worth the time.