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Blood Shadow DVD
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Title: Blood Shadow
Genre: Dark / Action
Credits: AIC / See Through St.

Skysenshi's Description: Feudal Japan - Demons have been attacking villages left and right, killing the men and imprisoning the women for their own lascivious appetites. The people's only hope is a band of ogre-hunters known as Crimson Lotus. Led by Rekka, a young ninja who is highly skilled in martial arts, Crimson Lotus continues to investigate the source of these demons' powers.

One night, Rekka and his companion, the beautiful and feisty Tsukikage, find themselves in the midst of a bloody battle against unusually strong monsters. Tsukikage gets wounded pretty badly, and soon Rekka loses her to the claws of one of the demonic survivors. With Tsukikage gone, how strong must Rekka be in order to fulfill his responsibilities as the leader of the Crimson Lotus?

HN Opinions
Average Rating:

skysenshi (12.15.2002)
Almost there.
If the creators were aiming for a great romantic angle, they certainly did quite well in Blood Shadow (originally reviewed in HN as Red Lotus), especially if one would compare it to other adventure hentai like Words Worth or Tournament of the Gods. Rekka and Tsukikage's relationship has a solid background and this is explained earlier on. The two are almost like siblings, doing everything together—taking baths, training, becoming skilled in the art of warfare... Whatever Rekka feels for Tsukikage, it goes beyond physical beauty, an inspiring sentiment that gets proven later on. This is actually the reason why I like their love scene in this title best.

Of course, Rekka is no saint. With Tsukikage gone, he turns on to—well, the other members of Crimson Lotus to fulfill his bodily cravings. He still wears his heart on his sleeve, though, as it seems nobody could ever replace Tsukikage in his mind. Not that the other women actually minded.

Story-wise, Blood Shadow shows a lot of promise. Our heroes have their own tales to tell. Haruka is an orphan who rescues Rekka during one of his near-death experiences. Like her family, she falls into the hands of ogres and eventually awakens to the fact that she isn't just any ordinary girl. She eventually teams up with Crimson Lotus. Kureha is a lone demon hunter who has a cold but very calculating attitude. One of her missions also pushes her to ally herself with Crimson Lotus and she eventually ends up catering to Rekka's all-too willing "masculinity".

An interesting twist in Blood Shadow happens when another brigade of fully-armored demon-hunters enter. Their importance to the story? Besides posing as an ideal rival to our heroes, they play an even greater role to the entire scheme of things. What do they know of the new breed of ogres coming out? What do they know of the demon leaders' purpose in kidnapping every female, both human and not? Does it all boil down to the greater good? Watch it to find out.

I can't really remember much of the other girls' names, although none of the Crimson Lotus members are actually spared from having hentai scenes. The reason? Well, I think the girls all look alike, with the exception of Tsukikage. The eyes are different, but the hair styles are just too similar to be of any help in distinguishing one girl from the other. This is where the weakness of Blood Shadow comes in. Yes, the story shows a lot of promise, but the transition from one scenario to another leaves a lot to be desired. For a short anime, it has too many characters, with only a select few of them having great character development. The pacing, for some reason, can also get a bit confusing.

Fortunately, just when you think you are about to experience another Tournament of the Gods TM Ed, the last two episodes come through. Yes, I wondered what happened to Haruka's powers. I also wondered if the little demon they met in the first ep was just an extra with absolutely no significance to the anime whatsoever—except, perhaps, to buy additional viewing time. Well, the questions are answered in the final episode, so there is actually a resolution to everything. I just wish the story would quit hopping from one set of focus to another. There are so many trains of thoughts in Blood Shadow that one would think it would probably have been better had this been stretched on longer to, say...13 episodes?

Hentai scenes? Oh, they're very abundant and very detailed. I could see that despite the fact that the Japanese release had mosaic'd private parts. What to expect: demon rape scenes, lesbian loving, regular shagging (score 3 for Rekka), and one bizarre sequence where this female gigantic ogre uses the main baddie as her dildo. All these encased in beautiful artwork and animation with an atmosphere that somehow reminds me of Gensomaden Saiyuki. Minus a couple of points for having too flat coloring, though.

Blood Shadow has a lot of blood and gore—too many for a squeamish person to handle. It also has a lot of comical moments, however, so you can expect this to not be too heavy or dark. Rekka has a habit of barging in at the wrong time, usually catching the females in states of impropriety and his reaction can get pretty hilarious. And if that scene with the human dildo isn't downright funny, I don't know what is.

Overall, I think Blood Shadow is one of the better h-anime out there. It just needs fine-tuning when it comes to pacing and story transitions. Still, it almost made it to my highly recommended list.

Art/Animation: 8 Story/Plot: 8 Characters: 8 Sounds: 7 Ecchi Level: 9