Thursday, July 6, 2017

Anime Review - BlazBlue: Alter Memory

Written by Shiggins

Requested by Anonymous!

I can't remember the last time I watched an anime that was so... anime! The series opens with an angsty man in a ridiculous outfit fighting a psycho girl with a firm behind that can transform, while Gin Ichimaru watches from afar with a smirk on his face. I was starting to feel like I was watching a stew of tropes, which is surprising because this is based on the hit fighting series of the same name.

That is one extremely messy poster.
I should point out right now that, due to my lack of knowledge of the games, I decided to watch the anime first then learn more about it afterwards. This was a massive mistake, as it quite quickly became clear that this anime is made for fans, and isn't interested in newcomers like myself. To be fair though, if I was a fan of this franchise, this anime is probably exactly what I would want.

The story mostly focuses on Ragna the Bloodedge, so called because he is so edgy and cool that his name needs to reflect that as much as possible. Even Shadow the Hedgehog can't handle this much edge! And not only is he packing edge, he is also packing something big in those boxers... Cliches!

Real protagonists always wake up screaming. Pussies like Naruto or LeLouch would never understand.
Ragna might be one of the most cliche characters I have ever seen, and I wish I could enjoy that. He is broody, annoyed by the more ridiculous companions in his life (including an insufferable hood-wearing cat girl that really overstays her welcome after 2 minutes of screentime), wakes up from bad dreams while saying the name of a girl from his past, has a dark power he needs to control, an evil brother... The list goes on. Maybe if Blazblue had joked about it, enjoyed the cliches and turned them on their head somewhat, this could have been a lot more fun. Instead, it comes across as dull and cringing.

I feel like I've seen her a million times,even though this is our first meeting.
Another character that did manage to get on my nerves however was Rachel Alucard, a gothic "lolita" type that acts as an observer rather than a contestant. She would occasionally pop up during the story to say some cryptic bullshit, none of which was helpful or added anything to the plot. When you flat-out refuse to tell the heroes what is going on and try to sound philosophical instead, it doesn't make you cool. It makes you a dick.

That outfit is distractedly inappropriate for battle!
You're now probably wondering why I haven't talked about the story yet... Well, I'm sad to say I couldn't finish the series. I didn't want to, not because I hated it but because I didn't understand what the fuck the story was. Nothing is explained in any capacity to the audience, instead just throwing words and terms around like it's a crossword on Christmas. I got fed-up. I got angry. I got depressed.

From what little I could make of the story, Ragna was caught in a time-loop where he was fighting a cyborg woman over and over again, but the sudden appearance of a woman called Noel Vermillion caused him to break the loop. Meanwhile, there are bounty hunters, like the top-hat boy in glasses who looks like Black from Blood Blockade Battlefront, which are after the special dark magic he can't control, and the bounty that he is worth, which is a lot.

I literally have no idea what is going on with this character. I don't even know where to begin...
I stopped watching during episode 3, when a giant monster made of Tron in a spaceship shot a laser at Rachel then left for four years. And that was when I realised I couldn't finish the series, despite it only being made of 12 episodes, because this was just one more mystery on top of all the others that I wasn't sure the series would explain. And I wasn't prepared to take that risk, incase of massive disappointment down the line.

The one story element I actually got some entertainment from was Hazama, the Gin-looking bastard who seems to be the main antagonist behind all of this. While he is as cryptic as the others, Hazama at least manages to enjoy himself and is so over-the-top that you can't help but enjoy his flamboyancy. Both his hat-on and hat-off forms are a treat, and he is by far the best character in the few episodes I saw.

The animation, music and voice acting are fine, although Ragna is voiced by the fantastic Tomokazu Sugita, so you might just end up hearing Gintoki or Joseph Joestar's vocals instead of Ragna's. Nevertheless, everything on the technical side is adequate enough.

Look at this Little Fucker! I love his design so much that I gave him a nickname... Little Fucker!
This is not an anime I can recommend, unless you wear a BlazBlue logo t-shirt, the same thong as Taokaka, and have burned "Grind on the Bloodedge" onto your flesh. This is pure fanservice and nothing more, not made to introduce new people to the franchise but to give an extra treat for the fans they already have. And I am sorry to report that this did not make me want to be a fan of the BlazBlue franchise...

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page


  1. I remember this and thinking to myself "Damn the games must be alot of fun."

    1. Honestly, the anime does not let you feel like that could be possible. It actually made me think the games must suck because of how much the execution in this fucked up.

  2. Let me tell you, even as a Blazblue fan I didn't like this. It left out a lot of things! It never really explained the plot, nor the character motivations, nothing. Also the characters were very downplayed.

    P.S I hate Rachel too

    But still, it was a valiant effort on your part. Good luck!

    1. Really? Then I feel a lot better about giving up! I had no chance to survive this one!

      Yes, Rachel was aggravating to sit through. I'm pretty sure M.Night wrote her nonsense. Then again, it's not like anyone else was written very well here. I'm sure they are better in the games or the franchise wouldn't be so popular.

    2. Indeed, you did a good job actually. I'm a hardcore fan of the games but darn this is how you DON'T do video game adaptations. Although I hate Rachel even in the games, the other characters were not appealing in anyway anymore, either.

      On the side note, could you review Barakamon? It's also 12 episodes only, and trust me a LOT better than watching this clusterfuck.

      All the best!

    3. Thanks for the praise! And I have met this kind of adaptation before. As I said, I'm sure the games are much better written than this because the franchise is popular, and it would be impossible to be popular if it sucked as bad as this anime did.

      I have been requested to review an anime called Kiba first. Afterwards, I will gladly take on the supposedly-great Barakamon.

      And all the best to you too, sir or ma'am!

    4. Sure thing! No worries.
      Oh wow maybe I exaggerated a little too much
      But yes, definitely better than AM

    5. Haha, no no. I have just heard good things about Barakamon in the past. Many have recommended it.