Blood Blockade Battlefront
|Blood Blockade Battlefront|
Cover of the first volume of Blood Blockade Battlefront, featuring Klaus V Reinherz
|Genre||Action, Supernatural, Urban fantasy|
|Written by||Yasuhiro Nightow|
|Original run||2009 – 2015|
|Kekkai Sensen Back 2 Back|
|Written by||Yasuhiro Nightow|
|Original run||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|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Rie Matsumoto|
|Written by||Kazunao Furuya|
|Music by||Taisei Iwasaki|
|Released||June 3, 2016|
|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 2017 – scheduled|
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 SQ.19 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.
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 has been announced and will begin airing in October 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 God", granting him a variety of ocular powers, at the cost of his sister's sight. 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 style, which he can use to create large cross-shaped weaponry and seal away enemies. Klaus is also very intelligent, being able to play "Prosfair", a three-dimensional chess-like game so complex and bizarre that it is known to drive humans mad (Klaus himself begins to bleed internally after playing the game for four consecutive days without rest) and is usually reserved only for one distinct species in Hellsalem's Lot that has studied it for a thousand years.
- Zapp Renfro (ザップ・レンフロ Zappu Renfuro)
- Voiced by: Yoshimasa Hosoya (Vomic) Kazuya Nakai (Japanese); Ian Sinclair (English)
- A hotblooded, womanizing Libra member and master of the Big Dipper blood fighting style's Kagutsuchi branch, which allows him to manipulate his blood into blades and explosions. 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 on a battle, but is always the one to lose.
- Chain Sumeragi (チェイン・
- 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 and does a large portion of Libra reconnaissance work. Her personality is sadistic, often causing physical harm to others or showing indifference to those in peril. Her power consists on erasing her presence and needs a link (a chain) to connect her to the world to counter the effect of her ability or 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, a kick-based fighting style that freezes enemies on contact.
- Voiced by: Ai Orikasa (Japanese); Stephanie Young (English)
- A lively and confident Libra member who sports an eye patch. She is very devoted to her husband and two young sons and fights with 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, 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. 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 (English)
- A stern merman with similar powers to Zapp, as they were both taught by the same master. Joins Libra after being abandoned 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.
- Patrick (パトリック Patorikku)
- Voiced by: Unshō Ishizuka (Japanese); Major Attaway (English)
- Libra's arms craftsman, dealer and occasional combatant.
- Neyka (ニーカ Nīka)
- Voiced by: Reina Ueda
- 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.
- 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) and the ringleader of a powerful crime syndicate operating in the city, the Thirteen Kings.
- Aligula (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.
- Theodora (ゼオドラ Zeodora)
- The Queen of Hypersensitivity (過敏王 Kabin-ō), considered the hardest of the Thirteen Kings to handle. Only appears in the manga.
- 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.
- Vivian (ビビアン Bibian)
- Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese); Lindsay Seidel (English)
- A girl working at a diner that Leonardo usually frequents.
- 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.
- 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. Leonardo bought hamburgers for Nej, and the two became friends.
"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); Robert 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 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. 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. 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 was originally released in 2008 as a one-shot chapter called Kekkai Sensō, which only featured very few members of the final cast and had a much different tone, focusing 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 SQ.19 magazine for serial publication. Jump SQ.19 magazine ceased publication on February 19, 2015, and serialization resumed in July 2015 in the new switched back to Jump SQ Crown magazine.
|No.||Japanese release date||Japanese ISBN||English release date||English ISBN|
|1||January 4, 2010||ISBN 978-4-0887-4723-1||September 27, 2011||ISBN 978-1-595-82718-0|
|2||November 4, 2010||ISBN 978-4-0887-0109-7||May 22, 2012||ISBN 978-1-595-82912-2|
|3||May 2, 2011||ISBN 978-4-0887-0228-5||November 27, 2012||ISBN 978-1-595-82913-9|
|4||December 2, 2011||ISBN 978-4-0887-0339-8||September 17, 2013||ISBN 978-1-616-55223-7|
|5||June 4, 2012||ISBN 978-4-0887-0435-7||February 25, 2014||ISBN 978-1-616-55224-4|
|6||December 4, 2012||ISBN 978-4-08-870558-3||September 9, 2014||ISBN 978-1-616-55557-3|
|7||June 4, 2013||ISBN 978-4-0887-0868-3||February 17, 2015||ISBN 978-1-616-55568-9|
|8||December 4, 2013||ISBN 978-4-0887-0869-0||December 12, 2017||ISBN 978-1-616-55583-2|
|9||June 4, 2014||ISBN 978-4-0888-0078-3||—||—|
|10||April 3, 2015||ISBN 978-4-0888-0233-6||—||—|
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 anime uses two musical themes: the opening "Hello, World!" by Bump of Chicken and Unison Square Garden's ending theme "Sugar Song to Bitter Step." 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 will begin airing in October 2017, and will run for 12 episodes.
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Secret Society of the Magic-Sealed City"
"Mafuugai kessha" (魔封街結社)
|April 5, 2015|
|Leonardo Watch is a young man whose special power, the "All Seeing Eyes" catches the attention of Libra, a special organization that enforces order on Hellsalem's Lot, a region of New York where all sort of supernatural beings coexist with humans.|
|2||"After the Phantom Ghost Wagon"
"Maboroshi no gosuto wagon wo oe" (幻のゴーストワゴンを追え)
|April 12, 2015|
|Some monsters involved in a shady business kidnap Leonardo once he figures them out with his power and his friends from Libra run against time to save him.|
|3||"A Game Between Two Worlds"
"Futatsu no sekai no ma no gēmu" (二つの世界の間のゲーム)
|April 19, 2015|
|A dangerous drug appears in the streets and to stop it from being distributed, Klaus von Reinhertz, the leader of Libra, bets his own life in a long game against an unbeatable opponent. Meanwhile, Leonardo meets and befriends White, a beautiful and enigmatic girl.|
|4||"Blood Line Fever"||April 25, 2015|
|The members of Libra discover, thanks to Leo's power, that vampires appeared in the city and the vampire hunter Blitz "Lucky" Abrahms arrives to assist them.|
|5||"The Tremorous Blood Hammer"
"Shingeki no Blood Hammer" (震撃の血槌)
|May 2, 2015|
|Aligula, best known as the "Queen of Monomania", starts a rampage through the city seeking the object of her desire, Dog Hummer, whose body she fused with another crush of hers, Deldro Brody into a single being. While Leo is being captive by Aligula, the members of Libra seek Dog and Deldro's help to stop her.|
|6||"Don't Forget to Don't Forget Me"||May 9, 2015|
|Leo meets a mushroom-like alien named Amagranoff Luozontam Ouv Lee Nej and the two become friends, usually eating hamburgers together, until a duo of thugs decide to make a quick buck using Nej's secret power, drawing them to trouble.|
|7||"A No-Holds-Barred Eden"
"Kenkyaku no Eden" (拳客のエデン)
|May 16, 2015|
|After failing to beat Klaus in a fight multiple times, a fed-up Zapp tricks Klaus into thinking he was kidnapped by an underground fighting ring so he would sign up to fight. Klaus enters while Leo tags along, but the two get more than they bargained for after Leo discovers the ringmaster is an Elder Blood in disguise.|
|8||"Z's Longest Day (Part 1)"
"Z no Ichiban Nagai Hi (Zenpen)" (Zの一番長い日 前編)
|May 23, 2015|
|Zapp has spent his days leisurely until a Blood Breed appears at the city and he is tasked by his master to seal it off.|
|9||"Z's Longest Day (Part 2)"
"Z no Ichiban Nagai Hi (Kouhen)" (Zの一番長い日 後編)
|May 30, 2015|
|"Blood Battle God" Raju Jugei Shizuyoshi, founder of the Big Dipper Style Blood Technique and Zapp's master brings in a new pupil of his to help with the Elder Blood threat in Hellsalem's Lot.|
|10||"Run Lunch Run, To The End"
(ラン!ランチ!!ラン!!!／to the end.)
|June 6, 2015|
|Leo, Zapp and Zed's lunch time turn to the bizarre when they come into several restaurants, one weirder than the other, until they are dragged to a heated battle along Klaus and Steven. Afterwards, Leo is cornered by the King of Despair and White, who want to use him their own, personal reasons.|
|10.5||"Even These are the Best and the Worst Days Ever"
|June 13, 2015|
|11||"Paint it Black"||June 20, 2015|
|As the origins of White and her brother are revealed, the King of Despair uses the power of Leo's eyes to ignite a huge catastrophe on Hellsalem's Lot during Halloween.|
|12||"Hello, World!"||October 4, 2015|
|The members of Libra gather to defend Leo as he rushes to reach the King of Despair in order to confront him, not only for Black and White's sake, but to save the city as well.|
|OVA||"King of the Restaurant of Kings"
"Ō-sama no Restaurant no Ō-sama" (王様のレストランに王様)
|June 3, 2016|
Home video releases
|Vol.||Episodes||Bonus disc||Release date||Ref.|
|1||1, 2||Textless intro, 2-pages comic||June 17, 2015|||
|2||3, 4||July 15, 2015|||
|3||5, 6||August 19, 2015|||
|4||7, 8||September 16, 2015|||
|5||9, 10||October 14, 2015|||
|6||11, 12||Bonus video footage||November 18, 2015|||
Reception to 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 critical acclaim by reviewers. 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 one most popular one.
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