This post contains a ton of spoilers for Blassreiter up to episode 15.
The first half of Blassreiter has been fairly intriguing at best, featuring some pretty cool fights marred by a lot of melodrama and the poor video quality I am forced to watch. So as the mid-season mark approaches Blassreiter follows the iron rule for most tokusatsu (and mecha) series: time for some pruning and a complete change of pace. So the show kills off most of its cast and introduces a tragic background for the rest. And by tragic, I mean incredibly horrible deaths involving many children. I’ll explain.
First off, Wolf finally goes full Demoniac and betrays all of XAT be infecting all its members, except Hermann and Amanda who were in solitary confinement. The new Demoniacs precede to rampage across the city destroying everything. Brad, Al, and the other infected but still human members of XAT fight to get Hermann and Amanda out alive, and the two manage to escape in a helicopter. Everyone else is killed by Demoniacs or Wolf. The worst part of this is that Wolf tries to use Brad’s love interest Lene, who was just introduced a couple episodes earlier, to kill Brad by taking over her Paladin, a transforming motorcyle/robot. Instead of turning her into a Demoniac and saving her Brad instead shoots her in the head with the special bullet he received from her on their first mission. He is then gutted by Wolf. That’s just the beginning.
Elsewhere, Meifing, a minor character so far, reveals she is a double agent with the real organization Zwolf, for which XAT was just a public front (it’s basically the SEELE of Blassreiter, german and all). With her high-tech jet she decides to nuke the city to kill Wolf, not even trying to save the friends she had been working with. Hermann and Amanda’s helicopter is damaged in the explosion and Hermann forcibly ejects Amanda in her own Paladin, while he dies when the copter crashes. A now alone Amanda finds Jacob again and learns his back story.
Joseph was an orphan raised by a church that helped Outsiders, outsiders being any undesirable peoples that are treated like shit. Apparently world war 2 never happened in Blassreiter cause everyone in Germany is still racist. Not the most accurate or flattering depiction of the country. As a boy Joseph allows himself to be beaten up all the time by these really evil kids just so their families will donate money to the church orphanage. Even when a wandering pastry chef tries to help Joseph the kids push the pastry chef into the river with his cart falling on top of him, putting him in the hospital. They then push the blame onto Joseph. If ever there were people you wanted to physically reach into the screen and strangle, it’d be these kids.
Later on Joseph meets Xargin while helping an Outsider community displaced by a flood and also meets his sister he never knew about, Sasha, who originally made the blassreiter nanomachines. Everything is good until the kids in the community get scarlet fever. They have no money for antibiotics so Joseph and Xargin go to steal some and are caught by the police, but let go due to Sasha’s research. While this is going on the kids find out that they’re parents are starving themselves to feed their kids. The kids feel terrible about this and sell the antibiotics for food. Of course, the scarlet fever comes back and since the kids sold the medicine they all die. Yes, every single kid dies. They even show them all being carried away in caskets. Oh, and Sasha is beaten to death by a mob for being an Outsider.
This all drives Xargin crazy, so he takes the nanomachines, blows stuff up, infects Joseph, and then leaves to destroy the world. This leads us to the modern day. The series now takes place with both Amanda and Joseph working for Zwolf. Zwolf has three super high tech mecha, Meifing’s jet being one of them, all piloted by cyborgs. One of the cyborg’s just happens to be Joseph’s sister Sasha, who didn’t actually die. She convinces Joseph to go through excruciating torture so he can get his mid-season powerup. She also promises to kill him after Xargin is dead. And the best part is that Zwolf is actually a modern day incarnation of the Knights Templar, so now we got religious fanatics fighting against Xargin, a religious fanatic himself who is trying to bring about the apocalypse and recruit his own four horsemen.
So, I think Blassreiter succeeded in its change of pace. It will be interesting to see how Joseph evolves now since he’s basically being made to lose control of his blassreiter form. There’s also Zwolf, who definitely have an alternative motive behind everything their doing, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they turn out to be the big bad boss at the end, with the Director transforming into a hulking monstrosity per tokusatsu tradition. And there’s even more CG galore now, so anyone who couldn’t stand the first episode probably should still stand away. Aside from that Blassreiter is a pretty entertaining, if very pulpy, sci-fi adventure. Can’t wait to see where it goes from here. I did prefer the old OP, though.
And this is a pretty cool MAD featuring clips from the first half of the show. The song is White Night, the OP to Nitroplus’s early game Vjedogonia, which is very similar to Blassreiter: