40 Seasons in 40 Days: Winter 2001

I think they make these kinds of films in the San Fernando Valley. No wonder they ran out of money.

Back to the malaise era with it’s minimal series production and other gaps in quality for today’s retrospective. Winter and summer have historically been pretty poor periods for number of series produced. Also, for the first and probably only time in this series I do not have a TV series finished here. Just a movie, a special and an OVA today.

Might as well start with the movie, though at 48 minutes, Blood: The Last Vampire barely qualifies as a feature film. The story is set in 1960s Japan on a U.S. military base where the protagonist Saya tracks a beast that has found it’s way there. Now as far as the production goes, it is something a bit different. There’s a more realistic feel to the fights here than there had been in anime traditionally and something that definitely carried on to further action series late in the decade. Most of the effort went into the animation which is somewhat experimental in nature because the plot is rather poorly constructed toward the end.

Next is the Love Hina Christmas Special. It is probably the best thing that came out of the series probably because it is able to focus on a narrow, predictable story without having a lot of the slapstick of the original series. Christmas themes aren’t really that hard to mess up without trying to do something different, and this proves to be the case. That said, I would really find it hard to believe this would have been good set at any other time of the year.

And if anyone ever wanted to know what happened to an OVA when the production company runs out of many part way through, look no further than Hand Maid Mai. Only 1 of 3 planned OVA episodes were ever finished from this series which is tied to Hand Maid May. I think there was supposed to be a story of revenge or overcoming adversity tied into this, where the unlucky protagonist gets back at the girl who took nearly everything away from him as she went onto stardom. But we will never know will we? That’s probably a good thing though.

Highlights from Unseen or Unfinished Items

The Initial D movie is the highest rated item from this season, and well that’s about it really. Pretty disappointing lot today.