Blade goes from 0 to 500mph and never once thinks about slowing down. The type of events that occur in the first episode are the sort most series would build up to over the course of thirty or even forty weeks. I want to say more things happen here in a single arc than typically happen in entire programs but deciding where those begin and end is difficult as everything flows together rather seamlessly.
I used to say it felt like they threw 10,000 things at a wall just to see what would stick, but having seen it again, in full, that is no longer the case. As with Agito, I’m loathe to share many details, not because there are intricate mysteries but rather I’d prefer that individuals travel this long and winding road for themselves. What’s critical to know is that the conflict at hand revolves around the modern-day iteration of the Battle Fight, a redundantly named Battle Royale that occurs across time to grant dominion and propagation to the species of the participant that can best all comers. These challengers are discrete in number and are tied to each category and suit of a standard deck of playing cards. They move in and out of the plot at breakneck speed but there is so much purpose hinged on them that seeing any of the events as being left to chance (by the writers or in the context of the show itself) is now an impossibility for me.
Those who are defeated become sealed in Rouze cards and their abilities are used both individually and in conjunction with one another for finishing attacks by each of the four Riders. As outlandish as the concept may seem on paper, the truth is that the scenario lends itself immensely to the examination of the human spirit and what besets it both on a daily basis and across time. This is carried out via a wealth of ancillary characters and most especially the Riders and the two individuals who are brave enough to support them.
The list of characters I relate to more than these four men in particular is markedly short and my bias for this series knows very scant bounds. Herein, I found so incredibly much of myself and even more about how I should live.
49 episodes, approx. 23 minutes each.
NOTE: The series was given an alternate ending in the form of a feature film, which has been covered here. There’s no real clean point at which to follow that path as opposed to the one presented in the show. You’ll simply have to watch it completely after the fact.
5 Successful Evolutions out of 5