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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Blood+ is an anime series that's extremely violent and often scary. Vampire-like monsters hunt men, women, and children, killing them with their sharp teeth and extra-long claws; blood also spurts out of decapitated victims' throats. The young female protagonist masterfully wields a sword, slashing both beasts and men, and many tense moments are accentuated with spooky music. The protagonist and other young female characters are also sexualized; wear ultra-short skirts; and sometimes talk about not eating to avoid getting fat.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In BLOOD+, the seemingly normal Saya (voiced by Kari Wahlgren) lives with a loving adoptive family, goes to school, competes in track and field events, and discusses politics with her friend. But a flashback to her previous life shows that she was once involved in a bloody massacre and wielded a sword against terrifying, vampire-like beasts called chiropterans. As her memory returns, young Saya faces her fate as savior of her family, friends, and countrymen.
Is it any good?
The story is compelling, mysterious, and complex. But be forewarned: Though it's animated, Blood+ isn't for kids. Violent scenes go beyond a simple dead body or stabbing -- be prepared for dramatic, slow-motion beheadings and gallons of red blood spurting out of amputated limbs. And it's not just the bad guys who wreak havoc; in a flashback scene, Saya slashes her way through a group of people, and it's unclear what her motive is and whether she's only killing bad guys.
Anime is known for its sexual portrayals of young female characters, and while this isn't an X-rated series, Saya and other underage female characters also wear exaggeratedly short schoolgirl skirts, which sometimes pop up to reveal a glimpse of underwear. The girls' sexualized nature extends to other parts of the series, too -- in one scene, an older male kisses Saya by surprise, and possibly against her will, but the kiss then turns romantic.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about different styles of animation. What characterizes an "anime" series like Blood+? If you're familiar with anime, what themes do you see repeated in different series? In general, how is animation different in kids' shows and more adult-oriented shows like this one? Why use animation to tell grown-up stories in the first place? How does animation affect the story being told?
Why do anime series so often sexualize the female characters?