Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront): Season 1/ Episode 1 "Secret Society of the Magic-Sealed City" [Series Premiere] – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

After New York is invaded by aliens and other fantasy creatures, you’d think it would be one side trying to dominate the other. Wrong! In Kekkai Sensen, many aliens and humans live in peace, but those who see an opportunity for exploitation, and domination, take any opportunity they can find. Leading to the type of destruction it seems the people of Jerusalem’s Lot have long become used to.

Studio: Bones

Review (with Spoilers) – Below

Characters & Story

Leonard Watch, or just plain Leo, seemingly is a simply human trapped within New York, within an area called Jerusalem’s Lot. He is a journalist of sorts, a cub reporter to be specific, and also holds one serious regret, of which deals with his little sister Michella. But, while the burden of his regret is strong, there is too much going on to dwell on it.

For one, he is nearly penniless and depends on the charity of a waitress named Vivienne for food, and he seemingly is alone in the city. That is, until a man named Zap mistakes him for someone named Johnny Landis, leading to Leo being introduced to Libra. What is, thus far, seemingly a 3-4 person team which tries to maintain balance in a world where formerly imaginary beings walk the Earth. A balance disturbed by multiple forces, of which the first one introduced being Femt “The King of Depravity.”

Leaving us to wonder how can Leo, a seemingly normal young man, possibly assist someone like Zap, or his partners Chain and Klaus? Well, pun intended, there is more than meets the eyes.

Praise

Something about this show, likely due to Klaus and Zap using their blood to create weapons, reminds me of Deadman Wonderland – which is a good thing. For Leo definitely seems like someone who, with enough stress, could possibly snap, and while his power doesn’t seem destructive, it is a tool which could allow Libra to bring salvation, or a foreign party to bring destruction.

Though with Leo seemingly stuck on the side of the good guys, what may make his story intriguing is how he plans to get stronger, and his quest for redemption. Also, being that the show has the aliens, and monsters, normalized, it makes you wonder if, like the bank robber we see, and Femt, will that mean seriously over the top, and highly aggressive, villains to help compensate? One can only hope.

Criticism

Perhaps the main issue with the premiere episode is how complacent everyone seems about the aliens and the damage they do. For while I get Leo’s story happens after everyone seemingly gets acclimated, I found it so strange how Vivienne literally went from being buried in the debris of the diner she works at to being right back at the counter, despite there being no roof and nearly no walls. Pretty much all that is left is the counter and a few booths, and yet she seems completely unbothered.

Leaving perhaps what could be considered another major issue, but one which should be expected: A generic protagonist. Which I am not harping on since I’m so used to protagonist like Leo that it seems standard. So talking about how he seemingly could be swapped with anyone from your average anime seems like a waste of time.

Overall: Watch It

While the protagonist could easily be swapped out with any fish out of water underdog, the universe presented, and supporting characters, are what gives this series potential. Something we get to see in the almost Joker nature of Femt, the bad ass style of the members of Libra, and the handful of battle scenes. Now, all that is left is to develop Leo a bit, expand the amount of villains, and make everyone perhaps a little less unbothered by what happens around them. For between Vivienne bouncing back so quickly after nearly dying, and no one seemingly getting freaked out by the amount of people possibly slaughtered on a daily basis, this series makes me believe that maybe I’m not as desensitized to violence as I thought I was.

Collected Quote(s)

“Modesty and belittling yourself are totally different.”

—           “Season 1/ Episode 1.” Kekkai Sensen

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Author: Amari Sali

New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all. An avid writer, Amari hopes to eventually switch from talking about other people's productions to fully working on his own. Such a dream is in progress to becoming reality.

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