I brought this set back from a holiday to America a few months ago, and my initial impressions were not good- I found that most of the characters were grotesque and depraved, all truely unlikable. I also found that the fight scenes were very slow paced and unimpressive, and finaly the cherry on top of the cake- this series ends only halfway through the story- they expect you to buy the manga to find out how it ends!!! (for me it's ok to get either the manga OR the anime, not half of each!)
!!BUT DON'T STOP READING YET!!
That is only one way to look at this series, determined to prove to myself I had not wasted my money, I rewatched the series just last week and tried to look at this title with optimism.
To my surprise I kept coming up with positive things to say!
It is worth mentioning that this series begins at the end and then tells the main bulk of story through flashback, this creates a sense of inevitability- you know that a certain character loses an arm somehow and another character becomes blind at some point. As the story slowly builds up to these moments things begin to become quite tense as you will most likely be constantly trying to guess when everything is going to kick off- it is suspensefull and it grips you, the fight scenes are no longer boring and slow paced they are intense as each one feels as though it is building to somthing big, you KNOW it is.
The characters still seem a little sick to me, even now, but during the second play through I began to pick up on little bits of plot I had missed first time round, this gave me a better understanding of the reasoning behind their actions (obviously).
I would say that if you have the patiants and time to watch this series through to the end more than once, it will almost definatly grow on you.
The gore is quite heavy and there is at least one rape scene amoungst all the brutal violence so this is definatly not for children. I would also recommend that those looking for all out action should stay clear of this set- beacause it is much more than just violence- in fact, I would describe it as more of a slow paced trajedy.
I intend to order the manga as I really want to find out how it ends!! (I may have been slightly jet legged the first time I watched)
At this price, buy it, watch it, rewatch it and enjoy it!
(this review really didn't go well did it?!)
Thanks for reading.