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Title:
  Trinity Blood vol 3

UK Distributor:  MVM

BBFC Certificate:  15

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  19.99

Episodes:  9-12 (of 24)

Audio Options:  English 5.1, Japanese 2.0

Subtitles:  English

Reviewer:  Rich (Webmaster)

 

Trinity Blood has been one of MVM's biggest licences in 2007, but for me it's never quite been as good as it could - or should - have been.  However, the events of the last volume left me hopeful that it may begin to show its potential this time round.  And I wasn't disappointed.

Following the cataclysmic events of volume 2, the Vatican is in somewhat of a state of shock.  Abel Nightroad is inconsolable after failing to save countless lives in Barcelona, and one death in particular has hit him hard.  He informs the Vatican of the 'Silent Noise' technique that was used in Barcelona and the threat of an immanent attack on Rome, and then resigns from AX.  The Vatican can ill afford to lose someone of his calibre, especially with a potential terrorist attack looming, but there's a lot more happening than just that.  The Pope's uncle, a high ranking Cardinal in his own right, has returned to Rome - could the attack be timed to coincide with his visit?  Also, a chance arises to forge an invaluable tie with the Empire, with a joint AX-Vampire mission to capture a wanted mass-murderer.  Can the two opposing sides work together long enough to bring down the vampiric killer?  And why has the killer reappeared in Venice?  In the midst of all these threats though comes a potential olive branch, a messenger has been sent by the Empire to deliver an Imperial Decree to Cardinal Caterina.  Such a decree is an unprecedented step towards bringing the Vatican and the Empire closer together, but not everyone wants that.  Can the message get through when Imperial hard-liners and the Vatican's heavy-handed Inquisitors are trying to stop the messenger meeting with Caterina?
 

If Trinity Blood had a major fault in its first two volumes is was that the story sometimes lacked the bite it should have.  When things started to get interesting or very dark, the story would divert to a more throwaway plot generally involving a minor side mission that had little to do with other events.  However, whilst this volume does go down this route in one episode, there's enough in the others to keep you on the edge of your seat.  Once again the Order of Rosen Kreuz are the chief antagonists, this time striking directly at the

heart of the Church - Rome, and the Vatican itself.  Cardinal Caterina comes face to face with a Rosen Kreuz agent and we get to see more of Abel Nightroad's Crusnik powers, but despite all the action and drama it's what is going on behind the scenes that really make things interesting.

We learn more about several characters, and start to get insights into their pasts, but it's their attitudes and personalities that are beginning to drive the story forward.  Deep rooted resentments, simple but dangerous thinking, hidden agendas and secret schemes are beginning to tie the characters together and drive them apart.  There are those who want to see peace and there are those who can see nothing but conflict.  What I like about this series and what keeps me interested (apart from the good characters, great animation and superb   design) is the ambiguity, the background politics.  Building a convincing fantasy world is not an

easy task, and creators often get caught up in stereotypes and convention.  What I like is that Trinity Blood is trying to create a new interpretation of the vampire story, one where the vampires are not all evil monsters, they're just another species.  The series tackles racial politics from both sides, and posits the Rosen Kreuz as a threat to both.  Whether these two mutually antagonistic races can join forces to combat the common enemy is a matter for future volumes, and it's going to be interesting to see how it pans out.


But what of this volume?  Well, the threat of a terrorist attack on Rome provides plenty of tension, and the hunting down of the murderer in Venice and the attempt to deliver a message to Cardinal Caterina makes for an action packed ending.  There's hardly a pause for breath throughout the episodes on this disc, and although there are a couple of cheesy moments they are more than outweighed by the intrigue and story development.  Things are getting interesting, and the volume ends on a nice cliffhanger with a new conflict just around the corner.  With the Silent Noise technique known to the Church, what will the Rosen Kreuz try next?  What threat are they causing in the Empire?  And what does the message from the Empire say?  These questions are left hanging in the air by the events in this volume, and that only makes me even more desperate to see what will happen next.  Trinity Blood has made the step up to being a great series rather than just a good one, and I for one hope it keeps the momentum going.

Extras:

The law of diminishing returns strikes again, as we are presented with less extras than last time.  Just clean opening and ending sequences and trailers grace this release.

Ratings

Feature:   Extras:
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