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.
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.