Trinity Blood has been getting better and better the more I watch it, and I was itching to see if this volume could keep up the pace the last one set.
After the events of volume 3 the Imperial envoy Ion is injured
and on the run, but he's still desperate to complete his mission and deliver his
message to Cardinal Caterina. However, it's going to take more than just
the support of Father Abel Nightroad and Sister Esther Blanchett to make that
mission a success. The Inquisition have imposed martial law after the
events of the previous volume, and if that wasn't bad enough the mysterious
Order of Rosen Kreuz have a vested interest in making sure the message doesn't
get through. Their plan is to engineer a conflict between the two sides,
and the Vatican killing an imperial envoy or a Vampire assassination of a
Vatican Cardinal will prove the perfect trigger. The Order already have an
agent trying to make those scenarios a reality, and that agent may be closer
than our heroes think. There is also another issue, even if Ion does
succeed in delivering his message he still has to get the reply back to the
Empress, and with the Order on his tail that could prove even more difficult
than delivering his message in the first place...
For the first time since the series began it has stuck to the main plot for an entire volume. The four episodes on this disc cover the end of the story that started in last time round, with Ion trying to meet Cardinal Caterina, and then takes us to the Empire to cover the aftermath of his mission. With no distractions, no comedy interludes and plenty going on, Trinity Blood really comes into its own. The action flies thick and fast with Sister Esther trying to help Ion and his aide Radu escape from the Inquisition. Radu has an escape route prepared in case
of an attack, but Inquisition leader Brother Petros and his second in command Sister Paula aren't going to give up that easily. However, the immediate danger isn't from the Inquisition, it's from the Order of Rosen Kreuz. The last thing the Rosen Kreuz wants is a peace treaty and they'll go to any lengths to stop it, including using an agent that could destroy his spirit as well as take his life.
What I liked this time round was that it stayed action packed
and frenetic nearly all the way though, but also cranked up the drama quota
considerably. Every time things look like they're going to slow down,
another cataclysmic event occurs to ensure the plot thickens even further.
Mysterious axe-wielding assassins, Inquisition ships going out of control and a
crippling betrayal are amongst the obstacles in the way of Ion's mission, and
things get even more interesting when the action switches to the Empire.
Yes for the first time we get to see the vampires in their own land, and get to
see the pending conflict from their point of view. Unlike the human side
the Empire is heavily divided by class, with the vampires all having titles like
Lord, Duchess or Count, and living in huge houses and palaces. There are
humans living in the Empire, but they are pretty much second class citizens who
are left to their own devices by their immortal lords and masters. Ion's
mission leads to Father Nightroad and Sister Esther to infiltrate the Imperial
capital city Byzantium, in the hope of meeting with the eternal Empress of the
Cut off from the rest of AX and the Vatican, Nightroad and Esther are forced to rely on their own wits and skill as well as the few allies they have in the Empire. But Rosen Kreuz aren't only active in the human world, and their agents are doing all they can to set our heroes up for a string of assassinations and attacks in Byzantium. There's a real sense of tension as Nightroad and Esther go it alone in a hostile land, all the time getting closer to being uncovered. Things are getting increasingly interesting and gripping, but the two episodes
on this disc leave a lot of questions unanswered. That's really the only problem Trinity Blood volume 4 has, one three episode arc within the main story ends and another arc starts...and we'll have to wait until next time to find out what happens. It's a long time to be left on tenterhooks, and as well as it being frustrating it does diffuse the tension.
The forced break in the story whilst we wait for the next volume is a little annoying, and it is a shame that a few characters have yet to become fully developed (Esther and Ion, I'm looking at you...), but Trinity Blood vol 4 is still a great instalment in what is becoming an increasingly great series. I thought this volume was more consistent than the last one and I liked the fact that the action shifted to the Empire as it injected some variety and proved that the Rosen Kreuz were an enemy to all, rather than just the Vatican. The story is left on a bit of a cliffhanger, and I can't wait to see what will happen in volume 5. Great stuff!
Same as last time, trailers and clean opening and closing sequences. Yawn-tastic.