It's turned out to be one of my favourite series of the last few years, so I was hoping that Trinity Blood could keep up the quality as it draws to a close.
A new story arc started in volume 5 that saw the Pope
kidnapped by revolutionaries in the Kingdom of Albion. AX and the
Inquisition are dispatched to aid his rescue, but the revolutionaries are not
the real enemy. The Order of Rosen Kreuz are also in Albion, and they have
bigger plans than a simple kidnapping. Rosen Kreuz's mysterious leader
Cain aims to restart an ancient machine that will bring around the end of the
world, and the kidnapping is the perfect smokescreen. Abel Nightroad is
aware of the bigger picture, but can he get there in time to stop Rosen Kreuz
agent Dietrich from reactivating the machine? Meanwhile a Rosen Kreuz
airship unleashes another ancient weapon on the people of Albion, can the
combined might of AX destroy the flying fortress before it wipes out the whole
of the city? On top of this can Brother Petros and Sister Paula of the
Inquisition track down and rescue the Pope? There are lots of individual
struggles going on, but the biggest of all will be if Abel can defeat the
mysterious - and extremely powerful - Rosen Kreuz leader Cain. If Cain is
defeated then Rosen Kreuz's plans will most likely be foiled, but we all know
the Biblical story of Cain & Abel...
After the events of the last volume I couldn't wait to see what would happen in this one, and moreover how they would tie up all the loose ends. Well, the simple answer is that they don't, but more on that in a bit. First it must be said that Trinity Blood vol 6 is superb, and why. The action and drama reaches its zenith as all the main protagonists converge on Albion's capital city Londinium (yes, if you haven't guessed by now, Albion is England). Several plot strands are happening at once, and all of them are damn exciting. The
pace is frantic as AX agents and the Inquisitors are hampered in their search for the Pope by Rosen Kreuz soldiers, and Abel desperately tries to get to the ancient machine before his enemies. You're on the edge of your seat as a Rosen Kreuz agent unleashes the power of the flying fortress Excalibur on the people of Londinium, and AX tries desperately to stop him. It's one of the most exciting conclusions to an anime series I've seen in a long while, and the action comes thick and fast, as do the major plot twists and revelations.
...But then there's the problem of the partial lack of conclusion. Trinity Blood is based on a series of novels that remain incomplete, so the end of the series was either going to be made up by the anime staff or left open. As it is we get the latter. Now don't get me wrong, I've nothing against open-ended series, but this one creates far more questions than it answers.
You never really get a handle on why the Order of Rosen Kreuz is trying to destroy the world, and you learn even less about Cain. It gives a couple of glimpses into Abel's past, which explains very little but does remind you how similar the series can be to Trigun on occasion. It's clear that something happened between Abel and Cain in the past, but you never find out what, and the flashbacks only serve to throw up more questions that don't get answered. The way the story concludes is as if there's more episodes to come, but there have been no
further anime incarnations of Trinity Blood, even in Japan. This makes it ultimately a bit unsatisfying, it's really good for the entire volume, leaves you desperate to see more...and then doesn't deliver it. The only real pluses from the conclusion is that it closes off a story arc and also gives a sense of purpose to the somewhat weedy Pope and increasingly useless Esther Blanchett. It also allows for a cracking showdown between Abel and Cain, as well as a host of superb action scenes featuring AX and the Inquisition.
Trailers, clean opening and closing sequences. Could be a hell of a lot better.