Anime Reporter delves into the world of Bayonetta: Blood Fate, the first anime adaptation of Platinum Games’ video game, Bayonetta.
B:BF, (Not to be confused with the popular expressions Best Buds Forever and Boo: Batman Forever), is an adaptation of the first Bayonetta video game, with a few minor plot details changed. B:BF tells a not uncommon tale; heaven versus hell with a wee bit of forbidden love thrown in for good measure. Sages, on the side of heaven and order, waged a war against witches, who use their demonic magic to fight for the powers of chaos. Bayonetta (voiced by Atsuko Tanaka, who also voices the character in Bayonetta 2 in, Japanese and the character’s voice since the original game, Hellena Taylor, in English) appears to be a little bit of both, the shunned offspring of a witch and a sage, wielding some pretty formidable powers as a result. The most notable of this is one of “The Eyes of the World”, two sources of power which, if combined, would resurrect Jubileus (God), and begin Armageddon.
But that’s not to say that Bayonetta’s a neutral party in all of this. No, she’s very much on the side of the demons, swatting angels whenever she gets a chance and doing it with a certain amount of flare. From the beginning, this movie showcases a certain over-the-top sense of style that makes for some beautiful action sequences and some not too subtle sexual innuendo. Bayonetta seems to dress herself almost exclusively in clothes woven magically from her own hair, meaning that even through the wear and tear of battle, she is able to maintain some amount of modesty. On the other hand, this also means that whenever she casts a large spell, she needs to harness her hair, resulting in a state not a million miles from nudity.
Fair warning: In terms of content, action and characters, subtlety isn’t much of a factor.
The plot itself is entirely straightforward. Bayonetta’s suffering from a nasty case of amnesia with only a few hints about her life earlier than twenty years ago though she’s mainly happy to just get on with killing any angels that happen to cross her path.
Throw in a handful of rough and tough associates and you’ve got the recipe for a fairly standard action flick. The angels and their servants are keen to bring about the end of the world, as long as it’s all in the name of Jubileus and Bayonetta seems to be the only person in line to stop them. Mix in a few clues here and there about her hidden past, a mysterious blonde woman who can match Bayonetta’s fighting style move for move and a lost little girl who insists on calling Bayonetta “Mommy” and things become more interesting, if still fairly formulaic.
The focus of the flick is well and truly on the action, with high-flying acrobatics, some matrix style fight scenes and some of the most intimidating angels you’ll ever see.
When it’s not focusing on violence, B:BF tries to get by on a fairly hefty dose of sexual references and suggestive nudity, which definitely feels more heavy-handed than it needs to at time.
Visually, the film is very smooth, with careful attention to detail paid to environments and magical creatures. Characters are portrayed with long-angular features just a little bit reminiscent of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, or Ninja Scroll, with a (usually) brighter colour scheme.
Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK from Monday November 24th 2014 from Manga Entertainment UK, for more info, check out their website.
74% – “Stylish” – You might not laugh, you won’t cry, but Bayonetta: Bloody Fate will provide you with some serious action wrapped up in a sleek and sexy bow. Without a doubt, this anime will find a pretty large audience.