While on Facebook, I stumbled upon a screenshot from the Blade anime that depicted our country’s capital, Manila. It was pretty weird seeing it in anime form, but awesome nonetheless since this was a first for me witnessing one. Although I’ve heard ones from Golgo13 and Black Lagoon, I’ve yet to see them.
Manila is featured at the 4th and 5th episode of Blade. The anime didn’t really click to me when I first heard about Marvel making anime versions of such, but I still decided to get and watch those two specific episodes out of curiosity.
The arc begins with Blade visiting Manila to save a good old friend of his from the clutches of the group of the main antagonist, Frost Deacon. After the rescue, he gets a hint that Frost is residing in an island in the region and goes there.
The island in question turns out to be Isla del Fuego (Fire Island), or more commonly known as Siquijor- an island southeast of Cebu feared to be haunted by black magic, witches and all kinds of dark sorcery. It’s called Isla Del Fuego because it actually gave off an eerie glow that came from the swarms of fireflies that harbored in the countless Molave trees around.
At the entrance of Frost’s hideout, his party gets into a surprise fight with Lupit, Cimarron, and Hagibis– members of the ‘aswang’ hunting tribe Verdugo. Upon realizing their identities, they stopped and decided to join forces.
The Verdugo tribe is currently trying to seal the legendary monster Manananggal (‘The one who removes’ in Tagalog), a self-segmenting flying viscera sucker of fetuses. Wiki quotes ‘It is capable of severing its upper torso in order to fly into the night with huge bat-like wings to prey on unsuspecting, pregnant women in their homes’. And of course, at the end of the episode, Blade fights this abomination.
I guess the writer for the show, Warren Ellis, is quite fond of our country as this is not his first time using the Philippines as the setting. His graphic novel Strange Killings was set in the Hundred Islands.
Anyway, it was entertaining but that’s that- I won’t be watching the other episodes. The whole plot is just too cliche for me and there are more promising anime to digest!
Know any more anime that features the Philippines? Share it in the comments section below!