Everything about Bayonetta is absolutely bonkers and I’m glad to say that this anime movie captures most of the game’s campy and utterly insane qualities.
If there’s a video game that should receive an adaptation in anime form that’s probably Bayonetta (Metal Gear Solid and Asura’s Wrath are strong contenders, though to be fair, they are kind of anime already.) Think about it, Bayonetta is a fast-paced game with pretty ladies fighting angels and demons, crazy transformations and action scenes that seldom make any sense whatsoever. Everything about the game is absolutely bonkers and I’m glad to say that this anime movie captures most of the game’s campy and utterly insane qualities.
Produced by Gonzo (the animation studio behind Gate Keepers, Final Fantasy: Unlimited and Hellsing,) this Japanese film focuses on the events of the first game. Bloody Fate follows Bayonetta, a witch who, after waking up from 500 years of slumber in a lake and having no idea who she is, decides to go on a journey to find out more about her past. This leads Bayonetta to confront hordes of angelic and demonic creatures in European-like cities with the help of a journalist and a little girl known as Cereza.
Since this is a retelling of the game, you don’t need to have played it to enjoy Bloody Fate, though it definitely helps. Like the game, this movie adaptation’s ridiculously over-the-top, a quality that becomes apparent whenever there’s an action scene. In fact, some anime fans will draw comparisons between Bloody Fate (which came out in 2013) and anime from the 90s, since this movie tends to be campy and ridiculous just for the sake of it. In the end, this works in the movie’s favor and the best part about it is that while this film retells the story from the game, all the banal and trivial parts are nowhere to be found here.
Visually, the film looks quite well and this comes as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about Gonzo Studios. Although the atmosphere tends to be dark and gloomy, the different environments are full of details. The character design, on the other hand, can put some people off, since men are tall and muscular and women are busty, thin and with long legs (the only exception being Cereza because she’s a child.) Like the game it’s based on, Bloody Fate tends to focus on female anatomy in a way that can make a lot of people uncomfortable.
Some examples include women that are stripped of all their clothes whenever they transform, over-sexualized characters and the protagonist using revealing lingerie. Overall, there’s way too much fan service (more specific examples include Bayonetta taking showers, sucking lollipops, touching her breasts and spreading her legs for no apparent reason.) Maybe you could argue that the protagonist acts like that to make other characters uncomfortable and see how they react, but I still fell like there’s too much unnecessary fan service.
Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is an entertaining action anime that combines the ridiculous nature of 90s anime with the over-the-top nature of the game, making it an enjoyable film. Nevertheless, everyone should be aware of the franchise’s needless fan service, since this can make some people uncomfortable. If you can overlook some of its problems, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate can be a satisfying and amusing anime.