I came to Blood+ with few preconceptions. I'd seen it mentioned in a number of people's lists of shows worth watching if you're someone like me who likes extended dramas. (My two favorite animes are probably Monster and Junni Kokki.) I'd also seen a few recent animes by Production I.G. (e.g, Windy Tales) and wanted to see more of their work.
Somewhere around episode 20 I remember telling my daughter that Blood+ was probably the best fantasy anime I'd seen since Junni Kokki. I found myself remarkably captivated by what was, at base, a vampire epic. Many of the characters were quite appealing as well; not only Saya and Haji, but people like George and Riku. Even the stock characters like David, Julia and Lewis were worth watching. And, of course, Diva displays a disturbing mixture of childlike innocence combined with a powerful malevolence fueled by her mistreatment at the hands of Joel and Anshel. On the other hand, other than Solomon and Nathan, Diva's Chevaliers left me unmoved. They all seemed fairly unidimensional "bad guys" with little in the way of internal conflict that might have made them more complex and intriguing characters.
On top of that Blood+ has a great score. Even when it's sometimes heavy-handed, like the martial scene with Saya and David on the ship, it's still one of the most impressive scores I've heard in an anime.
One other thing that caught my attention in the early going was the portrayal of the conflicts between the American military and the Japanese citizens on Okinawa. I had hopes we might see some political drama played out that corresponded to the actual tensions
between the Americans and Japanese on Okinawa. But like many promising story lines in Blood+, this thread is dropped fairly quickly as Saya and friends set sail for Russia. The anti-American flavor of Blood+ reappears at the end of the program, where we have stand-ins for Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Rice colluding with Saya's (and mankind's) enemies in order to establish an American military hegemony over the entire globe. Indeed the discussion of the events in Vietnam suggested that the American military had been deeply involved in the development of the Chiroptera since at least the mid-1960's. (I've actually been surprised that the fairly blatant anti-American flavor of Blood+ has never been discussed in this forum.)
So what went wrong? Why was I so disappointed after such a promising start?
Eventually I returned to watching the latter third of Blood+ simply to find out how it ended. With better writing this show would have been a contender as one of the finest long-form anime dramas of the past few years. I think part of the problem was that the writers were floundering around to fill 50 episodes. A show half that length with tighter writing and plot might have been an anime masterpiece. As it stands, though, it's a great disappointment.