Bayonetta: Bloody Fate (Blu-ray Review)

BayonettaThe cutting-edge studio behind Afro Samurai brings to life the sexy, stylish, and undeniably-badass video game vixen who prowls the shadows of your wildest dreams. Based on the best-selling franchise, this pulse-pounding feature length anime shows you a side of Bayonetta you’ve never seen before! Twenty years after her awakening, the hottest witch in gaming history is still searching for clues that could help unravel the mysteries of her dark past. Aided in her quest by the clandestine weapon smith Rodin – and his deadly creations: Scarborough Fair – Bayonetta continues to leave a trail of angel corpses in her irresistible wake. Her search for answers leads to encounters with a mysterious – and eerily familiar – little girl, a vengeance-obsessed journalist, and a deadly white-haired beauty that seems to know more about Bayonetta than the witch herself. Fans of the franchise won’t want to miss this chance to see their favorite fantasy come to life in a killer flick packed with mind-blowing action and scandalous scenes of seduction!




I had no previous experience with the Bayonetta character but knew there was a video game for the Wii and graphic novels and various other media forms. I saw the trailer for Bayonetta: Bloody Fate and thought it looked interesting and then I saw that the GONZO, the company that did the animation for Afro Samurai did the animation for Bloody Fate I was hooked and could not wait to dig my claws into the Blu-ray. Well, I’ve dug my claws into Bayonetta: Bloody Fate and here’s the scoop.

Bayonetta is a very powerful witch, who remains neutral and on her own side, while dispatching hordes of angels and looking fabulous while doing it. Bloody Fate attempts to tell a somewhat coherent but really incoherent story about her origins and I don’t know that it succeeds all that much. We have a few side characters that come in as allies in addition to some others that are clearly not on her side. Bayonetta is from a witch clan known as the Umber witches, which represent the dark. The Lumen Sages represent light and both groups are divided – like yin and yang.

Following Bayonetta’s long slumber – she wakes to dispatch angels galore while trying to navigate around a young child who annoyingly keeps calling her “mommy.” Grating is the word I would use to describe that kid and her vocalization. Also, her purpose is pretty transparent. I will say that the best parts of Bayonetta: Bloody Fate are the animation style and Hellena Taylor as the voice of Bayonetta. She IS Bayonetta. The film is heavy on fan service if that’s your bag and it’s also heavy on innuendo, so if you’ve seen what Bayonetta looks like then you’ll know what I mean. She’s a very cheeky witch and I found myself blushing a couple of times at her suggestive tone. Oh behave!

The film rating is just slightly above the average threshold, because the film really isn’t made for those that have zero history with the character. You really do need to brush up on your Bayonetta-lore in order to process all of it. It can get dense, so if you’re new to this world I would suggest that you just pay attention to her killing angels and demons and whatnot. I don’t really know what the rest of the mythology was all about, because Bloody Fate was my first official introduction to this universe.

I hope that we get more Bayonetta animated flicks in the near future, because she is someone that I would love to have adventures with. The animation is great and I like how Gonzo kept the CGI to a minimum and I also liked the weird look to the angels – they looked very ornamental and had lots of brass components. It’s as if they ere decorative statues come to life with humanoid bodies. They really didn’t look like anything.





Encoding: AVC MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: The detail and clarity on this Blu-ray is spot on except for the contrast levels that seem to give the overall film a “hazy” appearance. I don’t know why that is but I’ve seen several recent anime productions that suffer from this.

Depth: Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is a very surreal anime production that lends itself well to the supernatural. The level of depth is rich and at times I felt as if I was watching a feature length live-action film. It will swallow your soul, so to speak.  

Black Levels: Black levels do suffer the consequences of that hazy look I mentioned before. Black levels are not as rich and dark as they should be. They’re okay but can come off as gray due to the haze.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is highly bi-polar in that one seen will have muted colors before switching over to a more vibrant one. Purple and gold are the colors of the day here. Color banding was also kept in check.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: I did not notice any intrusive noise or artifacts.





Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: I was expecting Bayonetta: Bloody Fate to rock the house and it did somewhat. Did it rock as hard as Afro Samurai did back in the day? Not quite. There various parts throughout the film that have a sort of “thinness” to them especially during scenes of high action. They’re not as dynamic as they should be and I don’t know why that it is. I switched back and forth from the English and Japanese version and they both sounded the same in this regard. It’s a very front-heavy mix, with very little to spread out.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel has gotten better workouts elsewhere, so it stays on the average side of things on this Blu-ray. It doesn’t rumble as much as one would think.

Surround Sound Presentation: This one is weird in that a lot of the “swooshing” effects seem to be very front channel driven. A lot of the scenes that one would expect to be in the back actually sound louder in the front.  It was very strange and that’s one of the reasons for slightly above average rating. It does work as whole but I still get to nitpick.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels remain cheeky throughout the entire film. It is appreciated.






Bayonetta: Bloody Fate has a couple of extras worthy of mention. A commentary track with Bayonetta herself, Hellena Taylor, and some storyboards presented in HD are included. A trailer rounds out the extras. They’re short and sweet but of quality.

  • Audio Commentary – ADR director Jonathan Klein had to flu to the UK in order to have this commentary appear on the Blu-ray and DVD. Hellena Taylor is an absolute treat and this track makes for excellent listening.
  • Storyboards – There are 23 minutes worth of storyboards presented in HD on this Blu-ray. That’s dedication.
  • U.S. Trailer – This is the trailer for the U.S. dubbed edition.




Bayonetta: Bloody Fate was an okay romp of an anime feature – there’s obviously more to her than meets the eye, so for those like me, there’s more material out there in various other formats that one can visit in order to get their fill. The Blu-ray comes with a DVD and the video and audio specs are average to slightly above average in quality. The audio commentary track is very cool and insightful as are the very in-depth storyboards. Bayonetta: Blood Fate is worth it on the quality of the animation and Hellena Taylor’s voice work alone. Give it a try and see for yourself.




Order Bayonetta: Bloody Fate on Blu-ray!



Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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