Posted by : GaileOxstain
Posted on : 2016-05-05
“Blood: The Last Vampire”, a classic horror film with visceral edge. “Blood+”, a dramatic and powerfully written spinoff series from the film that inspired it. “BLOOD-C”, proof that a strong franchise and creation staff do not ensure a good series.
Saya Kisaragi is a second year high school student and the local shrine maiden for her rural and remote town. She lives her days peacefully among friends and family enjoying all that remote country life can offer. Her nights however are far from peaceful. As it turns out, the town is plagued by man-eating monsters referred to as Elder Bairns that hunt down humans without remorse or a second thought. As the shrine maiden she is tasked with slaying the monsters in secret with her sacred blade, the only thing that can kill them. Though she promised to protect everyone, resident casualties slowly begin to pile up, and the Elder Bairns themselves begin sow seeds of doubt in Saya’s mind, hinting that her divine duty may be far less than what it actually is.
In truth, I watched part of “BLOOD-C” several years ago but quit out of impatience and annoyance towards the story and its general betrayal to the franchise itself. But I’ve grown a lot since then, and now that I have more experience under my belt as a viewer and reviewer, you might be surprised to learn that…I still didn’t like it.
The story starts off at a snail’s pace and doesn’t really go anywhere for the first four episodes. The first episodes really just follow the same format with the day being spent on Saya’s normal school life, and the night being spent on her gruesome monster hunting, and frankly the two don’t really blend well together making the transition all the more awkward. Separately, the two facets feel half-baked given that Saya’s school life is as bland and boring as a plate of white rice, and the overarching story behind the Elder Bairn battles are too underdeveloped to really get invested in, even in spite of all the bloody gore that would give common men nightmares.
That’s not to say the plot doesn’t get better, because the storyline does reveal more and more as time goes on, slowly stripping the paint from the mosaic that is Saya’s life. Many deaths begin to mount, including those of Saya’s closest friends which really build on Saya’s growing level of stress and dwindling sanity, and through countless battles it becomes apparent that something is amiss.
Granted I did attribute most of these discrepancies as being mere plot holes what with the utter lack of common sense and sheer oblivious nature the town seems to have concerning the monsters that seem to pop up everywhere without serious action being taken. It also doesn’t help that a lot of the mystery stems from the “BLOOD-C’s” bad habit of keeping the viewers in the dark for too long as well as how this spinoff ties in with the Blood franchise as a whole.
Fortunately, the series does manage to explain all these little plot holes and inconsistencies in the final two episodes, unfortunately the series sucker punches you so hard and with enough bombshells to level Manhattan that you’ll end up feeling more betrayed than shocked with how the series played you. Without spoiling too much, let’s just say I wasn’t the only one in the end who was bored with where the story was going.
The cast of “BLOOD-C” is complicated, and not in a good way. Due to the abundance of dual persona present in the series, it becomes difficult to tell which traits truly reflect their characters.
Saya is a girl with two faces. One is that of the typical cheery high school that sings her own little tune (Quite literally in fact), and the other is that of a disciplined and extremely skilled executor of the Elder Bairns. She keeps her two personas separate based on the situation, but as time progresses she finds it harder and harder to keep her two lives apart as the chaos slowly spirals out of control. She feels conflicted and pressured to keep her sanity but even begins to question the very nature of her existence as well as the past she can’t even remember. Though anyone who has seen or heard anything of the original franchise, it’s a little too obvious from the start who and what the real Saya really is, which does take away some of the shock.
A key person in Saya’s life is Fumito, the young gentleman who runs the coffee shop across from her house. He is a kind and affectionate person who is always there for Saya when she feels conflicted and stressed, always there to offer her a cup of coffee to soothe her nerves. However, as the series progressed he started to come across more as a creeper with an unhealthy interest in Saya. Though as it turned out, I was really only looking at the tip of the iceberg with this guy…
As for Saya’s friends and schoolmates, they were really all cookie-cutter molds when it came straight down to it. We have the playful and childish twins, the mature and sympathetic best friend, the responsible and courteous class rep, and the aloof bad boy with a considerate heart. There is a little character development, especially with the last one, but the series pretty much sets all of that growth on fire rendering any feelings you felt toward them moot by the end.
I’ll also give one final mention to the strange talking dog who serves as a catalyst of sorts that helps Saya come to remember her past. Any passing CLAMP fan could figure out that he is actually Watanuki from “xxxHolic” but his role feels far too out of place with the rest of the series and seems to serve as little more than a means to continue CLAMP’s tradition of including character cameos from past series.
On that note, I believe the “C” in “BLOOD-C” refers to CLAMP, the talented staff of doujinshi writers that gave us “Cardcaptor Sakura”, “Angelic Layer”, “xxxHolic”, and many other memorable series. However CLAMP’s lackluster performance was not just limited to its story given that their artistic skills seemed to waver as well. The animation was pretty good, but the tall and slender character designs do not work well with this particular genre, and I have to question the staff’s choice in veering away from the standard chiropteran forms in favor of monster designs that honestly look more like the aliens from “GANTZ”. And no, that’s not a good thing. What’s more, I felt disappointed that CLAMP did not include more cameos from past CLAMP anime titles (Unless of course those Elder Bairns in the last episode were supposed to be mutant Mokona). I realize no one wants to see a Sakura Kinomoto look-alike torn to pieces, but a few more references couldn’t have hurt.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the series soundtrack either. The background music got repetitive after a while, and though the ending theme was sung strong by Saya herself, it lacks a certain degree of memorability that keeps it from lasting. Granted, there was one track I honestly couldn’t get enough of, the opening, Spiral by Dustz. Though my memory of this series faded for a while, this powerful, brooding, and just plain awesome rock number that incorporates Japanese, English, and French lyrics stayed with me long after I lost my patience and even eclipsed the series itself in terms of quality.
Perhaps I was too harsh on “BLOOD-C” back in my sophomoric years. Yes, the series was poor, but looking at “BLOOD-C” as a whole, it wasn’t a complete betrayal to the franchise I loved. The story gradually got less opaque and boring even if it did flip the table at end, the characters become more interesting and developed…until they kind of scrapped it all at the end, the art was okay but hardly something worthy of the franchise’s legacy, and at least the opening theme was awesome. Looking back, perhaps I just set my expectations too high given how invested I was into its predecessors. “BLOOD-C” may not be a great series, but it’s not the worst, and I see that now. I’ve also heard the film that followed up this series was much better by comparison, so I will choose to view “BLOOD-C” as a stepping stone, and not as a rock blocking this franchise’s path.
That’s why I’m giving “BLOOD-C” 3 Bloody Fatalities out of 10.
Eyes glow Red, good as Dead
Posted by : du5k
Posted on : 2012-01-23
At first, Blood-C shows a lot of promise. Being the successor to a rather good anime, Blood+, together with awesome production values from Production I.G., CLAMP designs and Nana Mizuki at the helm, the show easily piqued my interest. I imagined that the anime must have quite a substantial amount of budget to be able to afford the highly prolific Nana Mizuki, or at least the producer know what he's doing.
And indeed, the production values are the main positives for the anime. The colors are strong and vibrant, the action scenes are well-animated, the songs are awesome, and there's Nana Mizuki. Though, I can't give the animation too much credit because there's so little happening in every scene.
Practically everything else is a wreck. The problem lies with the concept of Blood-C itself. Not the story, mind you, but the concept of its production. The TV series is set to sell a story with a giant plot twist that's meant to be concluded in the movie that would be released sometime in 2012. That's all that is to it; One giant plot twist. Effectively, the entirety of the Blood-C TV series had only enough material for an episode, or 1 hour at most. Someone somehow thought it's a good idea to pull off 12 episodes anyway.
And thus, it killed the show. The first 3/4 of the series is simply a repeat of the same events happening again and again, and each cycle leaves only a tiny bit of clue that keeps the audience guessing. That tiny bit of information that barely reveals anything is hardly worth the "incidents" that got old the third time we saw it. And it's not like Saya learned or used any new moves at all; she would always get thrown around like a rag doll, then goes into "demon mode" and proceed to decimate her foe. It's the same thing. Every. Fucking. Time.
And not only is the plot moving at an excruciatingly slow pace, the anime has so little content that they end up showing a lot of WALKING. I mean, they spent huge amounts of screen time simply showing characters WALKING and nothing else, because they don't have any more story to fill in that 23 mins.
Blood-C is also plagued with tons of continuity errors. With all the blood spilling in the public, you'd think that someone would have noticed what's going on anyway? Doesn't the guy that cleans up all the mess would have suspected something? And there's also the scene where Saya (calmly, probably) watches her classmates being ripped apart by a monster, doing nothing else until the monster finish digesting his first course. What the hell?
And finally, the supporting characters turned out to be pretty redundant in the end. While they contributed to the shock value, the ending doesn't seem to justify any of their expected developments. The story trolled the audience by dumping all of the supporting characters into the exact same situation, then made them all irrelevant.
In hindsight, the plot of Blood-C might have made a pretty good movie. The idea to stretch it into a ~5hr long show by filling it with repeats of pretty much the same battle, WALKING cycles and bad decisions makes it one of the biggest disappointments in 2011.
Story Style: Fail
Audio/Visual: Very Good!
Posted by : PolyGuru
Posted on : 2011-10-15
A review score of 1 is too generous for this anime!
It has nothing going for it. It has talent that is sadly wasted in a bad attempt at money grab.
It has no story. The monster designs are a joke. The series ends with a "to be continued" as a movie next year!
I watched this till the end as I enjoyed Blood+ that I thought Blood-C had to have some redeeming quality somewhere, I just had to hang on till it appeared.
Well my hope was never answered. This anime never redeemed itself. It is utter garbage.
Use your time and life energy elsewhere or on another anime.
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