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BLOOD-C: The Last Dark - Reviewed by GaileOxstain
Posted on Wednesday, May 11th 2016 by Crawen

BLOOD-C: The Last Dark Cover


“BLOOD-C” was such a disappointment that I truly believed it killed the Blood franchise for good. The prospect of a film sequel did not raise any hopes in fans, and no one thought this spinoff would be anything less than a stain on a cult classic. But then something miraculous happened, like any good monster, the series rose from the grave.


Plot:

BLOOD-C: The Last Dark Screenshot 1 It’s been six months since the village massacre that snuffed out every life tied to Fumito’s cruel social experiment, and Saya was the only one who walked away with her life in the aftermath of the bloodbath. Having lost everything in her life down to the last grain of sand she once took solace in, Saya arrives in Tokyo with only a single objective driving her, to kill Fumito and take her vengeance. While in her pursuit she saves a teenage girl wrought with hesitation named Mana from a human turned Elder Bairn, and as it turns out she actually belongs to a group of renegades who share a similar objective with her in bringing down Fumito and his organization which has a strangle hold on the city. But will Saya be able to kill Fumito? Or is she doomed to once again lose everything?

If there was ever a comeback story to be mentioned in the world of anime, “BLOOD-C: The Last Dark” would definitely be the tale. Maybe it’s just because the prequel series “BLOOD-C” was such a letdown, but “BLOOD-C: The Last Dark” was a phenomenal addition to the Blood franchise. While the original anime was bland and had a less than cohesive plotline, the film was exponentially more engaging and the story did not take you around in circles or jerk you around with aggravating twists that manipulate you. Instead we are treated to the straightforward direction of one girl’s quest for vengeance that takes you on a journey of opposition and conviction.

BLOOD-C: The Last Dark Screenshot 2 In many ways, “The Last Dark” is actually much more faithful to its source inspirational material right from the start with the subway car execution that pays tribute to a similar scene in the original “Blood: The Last Vampire” at the beginning of the film. And not just that, as unlike the anime, the “The Last Dark” takes on a much more dark and serious tone not unlike its predecessor “The Last Vampire” thanks to the film’s more clandestine approach in tackling the conflicts in the story. Fans of the original will feel right at home here.

BLOOD-C: The Last Dark Screenshot 3 Granted there were still a few issues that kept this resurrection from being perfect. For one, the film is not as centered on the combat as the anime was given that there were only four real fights in movie, half of which I felt were too rushed to truly be savored, not that they weren’t well choreographed in spite of this. I also felt as though the climax and conclusion were not handled as well as they should have been given that by the end of the film you’ll be left wanting more than what you got, and the ending still leaves Saya’s future a blank slate.

Characters:

“BLOOD-C” had a very shallow cast of characters, many of which were bogged down by cheap masks that kept the cast from growing properly. But “BLOOD-C: The Last Dark” not only finally gave the main cast members greater depth, but also managed to provide a supporting cast that actually was memorable.

BLOOD-C: The Last Dark Screenshot 4 There is a huge difference between the Saya from the anime and the Saya from the film. Gone is the perky girl who sings annoying tunes. Gone is the girl riddled with doubt over her true purpose and responsibility. Having lost everything she ever cared about, Saya’s personality shifts into a similar mood to that of the Saya from “Blood: The Last Vampire” with an incredibly serious tone driven only by the impulse to kill everything that stands in the way of her goals. Thanks to the betrayal she suffered at the hands of Fumito and her so called friends from the anime, she trusts no one, and because of that she has a hard time letting anyone in. This goes especially for Mana who in spite of seeing what she capable of, just wants to help Saya with the pain that has been fermenting within her for six long months.

But despite Saya’s history with friendships, Mana may be the first true friend she has had since this whole spinoff began. Ever since being rescued by Saya from an Elder Bairn, she found herself fascinated and enraptured by her skill and confidence in wielding her katana against the monsters and even tries to go out of her way to get closer to her even in spite of how closed hearted Saya is at this point. Mana herself suffers from a severe lack of confidence in herself because of actions she took using her own set of skills that spelled disaster for someone that she loved. But through seeing Saya’s determination, she begins to regain some of her own.

BLOOD-C: The Last Dark Screenshot 5 Now let’s move to Fumito, the misanthropic antagonist responsible for all the hell that has come to pass and the target of Saya’s revenge. As the finale to the anime showed, Fumito is a complete sociopath who cares little for the deaths of others in pursuit of his misguided ideals. We do get further background about his past and his own family’s connection to the Shrovetide’s conception, but his own goals extend far outside of the responsibility he was burdened with. His obsession with Saya and her inner nature is so overwhelming that he is willing to sacrifice not only his subordinates but even everything he has built just to realize his ultimate goal.

BLOOD-C: The Last Dark Screenshot 6 Finally we have the motley crew of SIRRUT, the rebel group of youths that assist Saya in their shared goal to see Fumito’s downfall. Unlike the supporting cast of “BLOOD-C”, SIRRUT’s members are all delightfully colorful and memorable individuals that make a much bigger impact on the viewer, which is crazy considering they accomplished this in the equivalent of four episodes what the original cast could not accomplish in twelve. We have the amateur hacker Shun booming with bluster and enthusiasm, the getaway driver Inori who possesses mad driving skills and an even madder temper, Hiro the quiet child genius hacker with a strong attachment to Mana, and Haruno the team’s tactician and commandeering general during operations. The group has such a tight and interesting dynamics that I honestly would love to see a series dedicated just to them and their “stick it to the man” operations.

Setting/Art:

BLOOD-C: The Last Dark Screenshot 7 I complained quite a bit about the art choices from “BLOOD-C” but “BLOOD-C: The Last Dark” gave the spinoff nearly a complete overhaul in terms of design and animation. No more bland and flat artwork, instead we get dynamic city landscapes with such an incredible amount of detail that it makes the anime’s art look like a children’s book. Likewise, the animation is very crisp and fluid, and with the exception of some CGI was a true accomplishment that the film should take pride in.

Music/Openings Endings:

The film has but one ending theme that rolls when the credits do, and much like the ending from the anime, it is sung by Saya herself. While the anime theme was lacking somewhat, the film’s ending theme resonated much better with Saya’s struggle and the pain and determination that drove her then, now, and into the future.

Final Analysis:

“BLOOD-C: The Last Dark” is cinematic proof that you can still turn lead into gold, and turn mediocrity into success. This film surpassed its prequel anime by leaps and bounds to heights no one thought this spinoff could accomplish. The story is dynamic and ties up a lot of loose ends from the anime, the characters have improved immensely and shine with a light all their own, the setting and animation was suburb proving that the artists clearly concentrated their funding into this film, and the ending theme takes you out with a bow. To quote fellow reviewer PolyGuru “Well my hope was never answered. This anime never redeemed itself. It is utter garbage.” I can safely tell him that redemption finally came for “BLOOD-C” in the form of a film. As I speculated, “BLOOD-C” was indeed just a stepping stone to success, with “BLOOD-C: The Last Dark” as its pinnacle. Sadly you’ll still have to watch the lackluster anime to understand everything going on in the film, but I guess some problems never have solutions. BLOOD-C: The Last Dark Screenshot 8

That’s why I’m giving “BLOOD-C: The Last Dark” 8 kills out of 10.

“A customer wished for a better BLOOD-C, and as the shopkeeper, I granted it.”

BLOOD-C: The Last Dark Screenshot 9

- GaileOxstain


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