By SentaiSeiya on April 06, 2013No comments
A special thanks to Funimation for providing the Blood-C DVD to review.
The film Blood the Last Vampire has spawned off several adaptations. First there was the Blood+ anime series and a live-action adaptation. Then in 2011, Production I.G. released a new adaption which was done with the help of the manga super-group Clamp. This 12 episode animated series is known as Blood-C.
Blood-C tells the story of Saya, a seemingly normal, yet ditzy, girl who lives in sleepy little village in Japan. At first, the only thing that seems out the ordinary about this young girl the fact the she is a miko, shrine maiden, at the local temple.
However, things in Blood-C are not as they seem. The citizens of this quaint little town are not aware of the secret fight that Saya is undertaking in order to protect them. As the Miko, Saya has tasked by her father to destroy the Elder Bairns, demons who feast the flesh of humans. But Saya is no ordinary miko, as she has super-human powers that allow her to fight on equal footing with the monsters of the show.
The first couple of episodes of this series create a sense of ennui, as most of these episodes are drenched in scenes of routine daily tasks- walking to school, having lunch, trying to pet a dog, doing chores, etc.- which showcase just how bland the life in this villagers is. Many of the non-combat scenes are drawn in a bright and cheery manner. However, the art style serves as a stark contrast to the sense of isolation created by a lack of villagers to populate this dreamy little rural Japan.
That is not to say that the show is devoid of a supporting cast. Several of the villagers – the owner of a café, Saya’s father, Saya’s school friends and teacher- are the ones that Saya mainly interacts with throughout the show.
As the story progresses, Saya even becomes involved in a love triangle with two of the boys at school. Also, like many teens she begins to discover who she really is and where she came from. Unlike many teens, however, Saya’s past is tied to a mysterious pact that surrounds the relationship of the Elder Bairns and the humans, and a promise she made to a long-forgotten person.
The violence in the show is quite extreme. As the story progresses, the battles between Saya and the Elder Bairns intensifies. While a couple of the monsters are forgettable, the rest of the Elder Bairns are quite unique and memorable, like seemingly innocent shadow that devours humans or the female with the giant eyeball for a face. Then there is this thing, whatever it is, which turns out to be quite deadly.
Suffice to say the show lives up to its namesake, as the fights in the show culminate with plenty of blood. The deaths in each episode are more gruesome than the last. Make no mistake, this show comes at the viewer with a degree of violence that is in line with the standards set by contemporary horror films.
However, none of the violence feels mindless; even the final monster’s attack on the village, while excessively and even comically violent, serves as a prelude to what I assume is going to be an even bloodier excursion into the world of Blood-C when the final chapter is released.
Like a masterfully crafted horror film, Blood-C blends the sense of surreal horror and a feeling of dread stemming from the fact that this kind of thing could happen in anybody’s hometown.
Without spoiling anything in this review, the final episodes of Blood-C ends by answering some of the questions that lingered during the short run of this show. Other plot threads, however, are left open to be explored in the subsequent film in the series. Because of this I felt satisfied with the overall experience of the show, but still left wanting more closure to the story. It also felt like some of the plot devices used to explain the circumstances surrounding Saya’s existence were a little forced and contrived. So while the ending could have been better, it only detracts slightly from what overall was a great watching experience.