December 07, 2011 4 Comments
Title: Blood C
Genre: Action, Slice of Life, Supernatural
During the day, Saya Kisaragi is your regular high school student. By night, she fulfills her responsibility as shrine priestess under the guidance of her father. Using a sacred blade she defeats monsters called Elder Bairns who threaten the lives of those she had promised to protect.
Brutal. Violent. Gruesome. Blood doesn’t just flow in this series. It spurts out like a fountain, both from the Elder Bairn and their human victims. There’s just too much of it that the channel airing it had to censor half or more of each battle scene.
This is what most viewers would remember of Blood-C – how it was one of the anticipated titles of Summer 2011 and how it gained a mixed, or mostly disappointed reception among Blood franchise fans. The focus on her everyday school life departs greatly from how previous Blood animation emphasized action and the supernatural. Those who have followed the series during its original run would also complain of the terrible pacing where the “true story” is only revealed in the last two episodes. But perhaps we only failed to realize the little clues that had been there all along and the series did not deceive us as much as we thought.
Saya’s glasses and twin ponytailed hair takes some getting used to and so does her cheerful and clumsy ways. Add the habit of singing on her way to school and we have a normal school girl. However, deep down this is the same Saya who hunts those of her kind and even possesses the ability to control them. Recognizable scenes from Blood: The Last Vampire literally creates this link to her identity as Saya.
While she is feared by the Elder Bairns, some humans developed an unhealthy obsession of her legendary existence and inhuman power. What’s not to love about Saya when her eyes turn a fiery crimson red in the middle of a battle? At the same instant, her fighting abilities are heightened, movements more agile, and hesitation completely disappears. Despite all the wounds she gets, they would all heal up as if nothing had even happened. And this is actually where the true story revolves- Saya’s past, present, and future.
The town she lives in and even the people she mingle with. Everything was part of an elaborate set-up by the main antagonist. The concept of nature versus nurture and even the food chain is well-hinted in each episode only to be fully explained in the conclusion. The characters around her are not simple victims to the antagonist’s ploy. They all had selfish reasons to have spent their time together with Saya. Though mostly despicable, there are a few who develop genuine feelings for her. Whether they deserve the manner of their death is another story.
However, no matter how invincible she might seem, Saya suffers the same physical and emotional pain that normal humans do. Feeling for her is inevitable as she wallows in despair in the final episode. The series ends with Saya seeking revenge which we hope can be exacted through the movie sequel.
CLAMP greatly influences Blood C in more ways than one. Its art features characters with small heads and elongated bodies. Monsters assume the weirdest to almost human forms. Also known for their cross-over characters, CLAMP throws in a dog who claims to be the owner of a wish-granting shop and is voiced by Jun Fukuyama. Sounds familiar? He is, after all, the seiyuu of Watanuki Kimihiro
Battle scenes are fairly ordinary with Saya slashing her way through the monsters that come her way but the last fight she has brings out most of the action and better transitions between her movements. And if you’re not squinting or turning away from the gore, you’ll have your eyes wide open trying to see what is left of a censored scene. Symbols and hints are sprinkled all over the series, from the opening sequence down to the closing song. Both the images and the songs will leave a lasting impression, especially Nana Mizuki’s Junketsu Paradox which reached the Oricon top 10 during its airing.
Final Say: Blood-C definitely took the bumpy road to fame which put its viewers in the two extremes of the fan base. One end is characterized by extreme satisfaction and excitement for its movie sequel, the other by utmost disappointment and criticisms. The patience to see the series to its end as well as the attentiveness to little details are necessary to enjoying the series. So does the willingness to look past the some weaknesses making this a preferred watch.
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