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Weskalia's BLOOD-C Tv Review

BLOOD-C

BLOOD-C tv Review

Story & Characters

It's no surprise that CLAMP enjoys shocking people; given its illustrious credentials, Blood-C probably sells itself from the first look. It's got character designs by CLAMP, animation by Production I.G, a lead character voiced by Mizuki Nana, and is an offshoot from the popular Blood franchise - the perfect amalgam of action-packed swordplay, heroine who originated as a quiet badass in the original Blood: The Last Vampire and monster hunting. But watch the entire season and you'll start wondering how much it got this far, even a movie is in the making, haven't they done enough damage?

In this reincarnation of Blood, Kisaragi Saya is a miko who lives and trains with her priestly father. Her typical day consists of arriving late on classes, embarrassing herself in front of her classmates, dining in a coffee shop named Guimauve in the neighborhood, and performing duty to use sword to kill supernatural beasts known as Furukimono. (This time, though, she's fully aware of her responsibility.) After a few confrontations, Saya begins to question the validity of her work in addition to the deadly day job, fragments of an amnesiac memory, and web of conspiracy. Still, she will take on any mission her father arranges, as long as she can have a nice hot bath once the job is done.

And so we have Blood-C, which is basically a typical CLAMP teenage-heroine series awkwardly built on the premise of Blood+. Seriously, this series not only falls behind the shadow of its predecessor right of the bat, but starts with one of the most usable cliche ever. What in the world is supposed to be good about an everyday clumsy schoolgirls chopping monsters? The more times they trip, the cuter I suppose. Two major problems prevent the series from capitalizing on the meager potential that it shows, however. One is the Dragon Ball Syndrome, which covers more than half of the airing time having the main character interact with people she meets that the good news are overshadowed by a more negative difference between the two titles: Blood+ was slow, but this one is both slow and boring. Boring, boring and boring to a degree that suggests every episode will also be in the similar structure.

The second and much bigger problem is the writing in general. Except for the filler between Saya and the antagonist near the end, every episode stumbles in her daily routine: Saya visits the shop, talks to some friends and Mr. Nice Guy, has a dizzy flashback about one "Mysterious Guy Who Will Later Drive The Plot Somehow," and the worst of them all, turns the entire series into a monster of the week joke. The plot is a collection of Saya's battles against the Furukimono, each of which slowly emphasizes on her twisted past. Though to be fair, this twist is built up in tiny scenes that begin as early as the first episode. It doesn't change the fact that the twist itself is dumb and trashy.

The second in line in the Blood franchise, Blood-C takes a lot more wacky approach than Blood+. This new Saya is a lot goofier, and the writers really go all out to make her look cutesier, particularly every morning she sings a witty song about breakfast or how clumsy she displays in the OP song. Ah, the fleetingness of youth. And she sucks. She bears a resemblance of Otonashi Saya, has a cool pair of red eyes and is the kind of wanting to protect everyone to prove she's a badass despite that failure is an option in her book. Saya's lameness isn't fleshed out until she's put to work, and the result is quite as awful as the "I failed. Oh well, who cares anyway!" expression she puts on later. Compare to the previous Saya, this one lost all the charms; only once - in the finale, before chasing the bad guys, she bids final farewell to her beloved - is the series freed from the confines of its episodic nature long enough to demonstrate what it might be capable of were it given room to develop its soft emotional underbelly. But it never really gets the chance, which forces the series to slowly but painfully choke the lives out of its viewers.

Rating: 2

Art

But still, isn't this supposed to be a CLAMP/Production I.G collaboration? That name-brand pedigree finally makes itself evident in the battles against the monster, this leads to the big fights everyone's been waiting for, with fast-paced movements, striking poses and torrents of blood. The sharp use of color, especially involving the school uniforms, almost offsets the irritatingly disproportionate lankiness of CLAMP's character designs, and the monsters are far more bizarre looking than Blood+'s Chiropteran. Some elaboration on scenes when Saya turns her eyes red and goes "killer mode" can be quite good, at least until it reaches the secondary flaws.

And you don't have to look very far to figure out why. The name implies everything, if there was ever a most violent anime award in history, it would certainly go to Blood-C due to its extremely straightforward, gleefully bloody and sadistic style. The Furukimono are rendered as brutal, bloodthirsty creatures which always ready to jump into the townsfolk and enjoy feasting on their fleshes. As brutal nature as they can get, their victims are always posed in gruesome manners of death: pools of blood redecorate the streets red, decapitation and quartering dominate with their trademark brutalities, and body parts and organs get vomitted over the place. Even if you're only watching this for the violence - of which there is plenty, although it's all quite this series has - the broadcast version of this show is censored by giant light bars covering deaths that would make Hellsing's gore look like mere child's play.

Rating: 6

Sound

Voice acting proves to be another minimum effort, casting Mizuki Nana to be the amnesiac main character while retaining two seiyuu of the first Blood title, Fujiwara Keiji (Nathan) as the sophisticated priest and Nojima Kenji (Karman) plays the handsome owner of the cafe. As the lead character, Saya sounds somewhat cutesy when being clumsy, and has a more serious tone after her eyes dyed red, but her effort just as bland as her performance. Nor could she reasonably be expected to. The theme songs also fall on the ordinary side: a catchy rock OP and a more subdued ED, which eventually start to stick in one's head if only because of repeated listening every episode.

Rating: 5

Presentation

Which one is worse? A series that is mediocre from the start or one that looks promising then turns mediocre. Either way, both apply for Blood-C, too sloppily directed to succeed and too clunkily scripted to make for compelling drama, it does have the makings of a good, down and dirty exploitation series. While not everything was resolved in the end, the popularity boosts a movie, but even at that, it's not possible to cover all in a few minutes unlike Last Vampire which has the benefit of a 50-episode anime. And judging from the last episode, the movie would probably be about in a gigantic battle between good and evil as a lousy protagonist jumps into the belly of the beast. Call me bloodthirsty, but I'd rather watch something more creative with blood, sweat and tears. The needless gory action, the shallow character developments make it the perfect chance for those enjoy violence and low-budgeted series. Unfortunately, while Blood+ was a blockbuster, this one is a mockbuster, after all, it doesn't call itself "minus" for nothing.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Story: 2
Characters: 2
Art: 6
Animation: 7
Voice: 4
Music: 6
Overall: 1.5

Good:
+It's so crazy it just might work for you.
Bad:
+Twelve episodes of monster of the week.
+Only truly good when brutal that would make you wish you were vegetarian.
+Basically everything.

Rating: 2

Final Verdict

3.17 (poor)

Reviewed by Weskalia, Oct 23, 2011

Comments

  1. CyanideBlizzard Retired Moderator Oct 23, 2011

    I don't know disappointed me more, the fact that this all star lineup should of been able to produce something truly memorable, or the fact that they actually have all the elements here to make a fantastic show, but don't.

    Blood-C started off rather enjoyable for myself. I can get behind a character struggling to maintain an everyday life while at the same time being conflicted and almost brainwashed to carry out these killings because she's destined to. Especially with how they build it under the first few episodes, you can almost forgive the monster of the week idea, as the show itself could of easily built this into something far more dramatic, and completely turned Saya's world upside down. Making her question everything she was doing, who she was and more importantly, help us care about what the hell she's doing.

    I didn't mind the clumsiness too much, since she was also a bit of a klutz in battle and I found that to be somewhat refreshing, but they never did anything with it. The story just never went anywhere, and I just frankly did not care. It's like they were trying to tell a story using the same number of episodes as Blood+, but then realized that they only had twelve episodes to work with and just fumbled about to form a pathetic excuse for an ending.

    The most disappointing thing, is I really want to like this series. While certainly not Production I.G.'s best series, it's got beautiful artwork and I love the battles, but why did it have to be so cliche? I think this really shows the dire state of anime if two giant forces working together produce absolute garbage. It would of been better if they just tried to do what both of them are good at.

  2. Sakura-Dust Oct 23, 2011

    Unfortunately I had to watch it with censors, I have no idea where to get the uncensored episodes since the DVDs don't sell around here.
    This was indeed the most disappointing in the "Blood" series. My favorite is "The Last Vampire". That Saya and art style grabbed my heart. "Plus" wasn't bad either, but I didn't like Saya in it, Diva was better, she had her thoughts in order, compared to Saya who figured out her heart way later. It was still very interesting to watch and if I'm not wrong I watched it twice, so an A from me.
    But "C" is horrible. From this Saya's annoying hair to the atmosphere that oozed sugary love and highschool friendship, it was all messed up. When the gig was up and the characters turned to their usual selves they became even more disgusting, especially the twins. I don't think I ever came across an anime where everyone pissed me off till "Blood C", that's an achievement in its own way.
    Honestly instead of butchering "Blood" with this horrid story and RPG-like monsters, they should've improved and continued "The Last Vampire".
    Awesome review, I agree with it and love the way you worded it.

  3. MisaSasekage Moderator Oct 23, 2011

    They didn't try to push the story at all, given the short length they had to work with; it was very disappointing. The ending was an open ended one. While the series had some good points, I feel it may have done better had the studio given themselves more episodes to work with.

  4. flyindreams Oct 24, 2011

    Hahaha it's clear that you really hated this series :D I didn't dislike it quite so much (too much of a CLAMP fangirl I guess) but I can't say it's the best series I've ever seen either. For 12 episodes though, I could put up with some stupid stuff. The beginning was particularly irritating - I mean, the slice of life + monster a week mash-up format was kind of intriguing, but that little song that Saya sang almost every morning was incredibly annoying. Knowing CLAMP, I was expecting a big twist at the end especially since most of the series was so generic, but I kinda picked the ending a few episodes before it happened, and it was pretty much just a spin off of the Truman Show. Overall I do agree, for a show that has such an impressive pedigree the end result was totally lacking. I think I stuck with it because I was semi-amused by all the over-the-top action... I have never watched a series with so much blood and censor bars before (usually try to stay away from gory genres), and that last episode when the monsters went on a rampage across the village and started making human smoothies was just... words cannot describe.

  5. Tsunoh Oct 26, 2011

    I think it's a bad sign that after the initial episode, the idea of watching the rest of the season never even entered my head. I appreciate CLAMP and I.G, but even though the series was on PLANET HYPE for a while it just left such a bad aftertaste that I only bothered to watch two episodes- the first, and the end. Walls of blood, gorn as sappy as a soap opera... what were they thinking

    Blood+ was a little slow-paced and added things to the story (Chevaliers, yea, I know, excuse for bishounen but I don't particularly condemn that *ahem*) but it was a good addition to The Last Vampire's franchise in my opinion. I actually felt for some of the characters and found the story entertaining. Plus for a show named Blood... they actually didn't go over the top.

    Blood-C made me feel like I was watching someone tear up inflatable balloons >_> human smoothies.....

  6. SolemnSerpent Oct 27, 2011

    Oh no, tell me this isn't true! I remember learning about this series, and considering the fact that I'm lovin' Blood+ now, I was pretty stoked. Having the related series being anything less than amazing is a true letdown. Not to mention, "What in the world is supposed to be good about an everyday clumsy schoolgirls chopping monsters?" - you're utterly correct about that, the second 'clumsy' and female protagonists come together, I'm already facepalming. If I wanted to see cutesy, clumsy, yet brave schoolgirls trying to solve/withstand forces and circumstances more complex than themselves, I'll spend a day watching Fruits Basket.

    Awesome review - nice wording and flow; I can't see any mistakes. Truthfully, I love your reviews for terrible anime. Lol, for some reason, reading something with an undertone that is yelling, "Dear God, what kind of crap did I just watch?" is always my favorite kind of reading material. It's pretty clear you dislike the series, considering what it the direction it went in, I can't blame you.

    Excellent review. ;)

  7. SnickerdoodleNinja Retired Moderator Oct 29, 2011

    Wow...sounds like Saya is incredibly shallow (and shallow heroines is a pet peeve of mine!), and combined with the rest of its flaws I don't think I'll bother with this one, lol.

    As for your review, very nice! I could tell that you were giving the series the time of day while still being completely honest about its lackluster quality. While I usually would prefer a bit more in the sound section, I can tell that there doesn't seem to be much else to say and you covered what you needed without dawdling on the section for too long. Your wording also adds a lot of your voice and makes this very fun to read; great job again Wes! :D

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