This is review number one hundred and three. I’m slowing down on my reviews because I’m losing time to watch anime. Stupid prior obligations. I’m still going for my goal though and nothing will stop me. I’m reviewing an anime of the Summer 2011 lineup. It’s Blood C. It’s that anime where Saya is reduced to a normal girl slaying demons. Say goodbye to the anti-hero Saya or the strong willed Saya. We now have…this.
Things aren’t what they appear to be though and this anime is a great example why you should never trust your first impression of an anime. They’re usually wrong. Let’s read on.
The anime is about Saya. She is a normal girl who hangs out with her friends, sings cheerful songs while walking and love all things cute. She is also a shrine maiden though and she has been given the task to eliminate demons that appear in her town. Her dad has entrusted her a sword her mother once used to eliminate the demons and now Saya is tasked to do the same. All is well though because she is enjoying her life in this quiet town surrounded by people she loves. Perhaps it’s too well though. Saya doesn’t know that things aren’t what they appear to be.
Taking the Pants Off
I remember watching this anime when it first aired and I hated it. I didn’t like the slice of life aspects of it and I kind of grew an unhealthy hatred towards the new Saya because she wasn’t like the first two. They didn’t even give her the signature lips Saya has and it bummed me out. I gave up on this anime a long time ago. After making this blogsite though, I knew we would cross path one more time. Well I saw this anime and finished it. I was wrong. This anime is great and it was able to combine the things that made the first two anime before it (Blood the Last Vampire and Blood +) great. I also found out that the problem with watching anime on a weekly basis is that a bad anime sits on your mind for a long week while if you marathon it, the bad episode suddenly isn’t that bad at all. This might be the reason why I like Guilty Crown as well. Anyways, I am so glad I gave this anime another shot because it’s one of the strongest anime of the lineup thus far.
If you’ve seen the first two anime then you certainly have some expectations of this anime. The movie gave us some wicked gore plus action and the first series fleshed out Saya pretty impressively. I wonder what the story will be this time around. How about a closer look at the events of the movie? They could do a prequel long before she became a vampire hunter. The possibilities are endless. I didn’t expect though to see a clumsy Saya who drinks coffee at a café and like cute things though. I literally dropped my jaw. The whole set up of Saya, who was once an anti-hero who slayed evil monsters, becoming a shrine maiden and killing creatures just didn’t feel right. Saya is a bastard but she also cares for others. She’s one of them but she also kills them. They just took the entire franchise and flushed it down the toilet.
Or did they?
I was gonna proclaim this anime as the worst of the franchise until I saw this:
That’s Saya from Blood The Last Vampire. I really fangirl’ed (I’m a guy) after seeing this but then I realized that there was a mean joke pulled on Blood fans. It’s a very mean joke that makes me foolish for calling out the anime for being an awful addition to the franchise. After the third episode, things started to align and the plot suddenly thickens. This isn’t a “new” anime that scrapped the things that happened in the first two anime. No, this anime is connected to them and you just need to get over the fact that Saya has a new look.
It’s not hard to like the anime though because CLAMP handled this anime. Even though the first three episodes felt nothing like the Blood people know and loved, it was a bit like CLAMP’s other works though. My first impression of the anime is that it’s like xxxholic with the way Saya is created and some characters bearing some resemblance to the ones in Holic, a dash of Cardcaptor Sakura with the way it’s presented and some of the characters as well, and it finishes off with the goriness of “X” (another Clamp anime though the manga was more gory, I hear). So the first few episodes didn’t feel like Blood but it did feel like CLAMP.
The anime has a simple set up. In the first part of the anime, Saya is mostly enjoying her days with her friends or taking long walks to school. She sings this cute cheerful song along the way and she also has this obsession with hugging this dog she comes across with. Saya often eats with her classmates or spends lunch break worrying over this handsome dude. She also spends her time eating at this café and she is very close with the owner. The Slice of Life appeal of the first part of the anime is really calming. Really, like any effective SoL (Slice of Life) anime, it’s really calming and feels laidback. The unmistakable sounds of birds chirping or cicadas making noise also add to the comfort you experience while watching the first half. It’s like reliving Cardcaptor Sakura all over again.
The second part of the anime would get dark though. This often involves Saya fighting a monster. The fights are really nice and the blood is excessive. Once Saya goes monster hunting, it all goes serious and the SoL appeal quietly vanishes. The second part of the anime is really graphic at times with some limbs flying around and decapitations. It gets all the more exciting when an innocent victim gets eaten by the monsters. Oh dear Pikachu, those poor innocent victims.
The yin and yang aspect of the anime is really nice. The whole thing is tied together by a mystery and the lingering feeling of how this damn anime connects to the first Blood anime. After the first half, some things will surely feel off and the way the anime never becomes aware of it adds some intrigue to the whole thing. By the time you get to the second half, this nice balance of SoL on the first part and gore/action on the second part is suddenly tipped. What happens when the yin and yang aspect of the anime gets screwed?
What happens when you combine this:
Well, you’ll get this:
Yeah, I got the uncensored version and I suggest you do as well because the amount of bloody violence in the anime deserves to be enjoyed with no f*cking censors. The monsters will become strong and it slowly comes to a point where a lot of people die.
The SoL aspects of the anime soon become trashed and instead of comforting you, it turns against you. It builds up the paranoia and you suddenly feel wary of everything. It’s like watching Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni all over again. After a few episodes, you no longer enjoy the cute playful things because Rika will stab her neck with a knife pretty soon. The same paranoia is in this anime. You no longer trust the characters because everyone becomes suspicious and you just wait the time where they all get killed by the monsters.
The mystery aspect of the anime is really great. I love how the things keep on building. The anime intentionally gives you bits and pieces that you can’t make sense of unless you keep watching. There are some predictable points of the mystery but the anime has a nice way of keeping you glued to your screen. I really love it. It did get a bit draggy at times because the anime kept withholding facts. I honestly felt bored at episode 7 or so but the anime kept be hooked by the senseless violence.
The mystery is soon revealed though and everything started to make sense. God, how I love the last episode of this anime. You didn’t expect it to go that direction but you’re pretty glad it went there (if that makes any sense). I’m trying hard not to give out spoilers even though I’m excited. The ending of this anime is both good and bad. It’s good because you soon realize that the girl you knew, after being in love with the franchise, is indeed here. It’s bad though because the actual ending is in the movie: Blood The Last Dark. Cliffhangers, don’t you just hate them? If you think it subtracts from the greatness of this anime, you’re mistaken though because the amount of action, gore, mystery and maybe a little bit of drama is perhaps the strongest delivery out of all the Blood anime. I love the original but Blood C slightly edges it out.
Sight and Sound
The character design is unmistakably CLAMP because of the overly stretch look of the characters. The distinctly shaped body built of the characters are also very CLAMP. If you’ve seen their previous works like Tsubasa Chronicles then you have an idea of the typical CLAMP character. The gore is also a signature of CLAMP. They love blood and the way they use it in their manga is incredible. They aren’t just used to enhance a scene, the blood is there so you can open your mouth and catch it as it spews out.
The animation is handled by Production IG and it’s one of the best parts of the anime. Like the story, it’s slowly builds and becomes more exciting. The pacing of the fights is pretty nice and there is enough excitement to send you home happy. The choreography done in the fight scenes is really amazing> It moves fast but it never gets messy. Production IG did a damn good job at it. The gore is the little cherry on top. I love it when a character dies. The way the monsters handle the humans is really fun to watch because they often just pick them up and put them in their mouth. The bloody screams of the humans makes the scenes so much more terrifying. There are so many awesome death scenes in this anime that you really need to see it to believe it.
The anime’s OP is “Spiral” by DUSTZ. It’s a really nice that captures the intensity of the anime. I love the singers’ voice and the way he creeps some French in the lyrics. The Op sequence is really nice as well with Saya being all bad ass. The opening generally summarized the anime without any spoilers. It’s really awesome.
The anime’s ED song is “Junketsu Paradox” by Nana Mizuki. This song was sung by Saya’s voice actress so that’s a nice touch. Her high pitched voice coupled by the gothic appeal of the song is a really nice combination. The sequence features Saya standing alone in the deserted town. There’s not much to say but if you saw this while the paranoia is high, it’s really effectively creepy.
Overall Score8/10 “It has all the great things a Blood anime should have and it may perhaps be the best of them all.”
I suggest watching this anime until episode three so you get the full idea of it. They pulled a nasty joke by concealing all the great parts but a little patience is definitely worth it. It has Action, Gore, and Slice of Life. Seriously, this anime is a must watch. I highly recommend it.