Blood-C is the remake of Blood+, which is a remake of Blood the Last Vampire, which was a rehash of the old chicks with swords routine in half an hour. I have nothing against remakes, if they are done once every 20 years and try to offer something new to the table. Yet look at this; three variations of the same premise in less than a decade? This is plain overkill. But anyways, it is still the tale of an apparently normal high school girl forced to take part in monster hunting.
The bait of the show is that the drawings are drawn by CLAMP, the team of women who are famous for their spicy premises, taboo relations, and skinny tall pretty characters. It is present here as well, making the series 300% more kawai and anorectic than before. Everybody looks so cute and all; they even included a pair of identical twin girls, like those in xxxHolic in an attempt to sell more. If you ask me, that is totally cheap; an anime that can’t sell if it doesn’t have fan catering is lame. Other than that, the visuals are very well done, the soundtrack has some very interesting pieces in it, and voice acting is ok for the (retarded) roles everybody had. Another bait is that they named it Blood just to attract the fans of the previous versions, which is another cheap method to sell. It is otherwise a very loose adaptation of the original; outside of a few names and a chick with a sword this could easily be an entirely different story.
The above ended up backfiring on them since most of said fans were disappointed by the very loose relation. They ended up comparing it all the time with the previous versions and CLAMP works (as do I) instead of just seeing it as an individual show. Which is a bad thing since a show must be able to stand on its own two feet instead of needing earlier works for support. But it’s ok since it still managed to find a way to be remembered as something special. Blood the Last Vampire is famous as a cult movie for its weird animation. Blood+ is famous for its dark themes. Blood-C will forever be remembered as THE MOST BLOODY / SPLATTER / GORE FINALE OF ALL TIMES. Further analysis on that later on, let’s focus on some other aspects first.
The first thing that made an impression on me is the heroine’s looks. In this version, besides looking as a typical anorectic CLAMP character, she also has very long hair and glasses as extra accessories. Both combined with her being absent-minded and you have an excuse to make fun of her silliness. She is also a miko priestess assigned to kill monsters from the very start. And if we are to take something out, NO RED LIPS, a detail that made her previous appearance to also be laughable.
Besides that, there definitely is a lot more moe in here, as well as a far better feel of physics. Blood+ was notorious for its serious looking characters and the badly done visual effects that made motions and backgrounds to feel artificial. Blood-C did far better in terms of fluid animation and lively/sympathetic setting. Production I.G. definitely improved the formula over the years and surely, adding lots of fetishes on Saya, like klutz, athletic, wearing glasses and miko uniform on top of an already school uniform is definitely an easy way to attract (cheap) attention. In Blood+ she was looking and acting very simple and it was easy to get bored of her. On the other hand, her beginning as a normal girl and progressively turning to a monster slayer had a charm of its own. Too bad it took dozens of episodes and had numerous resets of progress because she was very indecisive.
So this new Saya is now a klutz, like any typical shojo character, yet during sports or battle she kicks ass. Is this even possible? No it isn’t, it’s just there to make her look silly; later on a revelation proves that all that are just moe smokescreen for her real persona. So the core idea is still the same, as she again has no clue who she really is, she has a sort of amnesia, and the whole thing is finding out about it and dealing with it. It is true that Blood+ was eventually boring for making Saya very passive and indecisive for a long amount of time. She is not a crybaby anymore, who needs dozens of episodes to realize who she was, what her dark persona was, and to find the courage to start fighting.
This does not mean that the story moves faster because it is only a 12 episode series. Despite all that slow build-up is now gone and her beginning as an already full-fledged monster buster, most of it is filler. You clearly see that despite her cocky attitude in battles and her oath to protect everyone, she constantly remains passive and frozen when a monster attacks her friends, a thing which results to a huge death toll that could have easily been avoided if she WASN’T FREEZING for no apparent reason. Thus, believe it or not, the old Saya had a clear fear that excused her inactiveness, while the newer one is simple BADLY HANDLED by the story board makers. It is simply not excused and in effect the script doesn’t let her do anything just so the monsters can kill people first and offer lots of easily avoided gore. Again, a cheap method.
At the same time, the character roster is far smaller in this version, which again works as a negative. In the previous version she had several relatives, allies, enemies, even renegades, and all of them played an important role in her development, as well as the fleshing out of the setting. Yet here most of the characters are nothing but minor schoolmates and monsters with no personality, thus there is almost no fleshing out at all. The first are just doing silly cute stuff and the later just last kill people, thus you feel no real sympathy or hatred for any of them. You are simply not given enough reason to care about them if they all feel so unimportant as individuals. I have heard a lot of complaints by others concerning Saya’s singing. Ok, it has stupid lyrics and silly singing voice and probably it was meant to be like that. We are supposed to consider it a way to see her cute side as a contrast to her violent monster busting side. The problem is the same as before; we were not given enough reason to care about her dual personality.
The action part of the show is a complete contrast with the slice-of-life part, as means to provide lots of shock factor (which again feels like a poor attempt at mood swings). Later on this contrast collides, since the monsters start attacking in daytime and in populated areas and do a lot of killing, which is supposed to surprise you although there is very little effort given on the characters and the result is hardly as shocking as the director may have intended. Hey man, I don’t know these people, why should I be shocked?
The actual action scenes though are a hundred times more exciting that any battle in the previous version, which were simple and sluggish to the point of yawning. Here, the choreography is damn detailed and well played out… although hardly realistic. It feels very fake how the bad guys are defeated, especially if you consider how they block sword slashes and move as fast as the wind with no problem at all. I could also bitch at how Saya’s veeery long hair doesn’t seem to hinder her at all. I mean at one point she is fighting in a lake where her hair must have absorbed water equal to a small pool. Nothing to hinder her though. And her glasses never seem to fall off despite the very violent shakes and strikes. Are they sawn on her ears or something? Does she even need glasses with those Chiropteran evil eyes of hers? All that are just minor details actually but do prove that the action is cool but not realistic in the least.
But you know what? Who cares about realism in battles? They look cool but are unfortunately about monsters without personality, so I ended up not caring about what will happen. And anyway, Saya was unbeatable all the way and thus there wasn’t any real threat of losing. Despite that, making the the battles progressively more bloody and gorish after the first half, was a cheap but effective method to keep you watching. The monsters go rampage on populated areas and kill more and more people but in effect that did not help to make the battles more dramatic or interesting. In the contrary, it made the whole thing look even dumber than it already was, since Saya would just sit apathetically and stare at them killing people instead of just attacking them all at once. How hard would it be for the scriptwriter to simply have the monsters attacking a few blocks away and Saya running there to find dead people? And it is even more stupid when you see that the monsters are NOT trying to kill her but instead constantly attack civilians, spare her life, or let themselves be killed on purpose. Plus, no matter how much gore and splatter they threw in, it was still around people and monsters you weren’t given much focus to care about. There is simply no interesting chemistry amongst them; they all feel unimportant and even when they die, you just don’t give a damn.
The show goes for a major plot twist in the end, in a last attempt to amaze us with the revelation. Besides being far-fetched as hell, it also pretty much turned the whole show into a farce, not only on the heroine but also on the audience who expected something more serious from all that. The exposition is messy and sudden and all you are thinking is how much troll can the show hold before you run out of facepalms. I mean seriously, what the hell was I watching? There is no way it could possibly happen. But it’s ok because you were never made to care about any of them, so at least the disappointment is not as big as if you were made to feel sorry for some of them. No matter what happened, your apathy would result in the same yawning.
This travesty was actually kind of expected if you were looking at the director’s name. Mizushima Tsutomu is no great talent but does have directed some nice low tier anime; some of which are Hare+Guu, Dokuro-chan, Punie-chan, and Squid Girl. You can see how he likes to make violent comical stories with little girls. So the question now is WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING IN THIS SHOW? It wasn’t a comedy and it wasn’t about little girls. They gave this horror/drama show to a guy who is good only at making light comedies. What do you think would have happened?
I have spent a lot of text comparing it to Blood+; which is kinda wrong since we should be seeing every show as a stand alone as well. Well ok, in that case it is a typical chick with sword story, a repetitive and simple plot, and with lots of cheap methods to try to lure (fan catering) or shock (splatter) or troll us (plot twist finale). Unfortunately it is all very badly directed and as I said it feels retarded rather than exciting. If the plot twist had taken place sooner and more duration was given into fleshing out the people involved, it would feel a lot better. Instead of that you mostly get a monster of the week formula with dull plot and a rushed and messy revelation in the end. Yet as bad as it was in this aspect, it definitely wins in a different one. I officially consider the final episode THE MOST BLOODY-SPLATTERED, POINTLESS-VIOLENCE-FILLED episode of all times. And that will probably be the only thing people will remember this show for. It made even Elfen Lied to feel bloodless.
Other than that, it was not good at all. I am placing this in my worst anime of all times list for it completely messy directing, pointless violence, and trollish twist in the end. The only part I recommend is the final episode, and only so people can witness the largest amount of pointless death and mayhem even shown in 20 minutes.