Blood-C topped the Summer poll on this site for new series, and it was pretty much a whitewash. Trust me when I say, I don’t take the possibility of dropping a show like that – especially one that’s both a “Blood” and Production I.G. effort – lightly. But I’m afraid that the point I’m at right now.
If I had to choose one word for the impression this show has given me over three episodes, it would be “uninspired”. Although I’m sure this isn’t the case, it really feels as if no one involved is trying all that hard. Even the great Fujiwara Keiji seems oddly neutered as Saya’s father – it’s the least distinctive performance I’ve heard from him in years.
The problem I have with continuing to blog the show is that no one aspect of it is working for me at the moment. I don’t think it’s cute that Saya is seemingly a complete incompetent at every aspect of life (including protecting the townsfolk from elder bairns, apparently). The twins aren’t appealing to me. The romance angle has no snap. None of the humor is coming off as funny. The fights, though adequately animated and choreographed, seem to have no larger purpose than splattering as much blood across the screen (and Saya) as possible. Worst of all, everything that happens in the show feels oddly disconnected – there’s no flow whatsoever.
Perhaps that’s intentional on I.G. and CLAMP’s part to try and create a startling contrast between the vapid slice-of-life and the gory combat scenes. But you have to earn that shock value – if there’s no context and you don’t really care about what’s happening, there’s no impact – it’s just awkward. Why, for example, did Saya stand cheerfully by and watch the guy from the bakery get torn apart? Wouldn’t you have thought she’d express a little concern over that? Maybe she just genuinely doesn’t care about saving people – maybe people are beside the point.
I’m grasping, but at least the visuals of this last fight (I’m a sucker for abandoned railway stations) were the most interesting of the series. The second half of the episode was a marginal improvement over what went before, though the first half was excruciating – CLAMP can be good stuff, but it really felt like CLAMP at their most self-indulgent. The notion that Saya just doesn’t care about saving people is marginally interesting. I’ve heard it suggested that perhaps this is all a setup, that the entire town is some sort of controlled experiment. Well, maybe – or maybe it’s a desperate desire to inject some life into what’s happened so far. And it it’s true, I’m really not sure why I should care.
I’m going to give this one more week to see if the modestly interesting second half and cliffhanger lead to something bigger. I’d really love to be able to blog this – I take what you guys say seriously, and I know this show was much anticipated by a lot of people. I just hate to go through the motions, and that’s what I’d be doing if something doesn’t give next week. I’ll hope for the best, but I’d be lying if I said I was optimistic.