Blood-C – 09

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Only three more eps and this will finally be over with.  Wait, what’s that you say – there’s a movie too?!

Saya, it’s safe to say, isn’t a smashing success at protecting people.  Whether she’s supposed to be protecting them is another matter, but she isn’t too good at protecting anyone.  Everyone ends up dead, including the elder bairns.  Whoever she made her promise to, there’s not much protecting going on here.

It would hard to recall a series that’s been such a letdown – it was certainly the most anticipated series of the summer and with the pedigree, that isn’t surprising.  My uneasiness going in – “How this melange of talents, studios and styles will meld is anyone’s guess” is how I put it in the Summer Preview – was a lot more prescient than I’d hoped. Simply put, this is a bad mix – CLAMP doesn’t go with “Blood” and I.G..  There’s no art to this series, so spark, no finesse.  It operates on the extremes of stilted, stultifying dull dialogue and preposterously crude action.  With no better tool at its disposal to spark a reaction than sheer volume of gore, desensitization sets in quickly.  Once you’ve seen the buckets of blood a few times they’re funny if anything, and certainly not shocking.

The other major problem is that the show is built on a wafer-thin conceit, the generalities of which were obvious immediately and the specifics of which CLAMP still refuses to reveal, even three-quarters of the way through the series.  So even though we knew Saya’s existence was a sham and she was living in a conspiracy from the beginning, that was dragged out for eight episodes as if it were a gripping mystery.  What’s worse, they’ve thrown Watanuki in a dog suit in to act as if he were the writer, stating obvious facts and smugly acting smarter than everyone in the audience.  The only real mystery left is the depth of the conspiracy. and it’s been obvious for a long time that it’s deep.  Is everyone in Saya’s inner circle a stage prop – including all the slaughtered lambs in Class B?  Or are they real people being sacrificed for the sake of the experiment that Saya is living out?  With the entire class dead except the class rep and Tokizane, I suppose it’s natural to wonder if they’re on a different level of existence than their dead “classmates”.  Are they in on the joke, or has their turn to be dismembered just not come up yet?  Tokizane does seem to be in opposition to Saya’s father anyway, for what that’s worth.

What irritates me perhaps most of all is that even the mild curiosity I have about the nature of the “bet” and Saya’s true nature that’s causing me to slog through the last few episodes probably won’t be rewarded, because I doubt we’ll get any answers when there’s a movie to tease.  Then it’ll be the hard decision about whether that soupçon of interest is worth slogging through the movie, months and months after I’d managed to forget this series ever happened.  My sincere hope is that this failed experiment doesn’t kill the “Blood” franchise altogether, because while it isn’t among the classics of anime it’s an interesting mythology, and it does deserve better than that. 

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  1. A

    I still maintain that this an Inception level plot that is delving into the mind of the ACTUAL Saya. Kind of the life she always wanted… but now that she's waking up, she needs to shave off each of her shackles…

  2. d

    I don't watch this. But when I skim through your post I feel glad I don't.

  3. v

    I'm happy I didn't watch this series past episode 2. It didn't appeal to me as the orginal BLood series did, even though the animation back than didn't compare to now, I'll take the dialogue over animation anytime.

    – The twins dying early impacted the series viewers, thats what I been reading lately (forums).

    Is the tomboy tsundere still alive? Her picture in episode 9 on top.

  4. No, she joined the casualty list this week…

    TBH, I'm not especially impressed with the animation, character designs or CGI here. I thought in addition to everything else, Blood+ looked better too.

  5. F

    More and more, watching this show makes me want to rewatch Elfen Lied, to remind myself of how a competent show handles gore.

    Anyway, I could only muster the tiniest amount of care when Yuuka got killed, and was mostly irritated that the Iincho lived, since he's just so profoundly uninteresting. Not that any of the secondary cast was interesting, but he was by far the worst.

    The "romance" between Saya and Tokizane still very much requires the " " around it, and we still have not actually learned anything of substance from the very first episode, nor have we really had any new questions laid upon us.

    At least Saya noticed the massive incongruity about there being no one else at school, but…shouldn't people have noticed that when arriving? Ugh.

  6. Gore for gore's sake has no impact. It's just a crude tool when you can't have any impact on the audience through honest methods…

  7. F


    At no point did they give me any reason to care about anyone who died this episode. Not even Yuuka. On the scale of "cares I gave", ranging from 1 (no caring) to 100 (OH GOD DO I CARE), the random male classmates were 1s, the random female classmates were 2, and Yuuka was a 4.

    In comparison, the secretary who got her head popped in the first five minutes of Elfen Lied probably rated at least a 15 or so, since they'd actually given her a personality, and set it up so it looked like she was a real character.

    And thats just sad.

  8. d

    @ Fancy Dude
    Me liked the secretary too. Too bad she died. Too bad elfin lied anime never covered the whole manga. And I remember 3 years after the manga ended, the manga was still be scanlated. Not sure of the current status.

    I can say this: I have never completed any Clamp products except a one-shot. I have never liked any Clamp products except Card Captor Sakura.
    Meaning I liked Sakura but didn't complete it and I completed one-shot but didn't like it. Was hoping but didn't dare believe that Blood C would change my opinion. But sorry Clamp or maybe sorry to myself. Sadly, I wasted my time.

  9. S

    At least the battle scenes were good this week and Saya did TRY to save her fellow classmates XD
    A movie? I had no idea the BDs were selling that well. I guess Clamp does have many hardcore fans after all.

  10. m

    It was again unintentionally funny in the second half how the dog and Tokizane were interrupted before they could say anything significant ^^ . This series never gives the character who actually know something the chance talks, always something happens to interrupt them…
    And what was just too funny was this thing the dog said about how they made "good progress today", it was like the dog knew that it's time for the series to start its finale which means in this case that someone finally talks about the story.

  11. Seishun, the movie was announced at the same time as the series was, so it didn't have anything to do with the sales.

  12. A

    Clamp has made some good stuff other then CS IMO. I really try to support the ladies of clamp cuz they do try to bring some cool concepts in there work. Its just sometimes they cant get it to show in ways a audience can like. I was looking forward to this show alot but this was really a bad project. Only people I could see liking this is a 10 year old boy who has never seen gore in a anime.

  13. M

    I find myself unintentionally laughing as well. The guy dying from the glass shard? Gosh, that was random.

  14. a

    "It would hard to recall a series that’s been such a letdown…"

  15. F

    Fractale wasn't really bad though. It wasn't great, but it was significantly better than its sales would let on. It also had the distinct disadvantage of running against the best show of the year.

    And Yamakan running his mouth didn't help much either.

    But Fractale's story didn't drag, and it didn't start to fall apart until the very end.

  16. astrogation, I pretty much concur with Fencedude here. I don't think the expectations were quite as high with Fractale, and I thought it was certainly a better series than this one. It did suffer when compared to Hourou Musuko and it did fall apart at the end – but for 9 episodes I actually thought it was a pretty good show.

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