Blood-C – 11

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The laughs just keep on coming, as CLAMP and Production I.G. continue their mad rush to do as much lasting damage to the “Blood” franchise as they can before this series finally ends.

I confess I’ve starting to enjoy this series in a sort of “Ed Wood” fashion.  It’s the kind of wrongness that you just can’t fake – only a genuinely misguided disaster that thinks it’s a masterpiece can achieve this level of ironic brilliance.  What especially struck me this week was how incredibly wooden and stiff the dialogue was, and how utterly preposterous the exposition was.  “Let’s explain everything to each other for no reason and act as obnoxious as possible so the audience will know we’re worthless little shits, while the elder bairn we just woke up conveniently waits for us to finish talking”.  It does achieve a sort of genius in one sense.  Is it possible that while we were thinking the whole exercise was a trick played on Saya, it was really a trick played on us – and CLAMP are laughing their asses off right now?

I really think in order for this garden path CLAMP chose for the series to actually lead somewhere worthwhile, they and I.G. really needed to fully commit one way or another.  They needed to make the “play” at least remotely convincing, developing the characters enough and making them (especially Saya) sympathetic enough – not to mention making the setting remotely realistic.  Alternatively, they could have completely sold this as camp – playing up the sheer ridiculousness of their premise almost from the beginning and making sure we knew they knew we were in on the joke.

But they didn’t.  They hedged, and ended up failing miserably at creating a compelling story.  Can there possibly be anyone in the audience who didn’t predict this week’s events several episodes ago, to an almost exact degree?  Yet it was treated as a big reveal, a dramatic payoff – a dramatic payoff robbed utterly of any drama by the total lack of surprise.  We spent ten episodes watching a farce we knew was a farce but weren’t supposed to – and the worst thing is, it wasn’t even an entertaining farce.  It’s only in the last few weeks as I’ve abandoned all hope and let the stupid wash over me that I’ve begun to enjoy the series as a purely comedic affair, but I really don’t think it was intended that way.

I feel badly for director Mizushima Tsutomu, who’s made it clear in interviews that he really had very little input on what’s appearing on screen.  He’s a good director and he deserves better than the damage his reputation will take as a result of Blood-C, but ultimately he is the director and he has signed off on this show.  He has to take responsibility.  As a final gesture of apology to the fans I hope he at least gives them a conclusion next week and doesn’t punt that to the movie, because Lord knows the true fans of the “Blood” franchise deserve something for having made it all the way through this.

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  1. A

    Couldnt agree more with you Enzo. I seems like this whole story was put together in one night after coming home drunk off Saki. Only question I had after the show was where the hell did that EB come from and where did it go when they ran away?

  2. I

    I'm going to disagree quite strongly. I don't think they really hedged their bets at all: the hints as to what was really going on are apparent even from the first episode, but are subtle enough that the direction of the series wasn't totally obvious at the time. Granted, some of those hints were a little too subtle in the first 3 or so episodes, but since subtlety is a virtue that few anime even attempt I'm willing to let it pass.

    As for the stiff dialogue, I don't think it was nearly as bad as you claim. Admittedly, I'm a bit of a CLAMP fan so I'm used to their rather stylized dialogue, but I never once thought to myself "Gee this conversation is awkward and overly expository."

    Now, is the series the masterpiece that the studio was probably hoping for? Definitely not, but it's still an interesting, unusual, and rather ambitious series that I've enjoyed quite a bit after getting past those first 3 episodes. I'm also enjoying it much more than Blood+, which was a decent show that manages to seem more and more forgettable as time goes on.

  3. I have to respectfully disagree, Indigo. Everything that's happened in the last two weeks was totally telegraphed by the second ep, as far as I'm concerned.

    As for the dialogue this week, again, respectful disagreement. It could hardly have felt more staged to me – as if the whole episode were written to catch the audience up on everything that had been "secret" for so long. The worse part was when the elder bairn popped up – and then conveniently disappeared for the last five minutes so Slutty-Sensei could finish her exposition.

    Forgettable? No, I'll give it that – I'm not going to forget this one anytime soon…;-)

  4. m

    The best part was when they explained how the "main-cast" got to survive miraculously but the rest was just considered "expendable extra's". I mean, they didn't need to tell me that, it was fairly obvious what kind of role side-characters in this show have and that the main-cast can survive no matter what? Well, we all have seen enough Hollywood-summer-blockbusters to know that "rule" already, right?

  5. S

    Similar to what Enzo said, I've started to enjoy this show once I thrown out every possibility for it to redeem itself. Blood-C will probably go down history as the lamest anime ever produced and a "masterpiece" of Clamp's self indulgence.
    When Tokizane screamed his lungs off "I wanna get paid", I literally LOL and HARD. The dialogues were just plain stupid, not that rest of the plot isn't but it brings up the question whether Clamp's actually aware of how silly they sounded.
    I think I.G should receive equal blame for creating this work of atrocity. Why did they sign off on a project that they know would probably kill one of their more successful franchise? What kind of fool do they take us for?

  6. You gotta admit, though, I.G is showing their versatility here by producing Usagi Drop and Blood-C in the same season. Talk about polar opposites.

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