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.