Thursday, March 7, 2013

Anime Review: Blood-C (subbed)

Blood-C, which is part of the larger "Blood, the Last Vampire" universe, was an...interesting and disturbing show to watch.  I reviewed the first volume of the manga adaptation of this show here, though I had no idea that the first volume covered the first five episodes of the anime (the anime is only 12 episodes plus a movie, which I'll review separately once I get my hands on it). 

And for consistency's sake, the manga changed quite a few things in that first volume (not the least of which is that Saya's friends all try the 'Guimauve' which if the manga holds true to the anime could prove rather problematic, given what the Guimauve turns out to be).

The designs are done by CLAMP, who are of course famous for a number of shows including xxxHolic (which vaguely crosses over within the show) which is probably the closest design wise.  Its a mixture of happy-go-lucky slice of life school hijinks and creepy, violent and gruesome horror (after episode 6 often at the same time)

Saya is a klutzy, socially oblivious go-getter.  She's tasked with the job of protecting everyone (because she promised someone she would), but when not wielding the sacred blade hangs with her friends (Yuka, Nene, Nono, Itsuki and Tokizane).  In the first half of the series she's seen often singing cutesy songs about her father, Tadayoshi (which cause her no small source of embarrassment when found out).  Rounding out the cast is Fumito, the owner of a coffee shop/cafe that Saya frequents and who was once an underclassman to her father.
Our cast! l-r: Fumito, Tsutsutori-sensei, Yuka, Nene, Saya, Nono, Tadayoshi, Itsuki, Tozikane
At first the two sides of the anime--the slice of life and the horror--don't really work well.  Saya sees some really horrifying things (which depending on which version of the show you watch is either censored or not), yet the next morning she's bright and cheery and singing once more.  You'd never guess that she had just hacked a man-eating monster to pieces hours before. 

Things take a change when one of the monsters, called the 'Elder Bairns' (don't ask me why) says that Saya needs to 'honor the covenant'.  From there its a race to see which dies first--Saya's sanity or the entire town.

I admit I was intrigued by what was going on.  I have basic knowledge of the franchise and none of it spoke about Saya being a klutzy, cutesy high schooler.  If anything it was the opposite.  In my manga review you can see that I was very confused.  Its less apparent in the manga when Saya is in her hardcore badass persona--in the anime, if her eyes are red, well you're gonna wind up dead. 

Its worth noting that if you know nothing at all about this franchise you will go into the show with far fewer confusions and expectations.  This series is very different then the previous incarnations (including the 50+ episode anime Blood+), in both tone and delivery.  If you go in expecting Blood+ Saya you will be disappointed almost completely.

As I watched this subbed I can't speak as to the English language track, but its Funimation and they do a good job overall so I trust they didn't muck this up.  Can I recommend this?  With strong reservations I can. The censored version only implies a lot of the violence, the uncensored is very up front about people getting their limbs torn off, their heads bitten off and holes punched through their stomach.  I preferred the censored version however because it kind of made more sense with Saya's memory...issues.