Uncompromising, subversive and incredibly violent are but a few of the many words that can describe Blood-C. Made in a collaboration between Production I.G. and CLAMP, this sort-of spin off of the original movie made in 2000, Blood: The Last Vampire, is one the most riveting horror anime TV shows of recent years and certainly another highlight of both groups illustrious careers. Blood-C follows Saya, a young and exuberant teenager living in a remote village with her father at the local Shinto shrine. By day, she goes to school, hangs out with her friends and visits the local cafe to drink coffee. By night, Saya travels all along the village to fight against ancient creatures, called the Elder Bairn, that plague the villagers. With a katana in tow and mysterious powers, Saya ventures on a dark journey, that will find her succumbing to her true nature and the true reasons of her being in the village in the first place.
Immediately, I was thrown off from the very beginning of Blood-C. I was reminded of nothing of the original film and it seemed to be a very formulaic approach to something that was initially dark, in its themes, settings and characters. We’re shown Saya, being a typical female anime protagonist, being a bit bumbling, quirky and bad ass when she needs to square off against the monster of the week. As I was watching, I felt uneasy, this wasn’t the Blood that I remember but it feels as though there’s something here that I’m not getting. The smoke and mirrors act that CLAMP pulls off in this iteration of the Blood series manages to create an incredible sense of atmosphere, dread and an unsettling feeling that pays off extremely well.
Another thing that kept me going through the series, was the astounding detail that Production I.G. created for the series. All throughout, the animation is really crisp and clear, but the fight sequences are some of the best they’ve done. While I was ragging on them for all of the shitty work on Mass Effect: Paragon Lost, it seemed as though they were busy working on this. The all female crew of CLAMP, showcase their typical lanky character designs, but with the use of the black and red color choice for most of characters school clothes, they’re designs don’t come off as Yuka and Kimihiro from xxxHolic.
If you’re a huge fan of excessive violent OVA’s and shows from the late 80’s/early 90’s era of anime, then you will be happier than a pig in shit when you feast upon the bloodletting in this series. While I’m certain that the episodes were censored during the initial airing of Blood-C, the amount of violence contained in many of the episodes, rival things that I had seen from something like Amon: The Apocalypse of Devilman or Elfin Lied. People melting, limbs removed and gallons upon gallons of blood are shown throughout the series and ups the ante every time in each episode.
I typically hate horror anime, but like its predecessor, Blood-C manages to deliver in many of the important aspects of the genre and is effective all the way through. Funimation presents the set in a beautiful DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack and contains a few commentary episode and textless intro’s and outro’s. If you can stand a bit of the ultraviolence, I urge you to pick this series up and enjoy the bloodbath contained within! Highly Recommended!