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An Anime Novice's Take on... BLOOD C!

DVD / Blu-Ray Review. An adorable heroine goes toe-to-toe with giant monsters and evil experiments in this deliciously gruesome romp.

BLOOD C stages "nature versus nurture" as a bloody showdown between an inherently good girl and the mysterious forces that surround her. With a grab bag of massive monsters, deliciously gruesome fight scenes and a plucky heroine at its center, this is a tasty, tasty treat to devour.

Saya Kisaragi is a seemingly normal girl. She lives with her stone-faced father Tadayoshi, in their town’s shrine. Each morning, she stops by Guimauve, a coffee shop near the shrine, for a breakfast chat with her neighbor and family friend, Fumito, before skipping off to school.

Saya is often lost in her own head, singing playful songs on her walk through the near-deserted town, perpetually late and eternally clumsy. At school, she is surrounded by friends and students: Yūka her tough-girl best friend, twins Nono & Nene, Itsuki the moony class President with eyes only for Saya, and Shinichirō the enigmatic bad boy. Along with her seemingly all-knowing teacher, Kanako Tsutsutori, these seem to be the only people in Saya’s town.

Though Saya is a compassionate daddy’s girl by day, she trains with her father in the art of the sword by night, stalking mysterious creatures out in the woods. These "Furukimono" take on many different shapes and sizes, and no one in the town seems to notice their presence. Saya hunts the Furukimono every night, slicing and dicing giant slugs, dodging bird-like talons, and trying desperately to keep her loved ones safe.

The mystery wrapped up in BLOOD C reveals that nothing is as it seems, of course.

At first, it seems as though Saya is leading a double life, but it rapidly becomes apparent that she has no recollection of her nocturnal battles. With each kill, the red glint in her eyes becomes stronger, darker, and the interactions between her friends and family seem to arouse only more questions. Each episode is punctuated by an eerily omniscient narrator, who questions the idea that evil can be trained (an ever-present theme that sums up the true nature of Saya’s purpose). As the show moves forward, the mystery shrouding Saya and her mission slowly unravels to expose a horrible experiment where nothing is real and everyone is suspect.

As the series’ good-natured heroine, Saya is a joy to watch. Her sweetness-and-light persona, combined with a secret kick-ass warrior nightlife, is reminiscent of a certain vampire slayer, and her struggle against the evil enveloping her makes her quite easily relatable. When loyalties shift and truths are discovered, Saya becomes so much more than your average girl-turned-fighter. Her inner strength and kind spirit aid her through the trials and tribulations of an evil experiment, even when it seems all hope is lost.

BLOOD C also features nuanced characters with secret motivations and changes of heart. Though the mystery of the show is rather simple at face value, it’s revealed piece-by-piece in a way that makes each episode swiftly paced. It’s never so complex that you can’t figure out what’s happening, but not so simple that you feel cheapened for following along.

The added bonus of BLOOD C has to be... well... the blood.

Each episode features at least one brutal battle between Saya (dressed in an enviably awesome blood red school girl outfit) and a hulking beast. The design of the Furukimono changes each time, so that each monster is unique. Random townspeople get skewered, eyeballs burst, and Saya is covered in blood nearly every single time (a detail that becomes more relevant as the story continues).

All in all, BLOOD C is a fun, easy ride with equal parts cute, gore, and mystery. As you get to know Saya and the truth of her quiet little town, you’ll find yourself wondering (along with that creepy narrator) if she can make it out of this experiment unscathed.

Rachel Heine is an anime novice, film buff and food blogger based in Los Angeles. She writes and edits for arts & culture online magazine, Buzzine, and runs her own personal blog at PopandSizzle. Follow her Twitter: @RachelHeine

Darokion Feb. 15, 2013 at 6:54 p.m.

Rachel, did you watch this all in one go? Also have you seen Blood + or Blood: The Last Vampire or is this your introduction to the franchise? (Your reaction to it was VASTLY different than mine was after watching it, and I'm wondering if it plays better without the other Blood's running around and skewing what you'd expect from the character.)

DracoXBladeon Feb. 15, 2013 at 8:42 p.m.

Well to me Blood the Last Vampire and Blood + are my top favorites of the BLOOD Series. I was at first a little scared about watching Blood C because it was made by CLAMP. But the gore and especially the last episodes made me go WHOA. I mean I do like it, but it's not one of my top fav anime series

NickyCharismaon Feb. 16, 2013 at 10:14 a.m.
Well I will definitley have to check this out. As a Blood superfan, and a fan of the occult in general, this sounds like my cup of tea. I've been jonesing for a new mystery anime recently.
XxDoyleBoion Feb. 17, 2013 at 8:31 a.m.

i think i have to check this out now

Donofwar11on Feb. 17, 2013 at 3:28 p.m.

I loved both blood c and blood+

ComicMan24on Feb. 18, 2013 at 8:48 a.m.

It wasn't a bad anime. It definitely got better towards the finale. And I really want to check the movie. Also one thing, she could remember the fight in the night just fine, there were just a few details that she was forgetting each time.

takashichea moderator on Feb. 18, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.

It has been a while since I watch a horror anime. I definitely try this one in the summer. I haven't seen a bloody scene since Btooom and Deadman Wonderland. Judging by the graphic screen caps, this anime is not that censored much which is surprising to me. All the gore in Btooom and Deadman Wonderland were watered down.

ComicMan24on Feb. 18, 2013 at 12:51 p.m.

@takashichea:It is a rather violent anime, especially towards the finale. Nothing like Btooom.

Aleashaon Feb. 19, 2013 at 2:27 p.m.

@Daroki: I watched Blood C first and then watched the others so I could work on the Blood the Last Vampire franchise and I would have to say without the bias of the previous characters it makes for a much better show I would count it as a stand alone not something I would lump the others with at all.

Edit;

I also wanted to say that Blood C is by far the bloodiest not only in the franchise but bloodiest I have ever seen. There are plenty of curve balls and blood so if you like the combination the this one is for you. Its very graphic and the story while pissed me off for a time I was able to get over it and could appreciate it for what it was.

rachella staff on Feb. 28, 2013 at 12:50 a.m.

Hey guys! Thanks so much for reading.

Daroki - Yep, I watched it all in one go, but this was my introduction to the franchise. Alexei told me that he didn't enjoy the other incarnations, but Blood C on its own was a fun ride for me.

ComicMan24 - Good point. It was a little difficult for me to discern exactly what she knew or didn't know, but I liked the concept of them manipulating her either way.

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The second anime series from the "Blood" Franchise.

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