Blood-C: What’s Wrong with Letting a Franchise Die?
By Jd Banks
Franchises have a long history of thinning their once-pure blood and creating subpar offspring that can only produce B-movie looks and D-script writing. While Blood-C is a successor to the anime series Blood+ and the Blood: The Last Vampire anime film and live action, it can’t lap up enough of its ancestors’ greatness.
Blood C tries hard to fit into the Blood universe by having pure-hearted Saya Kisaragi battle human-eating demons called Furukimono, or the Ancient Ones. As she maintains her typical high school life and fights with her trusty Sacred Blade, she discovers that there is another side deep inside herself.
Unlike Blood: The Last Vampire and Blood+, Blood C departs from the dark and heavy feelings of its predecessors and subscribes to a sell-out Young Adult genre. It may have something to do with CLAMP’s Nanase Ohkawa’s writing. As much as I love CLAMP and their style, the shoujo, clumsy-girl, bishounen-type guys belong to their manga and their fans, not in the Blood franchise. There is too much talking—a good way to lose fans and substance—and too much romanticism and departures from the previous Bloods. The original Blood animation and movie had zero singing, happy-go-lucky BFF’s, and super-bright colors. If anything, this Blood reincarnate is nothing more than Ohkawa’s dualistic love from Chobits with tendrils of Blood+’s premise and slow pacing.
Blood-C does have its bouts with violence, mainly at the end of the series, but it serves only to sell the follow-up movie, Blood-C: The Last Dark. The writing uses two usual tactics: cliffhangers and indiscriminate gore. Does Saya get her enemy? Are people dying a good death to turn the fans into faithful consumers? However enticing gore, guts, and cliffhangers are for some fans, Blood-C still fails to give what other bloody anime such as Elfen Lied and Ninja Scroll deliver—substance.
The previous Blood series had substance other than the red liquid spouting from its vampirical veins. In Blood: The Last Vampire movie, Saya was shown as a fixated vampire slayer who was alienated by humans and vampires. Who can’t relate to outcasts? The Blood+ anime series focused on the meaning of life and the challenging transition from normalcy to heroic responsibility. Who doesn’t like the journey from one self to another? It made each episode and character meaningful and impertinent to the rest of the series. Even the 2009 Blood: The Last Vampire live action concentrated on Saya’s vengeful mission and her position as intermediary between the Americans and Japanese. This paralleled the movie’s collaboration between Hong Kong, France, Britain, and Japan. Blood-C doesn’t have a solid driving force or cemented plot for viewers to relate to the characters or its underlying message.
However lackluster the story is in this Blood revival, the DVDs’ sound quality, the animation, and the voice acting are decent. Cicada creaking in the night scenes and the background noises add a clear setting, and Production IG, who also animated Blood: The Last Vampire and Blood+, did well in capturing the fight scenes. In the English dub, the voice actors were well-chosen, save for Yadayoshi Kisaragi’s character where Bill Jenkins’s baritone voice stuck out from the bubblegum-y tone of the rest of the cast.
For viewers who haven’t experienced Blood: The Last Vampire or Blood+, Blood-C may be an OK introduction into the entire franchise, but its story will leave unanswered questions for new fans. Without comparing Blood- C to other versions, it can only be seen as a sale looking to make another sale.
While Blood-C puts some effort into the sound and animation in line with the Blood franchise, it still coughs up blood in comparison to its previous releases. If you like the Young Adult genre and all its shoujo-esque themes, Blood-C might be your cup of blood.
Directed by : Tsutomu Mizushima
Written by: Nanase Ohkawa
Studio: Production IG
Licensed by: Madman Entertainment / Funimation Entertainment / Manga Entertainment