** SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. You have been warned.**
Originally, I wasn’t intending to write about Blood-C on its own. Truth be told, my original intent was to do a discussion about the difference between this, Blood+, and the film Blood: The Last Vampire as a cool, Halloween-appropriate piece. Due to the inaccessibility of the latter two, however, that idea had to be scrapped. BUT. Having finished Blood-C, I felt the need to discuss this series a bit.
I’ll open by saying, I had heard the reputation this series carried, but I had largely forgotten exact details. Even knowing what I did, I was taken aback quite a bit. Going in, knowing its genre and its reputation did not prepare me for what I was about to witness. Blood-C took more twists and turns than I expected. And gore. LOTS of gore. In fact, “gore” may be an understatement…
Blood-C opened up in a pretty misleading way (not in a bad way, mind you). You’re introduced to the lead character, Saya (who shares the same name as the lead character in the other Blood-related works), and wields a katana, but that is where their similarities end. Saya in Blood-C is presented as a cheerful, clumsy high school girl. However, this facade falls by the end of the first episode. We’re shown the true Saya, as remembered from previous series, a certified merciless badass. And of course, we get a classic anime blood fountain. Did I mention the gore in this series yet? Well, we’re just getting started.
The turning point in this series was when they started killing off named characters. Seeing friend after friend be horrifically devoured was pretty difficult to stomach. If that wasn’t bad enough, we get treated to the bloodbath in the classroom. Albeit nameless characters, some of the ways they’re killed and eaten were over the top. And, clearly just to annoy me, we watch Saya sitting there with her katana, watching several of her classmates getting murdered. Only after it’s feasted on a few of them does she finally take action. But I digress. At this point, we’ve killed off a large portion of the cast. But was that enough blood for Blood-C? Brace yourself.
As the series comes to its climax, we get a pretty surprising plot twist. We learn all of the main cast is actually alive, and this idyllic life that Saya had is actually an elaborate hoax. Honestly, I kept expecting the return of Nene and Nono to actually be some kind of hallucination of hers, but nope. They’re real. It does bring up the question of how they survived their individual murders. I’m not even sure how they would have been able to fake some of their deaths aside from the all-powerful plot armor keeping them safe. shrug. After a good amount of much-needed exposition, we then get to watch the cast get killed again (or I guess for the first time, actually). And the first round of deaths was apparently not horrific enough. I’m not sure what it was with this second round of deaths for them, but maybe it was due to the display of horrible human nature paired with the more slow and torturous way that they died knowing that it was coming. Either way, something with their deaths this time around bothered me more.
Despite all the horror up to this point, it is the end of this series that will likely stand out in my mind when I recall Blood-C. What was it about the end? If you guessed the “rabbits”, then you are spot on.
Whoops, wrong rabbit.
There we go. This entire scene appeared to be gore for gore’s sake. Actually, strike that. This was more than just gore. In fact, the scene was actually well made, illustrating not just some red ink, but the kind of horror that digs deep into your soul. The rest of the series was gory, but this step up seemed very out of the blue. Their villain was already detestable, displaying this level of cruelty was largely unnecessary. This leads me to believe it was one of two things: they had budget left and decided to just go all out, or the creators had a chip on their shoulder and wanted to show how horrific they could make a series. Regardless of the reason, I believe it’s safe to say that Blood-C, and this scene especially, stands as a monument to the claim that not all anime is for kids.
To wrap this up, Blood-C does brutal horror very well, though perhaps a bit too well. Aside from that, the character designs were great (as you’d expect from CLAMP) as well as creative creature designs. I was also a big fan of the musical scores in this series, expertly crafted by Naoki Satō. Past that, though, this series is basically a bloodbath. If you’re looking for something for Halloween that’ll give you nightmares, or something to throw in the face of your friends and family when they say anime is childish, I’d say this series fits the bill pretty well. If you’re like me, and enjoy more spook than gore, I wouldn’t recommend it. While I fully intend to hunt down Blood-C: The Last Dark (as I NEED CLOSURE), I think after that I’ll watch some moe goodness to cleanse my palate…