Blood C Review (ep 1-5)

For those that might not know, Blood C is the latest installment to the vampire series Blood. Previous versions included the original movie, Blood: The Last Vampire, a spinoff series (and one of my personal favorites), Blood+ and a live action version of the original movie (there are plenty of manga and novel spinoffs as well). It has been one of the better vampire themed series that I’ve found and has always had great characters and emotional intensity. The newest one comes to us from Clamp (Tsubasa Chronicles, Chobits) and just recently aired episode 5.

Should Blood fans check it out? Here are my thoughts on the series as it stands so far.

Note: This review will be fairly spoiler free.

Courtesy of http://www.animenation.net/

Courtesy of http://www.animenation.net/

One thing to note about this series of Blood is that it’s fairly different from its predecessors. As of episode 4 we have no connection to the previous series save for the name of our heroine: Saya Kisaragi (Saya Otonashi in Blood+) and a few brief flashbacks to someone who looks like Saya from the original movie fighting Chiropterans. Her enemies so far have been a wide variety of monsters instead of the giant vampires we’ve seen in the previous series. In fact, there hasn’t been any mention of vampires as of yet.

Saya herself is a completely different character. In Blood+, Saya was a girl who had forgotten her past and was thrust into an incredible fight for her life and for those around her. She had to come to terms with the horrible deeds she’d done and would eventually have to do in order to protect the ones she loved. It was a very powerful and emotional struggle for a girl to go from an average schoolgirl with a loving family to someone who’s seen nearly all her loved ones die, some by her own hand.

Courtesy of http://www.hellocosplay.com/

Courtesy of http://www.hellocosplay.com/

On the other hand, Blood C’s Saya lives a dual-life. During the day, she’s an air-headed, clumsy schoolgirl/Shinto shrine girl living out her life with a group of friends and her father. By night, she turns into a demon huntress with a katana (though one that lacks veins for blood). So far, she’s done a fairly decent job of keeping her two lives separate, though that might come to an end by episode 6.

The tone of the series is significantly different as well. While Blood+ was very grounded in reality, Blood C has us traversing the daily life of a young highschooler in a small countryside village. The town itself seems to be filled with a very friendly populace (though we don’t actually see many people) without a care in the world (save for random monster attacks at night). It has that feel of a village that’s just too perfect and gives the show an eerily unreal feeling to it.

While the animation is very crisp and wonderful, I can’t say I really dig the character designs. It’s not really the skinny Clamp builds, but more so the wardrobe. The school uniform is black and red (rather gothy) with a weird doohickey on the left sleeve (what does it do?). The extra weird thing about it is it’s Saya’s personal choice for battle clothes. We see her wear a Shinto priestess garb regularly, leading one to believe she has other clothes but she still chooses to wear her school uniform when she goes demon hunting. The fact that she has time to prepare for her battles and decides to go with her uniform seems really stupid. She also has ridiculous hair, enough said.

It’s also taken a little while for the series to really pick a direction. The main plot doesn’t really seem to kick off until episode 5 where we get greater detail on a “Covenant” between humans and the Elder Bairns (monster guys, not a typo). Granted, it’s not a lot of detail, but it looks like the show is starting to head in a specific direction.

I’ll reiterate that this review only goes up to episode 5 and there’s still plenty of road to travel. Overall, I think the series has a lot of potential. It’s definitely not trying to match the story or the feel of the previous Blood series. Instead, they’re trying out something new and I can support that. If you were hoping for the same vampire slaying Saya we’ve come to know, you might be disappointed. But, if you keep an open mind and give the series a chance to really get going, you might enjoy this series too.

You can check out Blood C as it airs on NicoNico.com