So Saya finally realizes that something isn’t quite right with her world. You’d think this revelation would cast the entire show in a different light, but somehow explaining away everyone dying mysteriously, coupled with contrived circumstances that keep her from thinking about what’s fishy around her, only makes it less entertaining the more it goes on. With E Minor having nothing to write about it, surely a sign of sparse content, I took it as an ominous sign that finding something to post here would be an endeavor worthy of the greatest of intellectuals, which I most definitely am not by any means.
So yeah, there’s a glitch in this here matrix, and that’s the fact that the books that Saya’s father has possession over all have blank pages. However, even with all that said, it’s a good sign of things to come that all of Saya’s classmates, aside from the student body president, have all been brutally slain while Saya gapes helplessly from the sidelines. With all these boring, insubstantial relationships now monster food, we can now focus on the real meat of the series… which CLAMP seemed to be taking notice of, deciding to cut down before it could make things actually palatable.
So rather than getting action in enjoyable doses coupled with meaningful interaction, we get action sequences that would put even the most excitable, ADHD-addled child into a coma, coupled with an overarching plot that nobody but CLAMP really seems to care about. This isn’t because of any particularly glaring flaw in the actual fight scenes. They’re all very well animated and occasionally suspenseful… but there are no stakes to lose.
Now, obviously they aren’t going to kill Saya off before the final episode and just let things work themselves out naturally for the last few segments. However, I’m just not engaged in the fights for one key reason, Saya’s occasional bout of paralysis aside—there are no stakes for the audience whatsoever. In the first few episodes this was forgivable, since we were just being introduced to the cast of characters that all had the combined personality of half a flounder.
As the series has progressed though, the chances of the audience feeling invested in the plot and fighting has fallen. There’s no character development of any reasonable sort, each of the characters that we could care about being killed off under the protective lens flare of censorship. As the cast dwindles, each death having less meaning and purpose than the last, relying further on the paper thin plot to maintain a modicum of interest, Blood-C has been quite the disappointment.
What’s so annoying is all the pieces for a good series are here, they’re all just hidden under the chunky layers of superfluous flab. It’s the equivalent of trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle by throwing the pieces into a swimming pool, both in principle and overall sogginess. Seriously, if in more capable hands, this could’ve been pulled off well with what had been laid out. If the events had started in say… the second episode or so rather than the fifth, if Saya being stuck in a dreamlike stupor had been explained and elaborated on earlier and in a less awkward fashion (Talking dog doesn’t really serve as a good means of exposition), and if they actually made an effort to make any of the characters likable, it could’ve kicked ass by now.
I’ve talked about this before though, so I’m not going to go into another long winded, three paragraph long rant about Blood-C’s potential. Possibly the biggest offender as far as holding the story back is Saya. I understand that she would be somewhat curious about the world around her, especially after the dozens of weird circumstances that’ve cropped up at random, but her having the attention span of a goldfish somehow doesn’t make it an easier pill to swallow for the audience.
What’s odd is I think that, if all the unnecessary crap were cut, Blood-C would work well in a movie format. Weird, I know. Hell, it’d work better than an entire anime series.
So what was good about this episode? The fighting’s as good as ever, lack of meaningful consequences aside, and the Elder Bairn of the week actually looked like something scary, rather than something that just got off a factory assembly line. I have a sneaking suspicion that guimauve is made out of the people eaten by the Elder Bairns, which would actually be an awesome plot twist were it to be made true. I always knew that café owner was up to no good, and what better way to further demonstrate than to indirectly reenact Sweeney Todd?
At the end of the day, it’s hard to care about the plot of this show. It’s practically made up on the spot, a bargain bin remake of The Matrix, except with less Keanu and more character voiced by Nana Mizuki. Unfortunately, it isn’t much of a tradeoff, so Blood-C is best left at the bottom of that bin, next to other botched adaptations.