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Blood-C

Oh, Blood-C. Everyone was so hyped for you, but… the only thing I feel I can honestly say you’ve succeeded at is causing immense hatred for yourself from various fans of anime for various reasons. There are few people who genuinely like all parts of you. Many people just gave up on you because you weren’t Blood+ or Blood: The Last Vampire. I think those are silly reasons. But that doesn’t mean that we can be friends, Blood-C. I extended my hand to you and you slapped it away and started screaming in my face about stealing your money or some other thing that never happened. And then you beat me up until I was unconscious and when I woke up I was tied to a chair in front a TV that was playing Happy Tree Friends. For hours. And hours.

Time to be coherent. Blood-C started off very slowly, though most people were expecting that it would pick up the pace within one or two episodes after it began. That… didn’t happen. Nope, sorry. Instead it spent five entire episodes with the same formula. Saya has happy funland times with her ultra boring school friends and coffee making guy. It is extremely uninteresting. The best part of this is when she’s singing happy funtime songs about how fabulous and amazing life and that day in particular are. Eventually a scary monster attacks and she tries to fight it, her sword futilely bouncing off until she gets stabbed one too many times and suddenly her sword sharpens itself and she slaughters the thing, with ridiculous and completely expected amounts of blood.

Oh right, there was also a lot of foreshadowing. How could I forget that? There’s constant foreshadowing. So constant you’re ready for the plot twist by episode 5 at the very latest. But they just keep going, never telling you anything and giving you so many hints that really, they actually already have told you everything. Well, at least they won’t have to spend too much time on the plot twist itself, right? Because you already know just about everything and there’s no real way for someone to go through all these episodes without having some sort of idea what’s really going on. Some of the foreshadowing in this is actually pretty skillful and subtle. Not all by any means, but I have to give it credit where credit is due.

Let’s step away from that for a moment though. The first five episodes make it clear that this show is extremely slow, but has fabulous art and (for the most part) great animation. The fighting scenes are always entertaining, especially with how, uh, “creative” some of the designs of the monsters in question are. The music is pretty average overall, but Blood-C knows to focus on its best parts when it comes to that. The music you’ll be hearing most often is the best music it has to offer, so you will probably come out with the impression that its music is actually better than it really is.

The sound effects in Blood-C are very in your face. Or in your ear, as it happens. They are there to a fault. These are not particularly high-quality sound effects and they need more depth and resonance to them to sound pleasing to the ear (but I suppose all that crunching was supposed to be unnerving anyway so it probably works out fine). It gets so bad sometimes, like in the first five minutes of episode 6. The sound effects for that whole fight scene are just so loud and constant that you can barely hear anything else over them, and it’s just a little painful to the ears. Before anyone suggests it, no this is not a problem with my speakers/headphones or with the sound quality of the file (I tried multiple different files for episode 6 when I was first watching it because it bothered me so much). This is a Blood-C problem, and I don’t like it. People less audio-focused might not even notice though, I suppose.

Episode 6 changes everything by turning the violence up more than a few notches. This is also when they started to have to censor it. Episode 8 and 9 only continued that level of violence and gore, and, well… it didn’t quite stop there either. Some people complain about the gore in the second half just being there for shock value. It really is. But I think having that shock value improves the experience. It’s a shock for Saya so it should be a shock for the viewer too. Shock value does have its place outside of pandering to gore fetishists and teenagers that just think it’s cool, contrary to popular belief.

So, you sit through 10 episodes of nothing changing other than further foreshadowing and escalating violence. On the eleventh episode, you’re finally rewarded for your patience with that plot twist you were ready for 7 episodes back. To make matters worse, the entire episode somehow manages to accomplish only the revelation of the twist.

The way they drag this out is by making characters inexplicably molest Saya and talk about what massive assholes they are, to the point of excess. This is a lesson Speed Grapher and Deadman Wonderland never quite learned. There is nothing at all compelling or believable about characters who act in such an exaggerated selfish manner. There is no real human who acts this way (of course completely selfish humans exist but they don’t act this way either). They exaggerate these completely fake and nonoccurring personalities further as the episode drags on, and by the end these characters are practically screaming about what massive jerks they are and it is just so irritating… The yelling must have been caused by the frustration of the voice actors for having to appear in such an episode for more than two seconds. I feel their pain and mute the episode.

The last episode somehow manages to be both the second worst episode in the series and the absolute best. It just depends on which part of the episode you’re watching. That second fight in the final episode was pretty awesome, and what happened right after was the only time this show’s attempts at being emotional worked at all for me. But this genuinely good content does not last. What happens next is the type of thing that leaves you speechless because it takes so long for you to figure out how to react. I’m going to go into detail in the next paragraph. It will not contain actual plot spoilers, but… sometimes you’re just better off not knowing. If you choose to skip you may resume reading at the paragraph after the next one.

There are a bunch of bunny monsters running around killing nameless people that inhabit the town. The people are really wiggly (possibly an attempt to mask all the QUALITY). One bunny starts putting people into a bucket he made out of his arm. Meanwhile a bunch of bunnies are snacking on people like shishkabobs, twisting off heads of people like bottles of delicious juice, and then they all get together once the bucket bunny fills his arm up. Another bunny kindly makes his hand into a blender and they make smoothies from all the people he collected. This is immediately followed by a first-person view of a car driving through the massacre. Blood splatters onto the camera, the goofy-looking CG of the car and the environment absolutely not blending with the bunnies or the people… And then eventually this scene ends when the bunnies are interrupted from making what appears to be corpse onigiri when Saya finally shows up to save us from watching any more of this.

I mean, after that entire sequence I’m really unsure of what they intended. The series seemed pretty serious up until that point, but then suddenly it’s like a total joke. I was laughing at how absurd and ridiculous it was. Was it an accident that it turned out that way? What was it?! … And then Saya is walking with a really serious look on her face and her sword suddenly just falls apart. That’s when I realize that yes, this series was a joke.

tl;dr you really have to actually read the review to find out if this is a show for you. And even then you may not be certain… All I know is that this should have been a movie, not a series. Then maybe, MAYBE my opinion of it could have remained positive.

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