BLOOD-C – 01
OP: 「spiral」 by DUSTZ
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Production I.G and female mangaka group CLAMP’s latest addition to the Blood franchise is here, and it uses the same concept as the variations before it in an all-new story. That concept entails a high school girl named Kisaragi Saya (Mizuki Nana), who uses the “Goshintou” katana passed down by her father’s shrine to defeat ancient vampiric demons known as “Furukimono” that prey on humans. The three key elements are all here, namely a high school girl named Saya, a katana, and vampire-like creatures. In Blood-C’s case, that appears to be the extent of the similarities, as this original series goes in a completely new direction with its cast and setting. Saya herself is naturally the most noteworthy thus far, being talented at sports due to her fitness level yet somehow a klutz at the same time. How that combination even happens is beyond me, seeing as dexterity and coordination go hand-in-hand with being good at sports, so CLAMP is really pushing the logistics behind Saya’s character. I am okay with the idea that she’s a good Samaritan who tends to space out, which heavily contrasts the demon slaying duty that she’s been entrusted with. After all, it was fairly clear in my mind that they were going for the sweet but deadly heroine image with Saya.
At the moment, it’s too early to tell what effect Saya’s contrasting personality and image will have on the progression of the story; however, I am confident that Mizuki Nana will be able to voice her in any type of situation, whether it’s cute and friendly or adrenaline-pumped crazy. Interestingly enough, there doesn’t appear to be much need for that latter, seeing as Saya is extremely calm and composed when she’s fighting. The nearly five-minute long fight at the tail end of this episode gave a pretty good indication of how whisper quiet she is in battle, making the entire scene come off as a choreographed animation demo of sorts. Incidentally, the lack of grunts and screams of anguish made her fight a lot more intense to watch, since it allowed the music and sound effects to completely drive the scene. All the while, it emphasized the other side of Saya’s character and exactly how “badass” she really is with demon blood all over her. The only problem I had with that scene was its lack of purpose. Saya’s father Tadayoshi (Fujiwara Keiji) handed her daughter the Goshintou katana and told her it’s time to fight and she went to a shallow stream and awakened a demonic statue to do just that.
On the plus side, I don’t really see the lack of purpose behind this first battle as a huge problem, since the action does a decent job of attracting viewer interest. It also served as an introduction to the Furukimono monsters that Saya will be battling — a nice follow-up to the support cast quickly introduced in the first half. In retrospect, I simply took it as the “show first, explain later” approach, which is perfectly fine assuming that the original story CLAMP’s Ookawa Nanase wrote has plenty in store later on. To that end, I fully expect Saya’s classmates, Amino Yuuka (Asano Masumi), Motoe Nono/Nene (Fukuen Misato), Tomofusa Itsuki (Abe Atsushi), and Tokizane Shinichirou (Suzuki Tatsuhisa) to have some notable roles, as well as their sexy and easygoing homeroom teacher Tsutsutori Kanako (Miyagawa Miho), and Tadayoshi’s close friend and cafe owner Nanahara Fumito (Nojima Kenji). In particular, class president Itsuki, who has an unrequited love interest in Saya, and the quiet and indifferent Shinichirou, who has a suspicious air about him. It’s probably not a coincidence in the latter’s case, so I can already picture him as a potential partner for Saya, given Blood’s tendency to feature a male character battling alongside its heroine.
Looking solely at this first showing, Blood-C’s a bit unimpressive because Shinichirou ended up being the most interesting plot-related development even when he didn’t do anything. Still, I’m optimistic about the story picking up in a substantial way in the upcoming episodes. When it comes to an original anime by Production I.G, I can’t help but have some high hopes for Blood-C, even if it wasn’t at the top of my list for new shows this season.
ED: 「純潔パラドックス」 (Junketsu Paradox) by 水樹奈々 (Mizuki Nana)
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