「わすれじの」 (Wasureji no)
All things considered, the conclusion to Blood-C wasn’t half-bad. Throughout my coverage of the series, I’ve purposely refrained from throwing both it and CLAMP under the bus prematurely and crying out about why Production I.G and Blood+ director Fujisaku Junichi (who served as a screenwriter) didn’t do something about it, so let’s take a look at the positives.
First off, I got to see the deaths of almost all the main “actors” like I had hoped, which may have sounded like a joke last time but reeaaally wasn’t. They spared no expense in giving them some of the most terrifying and gruesome deaths seen to date too, and even had one of the Motoe twins sell her sister out to try and save herself. I relished in that a bit, especially when the sellout twin (Nono or Nene I don’t really care) got torn in half by her legs. The writers had me going a bit too, thinking that Saya would finally save someone, but nope, Kanako winds up becoming food for the half-furukimono/half-human Tadayoshi. I’d imagine just about everyone saw that coming when she went crying to him for help. The same goes for Fumito killing everyone for betraying him.
It was definitely nice to see everyone get what they deserved for messing around with Saya, but the fighting choreography in this episode also deserves some praise. From Saya scaling Fumito’s dog-like Elder Bairn and climbing down its esophagus to puncture its heart, to the fast-paced, feverish, off-the-wall clash between her and Tadayoshi — I couldn’t help but be entranced by that awesome display. If nothing else, Blood-C does have some pretty exciting fight sequences going for it, and this one in particular seriously looked like Saya could’ve been killed at any moment. What’s more, the samurai-like finish was not only cool to see, but had an almost artistic aspect to it when watched in slow-motion. Very cool indeed. Given the story’s questionable execution, it’s really easy to lose sight about how good this series is in some technical areas. This includes how dark and grotesque the depiction is, like in town-wide slaughter where a ton of people got ground up by the Elder Bairn’s hand blender.
On paper, the story itself isn’t all that bad either. Talk about the shujikimen 「朱食免」, a.k.a. furukimono, and just about everything else that was revealed in this finale made me realize that there was a good amount of foreshadowing throughout the series. I always find a story much more engaging when I’m given an idea of where it may be headed, so when I look back on all the speculation I’ve had since the third episode, it’s easy to see that Blood-C had a direction in mind, dropping plenty of subtle hints if the viewer cared to pick up on them. It was back in the third episode that I started questioning the direction of the series and wondering what the overarching plot may be, given the repetitive “Elder Bairn of the week” type progression, after which there were a lot tidbits that I was able to pick up on. Everything’s obvious now since it’s been revealed, but back then a lot of this was purely speculation based on what’s been shown. I’ve quoted specific examples from my impressions from previous episodes below.
It could very well be that the big twist in the series will involve Saya herself and that her good-willed nature shown thus far is intended to heavily contrast some upcoming change in her character. This latest furukimono hunt was the first time I recall seeing a very different side of her — one that was enjoying the bloodbath — so I’m even starting to wonder if she has some vampiric blood flowing through her veins. After all, we haven’t seen any chiropterans (i.e. bat-like creatures) yet, and this is supposed to be a remake of the Blood concept.
Fumito on the other hand does all the narration in the show and talked about having to replacing hatred with an equally powerful emotion — such as the desire to protect people — suggesting he knows all about Saya’s true nature. I’m not entirely convinced that he’s as benevolent as he seems either. Assuming that Saya comes from a bloodline akin to the monsters she’s fighting, I can even picture him “nurturing” Saya for some personal cause.
The question is whether this contract is actually between the entire village and the Elder Bairns, and entails something twisted, such as how they’re allowed to feast on certain villagers at night. Some people are obviously in the know, whereas the guys with catching nets last time clearly weren’t.
Deep-down inside, Saya probably knows the truth, hence why she collapsed when bit and pieces of it started coming back to her in a jumbled mess. Of course, this all merely speculation on my part, but the fact that the story is finally dropping enough hints to make me to do so is a good sign. Even Yuuka had me reading heavily into things when she told Saya, “That’s what I’m here for.”
I’m still leaning towards the idea that she’s half Elder Bairn/half human and is being used to go against some twisted agreement between the town’s residents and the monsters that eat them. The demonic-like hilt on her Goshintou katana along with the Bairn’s wild laughter over Saya’s belief that it’s a sacred blade seemed to suggest as much, plus they raised suspicions about her “father” as well. There haven’t been any photos or flashbacks of Saya’s mother now that I think about it, so I’m somewhat skeptical of everything he’s told Saya about her and the Elder Bairns. As far as I’m concerned, everyone’s suspicious, especially Kanako who was waving the “I am evil” flag like no tomorrow with her manner of speech.
Well that’s finally changed with the subtle implication that Tadayoshi drinks blood. That was more or less reaffirmed by Saya’s belief that some of her blood came off on her father, when it was pretty clear he already had some on him as she went to pick him up. I gather it’s no coincidence that he likes Fumito’s sweets either, seeing as the pink guimauve are probably made with blood.
My prevailing hunch is that everything Saya’s been led to believe is a lie, so I kind of get the feeling that she may not even have a mother — not a human one anyway. The more I see the memories she’s on the verge of remembering, the more they seem to be about herself rather than her mother — possibly from a past life in Blood: Last Vampire — with the way they keep coming up during fights. i.e. Her mind may have forgotten who she really is, but her body has not.
All the rhetorical questions the dog poses don’t help either, except maybe the idea that he was asked by Saya’s original self, who wanted someone to make sure that this so-called “experiment” is being carried out properly since she’ll have no recollection of it.
The idea that Saya is an Elder Bairn in the form of a beautiful girl also works for me, because it confirms my suspicions that Fumito is interested in harnessing her powers for his own gain. At the same time, it takes that idea a step further by suggesting he’s taking her blood and experimenting with it to create a super soldier, as seen in the flashbacks where his men looked far from human.
Granted, I had plenty of speculations that were off, but this should go to show that 1.) I’m not completely crazy when talk about plot-related stuff, and more importantly, 2.) there was enough of an overarching plot to keep viewers engaged if they cared to pick up on it. Ultimately, I think the biggest problem with the execution was in the way that it kept beating around the bush with all these ideas until the final two episodes. Not once over the course of the previous ten did the story progress from Saya’s standpoint. If they had shown her catch onto something and start digging into the truth herself rather than having it all spelled out for her, I get the feeling that a lot of people’s patience wouldn’t have worn out. Obviously it’s easy to speak in hindsight, but that’s all I can really do at this point to try and explain why Blood-C didn’t live up to its potential nor its hype.
As for the open-ended conclusion where Saya got half her face blown off, I imagine it’s a setup for the movie that was announced at the same time as the TV series. Judging from the teaser, Saya’s left eye does eventually regenerate, as she pursues Fumito (and Yuuka) all the way to Tokyo. Safe to say, Itsuki’s throwaway death at the very end pretty much ensures that he wasn’t going to have any part in it (was it really necessary to shoot him that many more times on the ground? lol). In any case, I dare say I actually like this ending, mostly because I wasn’t expecting much of anything from it.
ED: 「純潔パラドックス」 (Junketsu Paradox) by 水樹奈々 (Mizuki Nana)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼
I have no intention of ragging on Production I.G’s original series or CLAMP anymore than I have in my previous posts, as I still feel that Blood-C’s shortcomings came down to problems in its execution. If someone had presented me with CLAMP’s story three months ago, I probably would’ve thought it’d work. After all, it does have the whole conspiracy aspect going for it, plus it puts the heroine in a position for a shocking revelation.
Evidently, what I would’ve overlooked was the fact that that’s all it really had going for it. There were no other surprises in store, as the majority of the anime — a good ten of twelves episodes — was devoted to building toward this one plot device. It didn’t really help that all the support characters turned out to be nothing like we were led to believe, making the “big reveal” feel like they were mocking us more than anything else. Saya never got a chance to handle this “conflict” herself, so we were basically strung along with her and not given the satisfaction of seeing her make those responsible regret their actions. In short, there isn’t really a whole lot of “viewer satisfaction” to take away from watching this series, which is never a good thing because that’s what most shows will be remembered by.
Since a movie was planned from the very beginning, I think it’s only fair to see what it has in store before completely writing off CLAMP’s take on the Blood franchise. There’s no denying that the producers are on a very short leash at this point, but there’s always the possibility that they can redeem themselves to a certain degree by providing an extra dimension to the story and a fulfilling conclusion to it. If they’re able to do that, then it may even be possible to recommend this series to someone. Just be sure to tell them that they have to be very patient with the television series and give it the complete benefit of the doubt. Also, they’ll need to watch the Blu-ray releases so that they get to see all the uncensored gore.