Blood-C – 09 Review
At least we know now why Tokizane is still in search for the true meaning of love…
Reviews by M0rg0th and Saranaufogus
M0rg0th: There’s some good development this week as Saya is asking good questions but doesn’t get good answers (because that’d be far too much progress for one episode of Blood-C). Otherwise this episode kills even more people than last episode which makes it automatically even more intense and exciting because quantity is all that matters when it comes to gore and blood in series like Blood-C, it seems.
The fight at the school continues as Saya fights the Elder Bairn but despite her efforts a few class-comrades get slaughtered before Yuka and the Class Rep can lead the others away. But some of Saya’s class camerades stay and also get slaughtered while Saya tries to defend them desperately but her efforts are futile ultimately. Her headaches start, too, as she begins to remember something but she keeps fighting while Yuga leads the rest of the class to the rooftop. But Saya is about to lose her fight as the Elder Bairn pins her down and asks her why she’s so angry but before she can answer that the Class Rep appears and saves her with a fire extinguisher. But Saya saves the Class Rep before he can get hurt. Using this chance the Elder Bairn goes to the rooftop where he kills the rest of the class but as Saya arrives seeing Yuga dead, she goes into Hack&Slay-Mode and within seconds the battle is decided in her favour. The Class Rep arrives and asks her who she is but Saya just recited the same information again and again having a strange expression while reciting it. The Class Rep leads Saya away and they meet Kanako who asks Saya whether she had killed them all which leads to Saya falling unconscious.
The next time she wakes up, it’s night and someone had treated her wounds. Standing up she eats the Guimauve on the table beside her futon and leaves the temple. Outside she meets the dog and cries for a while. She thanks then the dog for staying by her side and the dog begins to ask her again essential questions calling it a successful day since the end to everything is drawing near. That’s when Shinichirou appears expressing his concern for Saya. But Saya reacts not really understanding what’s going on and begins to ask him important questions but Shinichirou avoids answering them or just gives half-hearted answers but before Saya can press on with her questions Tadayoshi appears and Shinichirou now leaves. Saya continues her questions now directed at her father as she recites her lifestory and she ends this with the startling question who her mother is.
Here Saya teaches us again her incredible ways of saving lives by blocking the emergency-exit.
Story-Progress, really, that’s definitely story-progress: Saya voices the question we as viewers had for some time now – but doesn’t get any satisfying answers for now. Yeah, Blood-C is painfully slow especially with a heroine like Saya who just doesn’t get it.
This episode starts again with another one of these fighting-scenes where people die (this time even more) and Saya still sucks at keeping her promise to protect everyone but as soon as she goes into Hack&Slay-Mode her sword cuts this Elder Bairn like it’s made out of butter. Saya’s Hack&Slay-Mode is one of the most useless super-powers for a shounen-hero, I’ve ever seen. It may increase the intensity of the fights theoretically but the problem is that there’s no real rational explanation for when she goes into Hack&Slay-Mode. It seemingly comes and goes spontaneously although it may have something to do with Saya getting really emotional in the battle and then it activates itself (this episode at least seemed like that) but in earlier fights there was no such trigger of intense emotional stress and still she could activate her Hack&Slay-Mode so it can’t be emotional stress. There’s simply no explanation at this point how this Mode works and that lets it seem theoretically like a deus ex machina since it follows no real rules but helps the main-chara at some point (it has a bit of a bad timing but well, I called it useless for a reason after all).
But it was basically a wasted scene; I mean, it was just like episode 6 with the twins. Naturally Saya referenced the events of that episode also in this episode since the situation is so similar. Both episodes showed that Saya can’t even protect those closes to her but I guess it’s in the spirit of the series to just dwell on this thing far longer than necessary and therefore repeats itself unnecessarily by doing that. This episode took things of course further than Episode 6 and people seemed to die every minute for the first half of this episode because gore is entertaining, right? Especially censored gore but that’s of course to get you to buy the DVDs since that’s just the purpose of this series: to show you the death of nameless Side-Characters in every imaginable gruesome way.
So after seeing Saya failing (again) she has some nice “Oh, these headaches… I nearly… remember… Ah, no! Gone, completely gone, I have a father and so on.”-moments here and we’re still in the same place with the flashbacks: “Blood – The Last Vampire”-scenes, “contest/promise as explained by Mr. Mysterious Voice”-scenes and the “light katana doing the swinging thing”-scenes.
So what this picture should tell us is that this series (finally) makes it clear that Saya wasn’t dumb to begin with, someone made her so… But the real tragic thing about this is that someone thought it entertaining to see her for so long in her state of being dumb.
For the second part of this episode Saya really showed some character-development, she learned to use logic and uses it at once against Shinichirou, that suspicious bastard. Really, if Shinichirou is just an idiot who doesn’t know how to give proper answers, I guess I will have to call him just as dumb as Saya. So Shinichirou gave some VERY strange answers like when someone asks you what you like about a certain person the “Book of Romantic Clichés” asks you to have list of answers ready for this question. Otherwise you’re considered not to be truly in love with this certain person. And Shinichirou was vague, really vague. He also didn’t really explain what the hell he’s doing when he’s not at school or why he wasn’t there when the Elder Bairn slaughtered her whole class except the Class Rep. But he likes her, again the direct approach… *sigh* That guy will seemingly never learn how futile his actions are concerning Saya.
But it’s funny how this second part played out: First the dog appears congratulating Saya for her progress in terms of finally getting to the juicy parts of her flashbacks but before he can say anything significant, Shinichirou appears acting all suspicious as Saya gives him a hard time with hard questions but before he can finally give significant answers Tadayoshi appears but Saya isn’t done with playing Sherlock Holmes and shows off her new incredible gift of deduction by realizing that she doesn’t know the name of her mother. The mother, yeah, this suspicious person Tadayoshi has been talking about since episode 01 and I didn’t believe that stuff back then and seemingly I was right to do so.
One may say optimistically that now everything is coming together but I don’t think this is really what one would call “coming together”; it’s just like the series has started to ask questions it should have asked a few episodes ago because I had them since that time and it’s hardly a surprising development when the development just agrees that it’s relevant to ask the questions long after I’ve asked them as a viewer. It really shows how slow the series is when the viewer in figuring out the plot is just stopped by the plot that arrives at its story-related conclusions much later than the viewer.
This episode showed off by having Saya ask question which I had for some time now. It isn’t really a show of good pacing when the lags behind the viewer’s train of thought stopping him from being surprised when the plot-twist becomes just another long expected event instead of an unexpected surprising development.
So, it has been 9 episodes thus far and the season will end with 12 episodes followed by a movie. Judging by the way things are, I am starting to feel like the animators should never have planned for a movie and instead put all the content into this 12 episode series.
Why do I say this?
Each episode progresses at such a slow pace that it just more and more painful to watch. With the amount of content that they had planned for this series, I honestly feel that the show’s quality would have been a lot better if it would have just been a normal 1 season series. (Granted, we do not know everything about this series yet, I still don’t think that it would be that much of a plot twist) All this waiting around and dragging on at the beginning of the series resulted in people expecting/speculating and getting their hopes up. But as the series progressed, (whilst I can’t speak for others) I personally felt like all these little hints on the same issues, whilst never really revealing anything, is starting to get me to lose my interest in whatever secret lies behind this show.
Usually by this point I would be screaming for some significant progress, but I am past that stage and am just going along for the ride to see where this show takes us. Perhaps this show would do a lot better when it gets released to DVD and people could just watch it in one sitting as the show itself is not terrible but just simply not worth the wait each week.
Okay, now onto the episode rant (will plot points down as how the episode progressed):
So once again, this episode was filled with plenty of “oh god, not this again” moments for me. Then again, when is it never?
Lets stand around and scream instead of running away…
We jumped back into the fight scene at her school and I have decided that CLAMP wanted every character (not just Saya) to be stupid. Standing around waiting to be eaten despite being told to run, there is something really wrong with all the character in this show and I don’t mean it in a “mysterious and intriguing” way where we hope for some deeper subplot that is never going to happen.
Only the death of her dear friend gets Saya serious whilst everyone else’s death is not enough of a motivation to get serious.
I really feel for Saya’s classmates.
Once again, it never ceases to amaze me how many deaths are needed to get Saya serious. What is the point of such a character? She is not a Heroic character, nor an Anti-hero, neither is she lovable in any way. The only thing I could think of when they created her character was that CLAMP wanted to make a protagonist everyone would love to hate. Even so, what is the purpose of her character in relation to the audience?
Another thing that I had felt was brushed aside were her friends. The death of her friends really did not make too much of an impact on her as a person or towards her “discovery” of who she really is. Due to the weak impact that her friends had on the overall show (aside for being targets of the monsters) I felt like all the past time spent on character development with her friends were useless and could have been just as effective if they were introduced way later in the show. Perhaps their main use was to provide a contrast against Saya’s personality but even so, I still felt like this show once again has wasted so much time doing nothing. (P.S: Why are all her female friends dead but the guys are still alive?)
“There was a good deal of development today. The end is close”
The animators must be getting desperate and are resorting to telling the audience what they should feel about this episode. =P
So lets move onto the animation… The sound effects of this episode wee hilarious! The fighting scene in the school sounded like pots and pans clanging against each other in a busy kitchen. The animation itself was a lot more enjoyable this episode. I like the fact that we have lesser “white screened” scenes because the animators have decided to have most of the killing happen out of frame with the use of blood splashing around as the indication of death. Sure we are assuming a lot by thinking that the people are dead, but it is better than watching a white screen.
The upside to this episode is the plot progress:
I enjoyed the mood of the flashback, It had a good creepy atmosphere going for it.
Sometimes simplicity is the way to go. You don’t need excessive amounts of blood just to set a mood.
Saya finally grows a brain and is asking questions whilst also being able to observe and deduce what is going on in her surroundings. Sadly, this sudden “intelligence” felt out of character. Especially since it took her so long to realise she does not even know her mother’s name =_=”
Tokizane confesses his feelings. Kinda. (I do not like the whole “romance” concept since we have not seen Tokizane’s reasons for liking Saya. I would only accept this romantic element if the both of them share a past related to the Elder Bairns.)
One more thing we learned:
Saya wears Birkenstock Slippers (I guess they must have a store in their village =P )
Or perhaps this is another plot hint? Either that or the animators relying on product placement to generate revenue.
Episode Rating: 5/10
Overall, this is another typical Blood C episode with nothing much to it expect for the minor progress here and there. Maybe by the end of episode 12, we would get to see at least one big revelation.