Saya Kisaragi is just your normal high school girl. She works as a shrine maiden at her father’s temple and goes to school with her closest friends. However, there is another side to her. At night, she is a monster slayer, protecting the village that she lives in from monster who feed on humans. Armed with her sacred sword, she attacks these monsters with swift and lethal moves. As more monsters start to attack her village, she starts to wonder and question the circumstances of her own existence and tries to find the answers to these questions.
Blood-C definitely lives up to its name. There is a lot of blood. I mean a LOT of blood. Heads getting decapitated. Bodies getting torn in half. Organs getting pierced. There is certainly a lot of violence and gore in this series. However, the series is extremely flawed with its slow beginning and a jarring plot twist in the final two episodes. These flaws, coupled with the final eight minutes, left me unsatisfied and shocked at the conclusion of this whole series.
Blood-C starts off with a simple formula for the first few episodes. In this first half of the episode, Saya has breakfast at her neighbor’s coffee shop and goes to school with her group of friends, dressed in an abnormal color scheme of black and red. The second half of the episode then switches genres as she takes up the sword and slay monsters, known as the Elder Barin. Little plot progression occurs during this initial arc with some cryptic messages thrown in there. As a result, it was a drag to watch as more of the focus was on Saya’s school life and not the monster slaying.
The middle arc starts to pick as more of the plot is revealed, regarding Saya’s background and memories. Her murky past bring a sense of mystery and intrigue as she tries to find out the circumstances of her own existence. During this time, more people around her are getting killed by the Elder Barin, some even in the middle of the day. The end product of these attacks is brutal. The amount of blood definitely lives up to its title as we have multiple accounts of beheadings, piercings, and bodies ripped in half. The attacks certainly don’t let up, as we see Saya try to deal with the failures of her unable to protect those around her.
The final two episodes is where the turning point happens in the series and the plot twist here could be the greatest thing ever or the dumbest thing ever. Throughout the series, I asked myself some questions. Why is Saya the only one who can defeat the Elder Barin? What is the significance of the sacred blade that she wields? The plot twist answer these questions here in a certain mind screw that you have to go back and think about in order to make sense of here. However, whatever intrigue that the plot twist here delivered was thrown out of the window with the last eight minutes of the series, delving into one of the most gruesome and violent scenes that I have ever seen. While the prior attacks were oddly satisfying, this final scene was so over the top and gruesome that it takes away any payoff that the plot twist had for the series as a whole.
For one thing, the battle scenes between Saya and the Elder Barin were fun to watch. Although not as fast-paced as those from shonen fighters, the fights were dynamic with Saya performing acrobatics to avoid and attack her enemies. The animation for these scenes certainly picked up as the series progressed. One of the crowning moments is when Saya is fighting a cat-like monster and with some quick movements, she sliced both of this monster’s arms off. In addition, the Elder Barin come in many different shapes and sizes, which allows for different strategies and movements employed by Saya. On the other hand, the school and slice of life scenes are not too memorable. The character designs are odd with their bodies really lanky and skinny. They’re very unnatural looking, which can be distracting at time. There are a couple of scenes where we get a close up on a couple of Saya’s classmates, and the eyes looked really off. It’s definitely not the best looking character designs.
The English dub cast does a decent job with their performances, albeit with how lacking the depth the cast of characters has. Special mention goes to Alexis Tipton, who does a wonderful job portraying the kindness and naivety of Saya. The other characters don’t really have that much characterization, aside from one or two traits. The twins Nene and Nono are perky. The class representative Itsuki is kind but shy. The loner Tokizane is aloof. Nothing really is notable about their performances, although it is hard to do anything special if the depth of the rest of the characters is not that special.
There is definitely a lot going on for Blood-C. The mystery and intrigue built in the middle episodes and the well-choreographed and animated scenes help this series shine. However, the slow beginning and the gruesome final two episodes really bring down the series and remove any impact that Blood-C has to offer. If you want to watch this series, go ahead. The action scenes are certainly worth the watch. However, don’t expect any payoff once the series is finally completed.
Rating: 3/10 (Bad)