Thoughts on Blood-C: The Last Dark

Since I’m only following one show this anime season, I have some time to watch other stuff and I just finished Blood-C: The Last Dark. The Last Dark is the sequel movie to the summer 2011 series Blood-C, a collaboration between the studio Production I.G. and manga group CLAMP. The series featured a school girl named Saya using her katana to kill man-eating monsters known as furukimono. Blood-C was a memorable series; it wasn’t that good, but it was memorable because how the story unfolded and the bloody violence. I wanted to what sort of ending The Last Dark would put on the story, and here are a few thoughts I had for the film.

Warning: contains major spoilers to the film and also Blood-C the series.

At the end of the series, Saya had regained her true personality and broken free from the large scale experiment that the villainous Fumito had set up, but she ended up taking a bullet in the eye from Fumito while Fumito was trying to escape. Blood-C: The Last Dark is set in Tokyo a little bit after the end of the anime series with Saya trying to track down Fumito and exact her revenge. Fumito is head of the power 7th Heaven group and is using his vast resources for research in furukimono. In her quest of vengeance, Saya joins forces with an underground hacker group called SIRRUT whose primary backer also wants revenge against Fumito. Together, Saya and the members of SIRRUT try to locate Fumito and of course Saya has to battle a few furukimonos in the process.

One thing that bothered me the most about Blood-C was how slow it went while Saya was not fighting furukimonos, but that’s no longer a problem now that Saya has her real personality back and isn’t trapped in the fake happy school life that Fumito had set up. The real Saya is cold, focused and looking for revenge, and that’s a much more fitting personality for someone with her abilities. As such, the story of the movie is clearer and easier to follow than the anime series, although I still didn’t understand the whole back story with the convenant between humans and the furukimono. Maybe it’s because I was watching Chinese subs and my Chinese is not as good as it should be, but the history part of the show was never that clear to me. I also wished the movie would have elaborated more on the circumstances on Saya’s capture by Fumito’s forces prior to the start of the anime series and also Saya’s origins. Another note on the plot was that there is some crossover with CLAMP’s xxxHolic manga with xxxHolic‘s protagonist Watanuki having a small but crucial supporting role in the movie and in the series. Unfortunately, I don’t follow xxxHolic so I don’t think I fully appreciated this crossover content.

Like its predecessor, Blood-C: The Last Dark had a good share of action with furukimonos attacking people and Saya cutting down furukimonos and whoever else stupid enough to stand in her way. Compared to the series (especially the latter episodes), the movie is considerably less bloody and gory. While people do lose limbs and get munched on, the camera cuts away from the flesh and limbs for the most part. The violence in the final episode of Blood-C was excessive to the point of being sickening and disturbing, and it was probably a good thing the movie didn’t go that far. The animation quality of the movie is decent overall, and Saya’s battles with various foes were fluid and fast. The action was pretty good, but I wished there were more of it or at least make the sequences longer. In particular, the fights in Fumito’s headquarters were unsatisfying because they ended rather quickly. The final CG monster looked nice, but Saya pretty much just one-shotted it. As a whole, I thought the whole movie didn’t move quickly enough given how Saya was out for Fumito’s blood and such. The narrative wasn’t slow by any sense, but it didn’t really build up that well to the climax either.

Overall, Blood-C: The Last Dark was alright. It wasn’t bad, but the way Saya’s quest for revenge went down was a bit unsatisfying.

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