Blood-C Episode #01 Review

Blood-C Episode #01 Review Happy, cheerful schoolgirl by day, monstrously powerful killer by night.

What They Say:
A brand new “Blood” brought to you by the dream-team of Blood x CLAMP. The original animation “Blood-C” at last begins.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Blood franchise has certainly gone on for a bit in its numerous forms, though I’ve only seen the animated versions myself. With the original OVA that was part of a multimedia launch that spawned games, novels, manga and a fifty episode TV series, the property has certainly shown some legs. With this new series, we get to see it done through the animation of Production I.G. using the character designs and work by the popular CLAMP group. It’s a combination that should produce, at the least, a stylish piece of work that will be visually exciting and full of large moments that’s balanced by the tender and quiet moments of the characters themselves. I like a lot of what CLAMP does, but their works tend to deal more in atmosphere and effect than full on substance and detail.

The series focuses around Saya, a cute and very cheerful young woman who seems like the type to have an eternal smile of real happiness to her face simply because the sun is shining. We see that she has a good home life at the shrine where she lives with her father. He’s the priest there and also her trainer when it comes to teaching her the way of the sword, which can be an amusing experience since she’s the type that can be quite clumsy. It’s an interesting combination for her because while she is clumsy when it comes to certain parts of her life, she’s also very athletic and capable. We see her school life in good detail here where she’s well liked, has some good friends and several boys who are showing varying degrees in her. I can easily see her school uniform being the next big popular one on the convention circuit, and for good reason.

While we get a big, healthy dose of just how normal she is, we also see that there is something more to her as well. When she goes out at dusk into the mountains with a real sword in hand to confront what at first looks like a statue but instead turns out to be something far more sinister, we see just how developed her skills are. It’s a good sequence with some top notch animation that looks gorgeous as it unfolds with its choreography and layout. We actually don’t get a ton of quick cuts and instead get to watch it play out without distraction, and that goes a long way towards increasing the impact of it. It also shows the two very different side sof Saya, especially at the end of the fight when her face changes the moment she sees her father. It’s a very neat little moment that speaks volumes about her.

In Summary:
Blood-C doesn’t delve into things all that much here, but it lays a lot of the foundation to let us know who Saya is in this series and her place in the world so that we can connect with her on a very human level. The differences in how she composes herself during the day at school and with her normal life and what she does at night with sword in hand is very telling, even when she says nothing. There’s a lot to like here to definitely hold us over until the plot really kicks in as it is generally style over substance, but we do get the base substance we need in starting to know who the people are, their connections to each other, so that we can see where it will all grow and go to in the coming episodes. There’s a whole lot to like here, especially for CLAMP fans, and it has a lot of potential. Whether it can carry through or not is hard to say based off of both the previous Blood+ series and the open-ended nature of CLAMP series in general, but it’ll certainly be a good looking ride.

Grade: B+

Simulcast By: Nico Nico

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Blood-C Episode #01 Review