Saturday, 9 July 2011

Blood-C - Episode 1

Despite having not watched any previous outing in the Blood franchise before (I know, a shocking oversight on my part), what better time to start than via a summer season anime created by Production I.G. and with character designs from CLAMP?

Aside from being a shrine maiden, Saya Kisaragi seems like a pretty ordinary girl - cheerful, clumsy yet incredibly good at sports and athletics despite said clumsiness, while her good-natured demeanour often makes her late for school as she frets over lost children and carelessly discarded rubbish.  Still, regardless of such minor foibles she seems to be quite the popular girl amongst her classmates at school, with the exception of the sullen, disinterested Tokizane - the kind of guy every class in school has... well, in anime they do at least.

If all this sounds too much like a high school slice of life series then fear not, because Saya also leads a secret double life where she works alongside her father in tracking down and destroying dangerous... "things" (for want of a better phrase)... during her spare time.  During the second half of this episode, we get to witness just such a struggle, as Saya takes on a decidedly creepy statue that can sprout stick insect like appendages at will with little more than a trusty "sacred blade" and her own abilities to help her along the way.  Although she's successful on this occasion, this is undoubtedly only the beginning of her travails...

Having heard quite a lot of negative reactions to Blood-C's opener over the past week, I have to say that it wasn't actually all that bad to my eyes.  The action sequence was certainly pretty compelling and well animated (even if a statue isn't the most exciting of foes no matter what it does, but this episode made it more menacing than I might have expected), and Saya's character was build reasonably quickly and effortlessly.  As a taster for the series as a whole, it's worked for me, and I'm now keen to see more - if it can build in a more complex plot rather than simply being a hack 'n' slash monster of the week affair like this first instalment, then I'm all for seeing where it takes us for now.

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