With an Elder Bairn on the loose at school, the climax to last week's episode of Blood-C brought us the beginnings of a bloodbath. Can Saya really hope to keep her promise of protecting everyone? Well, maybe if she stopped dithering and actually got on with it she might have a chance...
As this ninth instalment begins, Saya finally springs into action against the Elder Bairn, but despite her best efforts she seems near powerless to stop it from quite literally devouring everyone in its path - no matter what she tries, classmate after classmate is slain in brutal fashion by the monster as it continues its massacre. Eventually Saya does take down the beast in question, but not before it's almost literally torn her entire class to pieces, leaving the class president Itsuki as the only survivor, Saya aside.
With their seemingly unconcerned teacher appearing after all of this has gone on to dryly lay the blame for the mess in her classroom at Saya's feet, we return to the core questions drifting around within Saya's psyche - just who did she make a promise to to protect everyone? Indeed, who is Saya at all? These are questions that she still can't answer despite her talking dog friend's insistence that she needs to find those answers, and quickly, while her thoughts are also distracted by the appearance of a safe and healthy Tokizane to make perhaps the most ill-timed confession in history; I'm surprised he didn't answer Saya's question of "what do you like about me?" with the response "well, you're not dead".
For all of the (quite justified) criticisms of Blood-C's pacing and story-telling, you can't deny that it's pretty damn good at delivering breath-taking, bloody and gruesome massacres - even with its censorship in place, it's still an well-realised yet unsettling sight to see a monster chomping and smashing its way through a bunch of students with little regard for who they are. As a result, the first half of this week's episode was the kind of thing you simply couldn't help but keep your eyes glued to as it gleefully went about its ugly business, before presenting us with the side of the series that doesn't fit so well - Tokizane's slightly daft confession, and repetition of the same old questions that we know about but don't have the answer to. It's a good job that the positive points of the first half of this episode outweigh the negatives of the second, and it's the show's visceral and blood-soaked side which seems like its most compelling even at this stage in the series.