Saturday, 1 October 2011

Blood-C - Episode 12 (Completed)

After all that time trying to protect her friends, the penultimate episode of Blood-C wasn't so much a punch in the gut as a knife through the heart as not only were these supposed friends outed as no more than actors in an elaborate game or experiment, but we also discovered that Saya herself is not who she thinks she is.

With something of a coup by some of those main actors in this charade but paid to by the appearance of Fumito, the brains (and finances) behind the whole thing, we get to learn exactly what the point of this "experiment" was - essentially, Saya was dropped onto an enclosed island with plenty of opportunities to feed on the Elder Bairns that are her lifeblood, but also to prove that her nature as nothing more than a hunter and killer can be changed simply enough.  It's fair to say that Fumito wins this particular bet given Saya's happy school life - indeed, even after all these revelations she still seems driven to help those she once thought of as friends.

Well, she seems driven to help some of them, at least - as Fumito gaily unleashes an Elder Bairn upon those who defied his orders, Saya doesn't snap out of her own tattered mental state until all of those involved aside from Kanako, who she does manage to save... only to see her literally crushed by her "father", who is of course also more than he first seems, bringing us perhaps the most spectacular action scene of the series as a whole as she struggles to defeat him.  All that is left now is for Fumito and the main actors who survived to flee their "set" in the wake of effective genocide across the rest of the town, via a series of events that leave Saya badly wounded but far, far from dead.  With a thirst for vengeance, we're all set up for Blood-C to hit the silver screen to continue and complete its story.

After a handful of opening episodes that were beyond slow, Blood-C certainly managed to shock and surprise as it developed, revelling in its bloodshed, death and agony as it went before turning Saya's entire life story on its head in a way which went far beyond any assumptions or expectations we might have had for it.  It's really the no-holds barred violence for which Blood-C will probably be remembered though, with this final episode in particular threatening to "jump the shark" from brutality into the realms where any violence becomes overly comical and cartoon-like - for many, I get the impression that episode twelve was a jump too far for these elements, and it certainly made me giggle a couple of times when that clearly wasn't its aim, but for my money it just about got away with it by the skin of its teeth.

Overall, I'm going to say that Blood-C was a marginal success - despite dragging its heels early on it managed to be entertaining enough to keep moving quite nicely through its second half in particular, and it's the kind of blood-soaked fare we haven't really seen all that much of in recent years, which marks it out in its own right.  There's no doubt that the show and its premise could have been handled a lot better in places, but from a glass half full point of view it provided lots of astoundingly good fight scenes and some genuinely blood-curdling violence as key tenets of a show that tried its best to deliver something smart and clever.  Its heart was certainly in the right place, even if it was only ever likely to be skewered by a piece of metal at some point on account of its failings.

No comments: