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Blood-C: The Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 6, 2013 by  



“Blood-C” is an animated series that does continue the “Blood” series by name, features a wonderful collaboration between Production I.G. and CLAMP and as expected, the animation and art backgrounds looks fantastic and is also well-acted for both the Japanese soundtrack and the English dub.   Unfortunately, I was disappointed with how “Blood-C” ended but I just hope that the reason why it ended the way it did, was to set things up for the animated film “Blood-C: The Last Dark”.

Images courtesy of © 2012 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Blood-C: The Complete Series

YEAR OF SERIES RELEASE: 2011

DURATION: Episodes 1-12 (300 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation

RATED: 14+

Release Date: January 22, 2013

Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima

Screenplay by Juni’Ichi Fujisaku, Nanase Ohkawa

Music by Naoki Sato

Original Story by CLAMP

Original Character Design by CLAMP

Art Director: Hiromasa Ogura

Chief Animation Director: Takayuki Goto

Anime Production: Production I.G.

Featuring the voices of:

Keiji Fujiwara/Bill Jenkins as Tadayoshi Kisaragi

Kenji Nojima/Robert McCollum as Fumito Nanahara

Nana Mizuki/Alexis Tipton as Saya Kisaragi

Atsushi Abe/Chris Burnett as Itsuki Tomofusa

Jun Fukuyama/Todd Haberkorn as Dog

Masumi Asano/Martha Harms as Yūka Amino

Miho Miyagawa/Lydia Mackay as Kanako Tsutsutori

Misato Fukuen/Lindsay Seidel as Nene Motoe/Nono Motoe

Tatsuhisa Suzuki/Scott Freman as Shinichirō Tokizane

Horrifying beasts with a hunger for human flesh prey on the citizens of a quiet town. In moonlit twilight, Saya slays the monsters and returns home drenched in blood. As the attacks increase in frequency and intensity, her enemies relay cryptic messages about a broken contract. Limbs are torn from flesh and skulls are crushed and devoured while the huntress struggles with paralyzing visions and gaping holes in her memory.

When the humans Saya promised to protect reveal the sickening truth about her role in the violence, she learns her mission isn’t as clear cut as she thought – and her most sadistic foe of all is so close she can taste it.

Back in 2000, the animated film “Blood: The Last Vampire” was released in theaters and released in the United States.

The animated film set in 1966 was focused on a vampire named Saya who hunts down bat-like creatures known as chiropterans.  The animated film would eventually lead to a manga series “Blood: The Last Vampire 2000” and three Japanese light novels plus a video game.

In 2005, a 50-episode anime series titled “Blood+”, an alternate timeline would be featured and would focus on an amnesiac named Saya Otanashi who lives the life of an ordinary school girl.  Until she is attacked by a Chiropteran and finds out that she somehow can fight against them and is the only one that can defeat them.  This leads to a storyline with Saya, her family and friends trying to rid the world of the Chiropteran and her starting to remember her history.

In 2011, a new anime and manga series was created by this time by the famous manga creators, CLAMP.  The anime series was 12-episodes long while an animated film titled “Blood-C: The Last Dark” was released in the summer of 2012.

In “Blood-C”, the series focuses on Saya Kisaragi, a normal, clumsy schoolgirl who lives with her father, Tadayoshi, a priest in the local shrine.  She trains as a miko (a priestess) and has a secret life of learning a sacred sword and the “art of the sword” to slay Furukimono (monsters).

It is learned that Saya is following the path that her mother had done before she died.  But as time goes on, she is unsure about herself, her duties of fighting the monsters and her true self.

Meanwhile, more monster incidents are happening in town and people including friends are disappearing or are attacked and killed.  And the guilt of not being able to protect them begins to make Saya question her role even more.

VIDEO:

“Blood-C” is presented in 1080p High Definition.  With Production I.G. responsible for the production, I expected the series to look fantastic and for the most part, the animation does not disappoint.  Characters and monsters are incredibly well-shaded, art backgrounds have the Production I.G. quality of being amazingly detailed and for the most part, this series looks incredible.

But possibly the biggest surprise is that this is the first CLAMP anime series that doesn’t look like a CLAMP anime series.  Typically for CLAMP, characters proportions have long necks, long limbs and such, but for “Blood-C”, the characters look different.  If anything, the anime production is stylish, visually the series looks very cool and I like the character design of Saya.  She looks very innocent and pure but can easily transform to a killer.

AUDIO:

“Blood-C” is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. Because the English soundtrack gets the 5.1 treatment, there is better dynamic range with the English soundtrack, especially during the action sequences.  But both sound very good, dialogue is crisp and clear but the English dub does get the edge in terms of dynamic range due to its 5.1 soundtrack.  With that being said, for the English dub track, voice actress Alexis Tipton does a wonderful job playing the character Saya.  From playing a character with varying emotions, Tipton also gets to show off her singing voice as well.  Robert McCollum does an excellent job of playing Fumihito as well.

As for the Japanese soundtrack, you have one of Japan’s well-known voice actresses and anime theme song singers in Japan for the role of Saya.  Singer/voice actress Nana Mizuki (Fate Testarosa of “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanonha”, Hinata Hyuuga of “Naruto”, Victini of “Pokemon”) does an amazing job playing Saya and also singing the ending theme song for “Blood-C”.  Nana does a great job in capturing the various emotions of the character.  Also, Kenji Nojima does a great job playing Fumihito.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Blood-C: The Complete Series” comes with the following special features:

  • Episode 6 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by ADR director Jerry Jewell and Robert McCollum (voice of Fumihito).  Do not listen to the audio commentary before completing the series, as there are spoilers.
  • Episode 12 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by ADR director Jerry Jewell and Alexis Tipton (voice of Saya).  Do not listen to the audio commentary before completing the series, as there are spoilers.
  • Original Commercials – (2:12) The Japanese TBS commercials for “Blood-C”.
  • Promotional Videos – (3:26) The Japanese promotional videos for “Blood-C”.
  • Textless Opening Songs for “Spiral” and “Junketsu Paradox”
  • Textless Closing Song for “Junketsu Paradox”
  • U.S. Trailer – (1:02) FUNimation trailer for “Blood-C: The Complete Series”.
  • Trailers – Featuring FUNimation trailers.

EXTRAS:

“Blood-C: The Complete Series” comes with the Blu-ray and DVD version of the film.

The “Blood” series has always been popular for anime fans in the West.  A vampire storyline of a vampire who hunts down Chiropterans (bat-like creatures) and the Saya has always been a character where one can expect to kick some serious ass!

“Blood-C” felt like a series that you invest your time in and by the time you get to the final episode, you feel as if you have been punked!

While the animated film “Blood-C: The Last Dark” had received positive reviews, the television series was panned in Japan and I can see why.

First, I’m going to discuss the positive.  The positive of this series is the fact that Production I.G. has done a wonderful job when it comes to the animation and art backgrounds of this TV series.  Characters and even the chiroptherans are well-animated and shaded and the characters are nicely drawn.

Another positive is the voice acting.  In Japan, you have Nana Mizuki doing a stellar job on voice acting and also singing the ending theme for the series. I also felt the English dub was wonderful and it was great to hear Alexis Tipton in a role where she can really show off her voice talent.  From various emotional states to even singing, she did a fantastic job.

But while the animation, art and voice acting are well-done, the problem with “Blood-C” is its story.

I suppose part of the problem lies in the fact that if you have watched “Blood the Last Vampire”, watched “Blood+” and even watched the live-action film, you feel you know the series and how it was always about Saya taking on the chiropterans and you know that she is a character that is going to serve up a major ass kicking.

But somehow, it seemed as if the writers saved that for the animated film instead.

By episode 8, you find out that nearly every classmate by Saya was killed by a chiropteran and just when you think that you’re going to see the Saya (that we have seen in the previous incarnations of “Blood) in major kick-ass mode, we get a major reveal that you don’t expect and I must say, it really felt like a kick in the gut.

In fact, I’m not going to even get into it but I just felt that for something that was carrying a lot of potential by episode 8, it just went downhill from there.  I rarely get frustrated by watching an anime series, but this series left me frustrated.

Especially if you have been a fan of the “Blood” series, from “Blood+” to “Blood-C”, it was disappointing because I was expecting something big after episode 8 but instead, the story just went downhill.

As for the Blu-ray release, “Blood-C” looks fantastic on Blu-ray and the English lossless soundtrack has the edge because it’s in 5.1 and has better dynamic range. The Blu-ray also has two audio commentaries and the Japanese commercials and promotional video.

Overall, “Blood-C” is an animated series that does continue the “Blood” series by name, features a wonderful collaboration between Production I.G. and CLAMP and as expected, the animation and art backgrounds looks fantastic and is also well-acted for both the Japanese soundtrack and the English dub.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed with how “Blood-C” ended but I just hope that the reason why it ended the way it did, was to set things up for the animated film “Blood-C: The Last Dark”.  If you want a “Blood” series that is exciting and entertaining, “Blood+” is much better.






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