Blu-ray Review: Blood C – The Complete Series

blood_c_screenshot (1)The latest addition to the Blood Saga has arrived but does it live up to expectations set by its predecessors? Find out in our Blu-ray Review of Blood C – The Complete Series.

Synopsis:

The creators of Blood: The Last Vampire and Blood+ team up with renowned manga powerhouse CLAMP to inject beauty into a chilling new addition to the Blood line. 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.

Our View:

This latest Blood TV series is a joint production by CLAMP and Production I.G, whereby CLAMP have produced the characters and the story while Production I.G provided the visual animation. Combine these two studios together and viewers are treated to the latest incarnation of the Blood franchise, Blood-C. It is important to note that Blood-C is not a ‘continuation’ of Blood: The Last Vampire or Blood+, instead it’s a brand new story with unique characters, unique personalities and new monsters – the only thing that remains the same is Saya, the heroine of the show.

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In Blood-C Saya is known as Saya Kisaragi and lives with her widowed farther Tadayoshi Kisaragi at the local shinre and just like a normal girl Saya attends her local school, hangs out with friends and spends time at Café Guimauve, a local café situated outside the shrine. Unlike previous editions of Blood, Saya is portrayed as a clumsy but helpful person, but when the day turns to night she is forced to obligate her duty by defeating the Elder Barins, demons that feed on humans and attack at random. These attacks follow a steady pattern of only attacking at night, but as the series progresses the attacks become more frequent and even take place during the day.

While these fights are particular violent and gory (this show contains an insane amount of blood) they are rather slow and unimaginative, with Saya usually being beaten up quite badly until her ‘alter ego’ materialises. When her ‘true form’ finally does appear she has no difficulty in defeating the Elder Barins, but by this time the people that she has sworn to protect have either been killed (in a gruesome manner) or severely injured.

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This manner of fighting takes place throughout the entirety of Blood-C and while it provides a relatively slow story, by showing a mix of everyday human life by day and demon-killer by night, it’s the halfway point where the series takes a distract turn. Not only do fight scenes become more enjoyable to watch, as well as taking place at different times, the Elder Barins start talking to Saya and a story of mystery and deceit starts to surface, all of which combained together create some shocking twists and plot changes that lead to a rather sudden, but exciting, ending to the series.

Extras:

For a rather short anime Blood-C has a variety of extra content with included extra features being two cast commentaries from the English cast, promotional videos and commercials for the Japanese TV Release, text less opening and ending videos for the show as well as a few trailers.

The English cast commentary is available on Disc 1 (for Episode 6) with Jerry Jewell (ADR Director) and Robert McCollum (voice of Fumito) while on Disc 2 we have commentary on (Episode 12) with Jerry Jewell and Alexis Tipton (voice of Saya). Both commentaries explain how the voice actors presented themselves as well as their own thoughts on the series.

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The remaining extra features are all located on the second disc with Japanese Promotional Videos, TV Commercials, Text less opening (Spiral) and two Textless Closing (Junketsu Paradox) videos. The second disc also contains the official US Trailer and Australian Trailers for other anime series, namely The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, King of Thorn, Evangelion: 2.22 and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

It might not seem a lot compared to other Production I.G releases (such as the Loups=Garous movie) but it is a lot more than a standard anime would receive and it is nice to see them included on the disc.

Tech Specs:

Media: BD 50 x1 BD 25 x1 (12 Episodes)
Running Time: 3:12:53 (Disc 1), 1:35:21 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English) / Dolby True HD 2.0 (Japanese)
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Blood-C features character and story traits of a traditional CLAMP production, such as the relatively long arms and legs (like in xxxHolic & Tsubasa) as well as the cute and friendly looking characters, combine this with Production I.G and you are treated to a visually enjoyable show that could have only been made better by the progression of the story.

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The reason I say this is because the story takes too long to get anywhere, and when it does get somewhere interesting the series ends and is left open to a sequel, which exists in the form of a feature-length move. The first six episodes get told in a very similar format with Saya eating at the Café, Attending school and then engaging in a fight against an Elder Barin. It’s not until the seventh episode where the series inserts new twists into the story, with main Elder Barins mentioning a deal that was broken and a talking dog asking for Saya’s true identity. All of these twists change the course of the story and create new complications for Saya, but I feel its something that should have happened sooner to make the show more entertaining. Other than the story feeling relatively slow-paced the characters, artwork and detailed bloody battles are extremely impressive with actually bones and guts being noticeable during the decapitation scenes, these scenes are most likely helped due to the High Definition picture quality presented on this Blu-ray release.

For the most part the HD Quality is noticeable but during dark scenes (and early episodes) the picture looks slightly grainy or pixelated, like if you were watching a DVD upscaled on a Blu-ray player, but for majority of the series it is highly detailed with bright colours standing out (such as the blood) and darker colours remain dark, such as Saya’s uniform. The included audio is presented in both Japanese Stereo and English 5.1 and while both are presented clearly the surround speakers are rarely used in the 5.1 English Audio. Usually in a 5.1 setup the surround speakers are used for background noises and items flying across the screen, but during the series they remain mostly quiet (expect for music) which seems a shame, as there is lots of movement during fight scenes. If you do not have a 5.1 Setup then you will not notice this, but it is worth mentioning if you are looking for a cinematic experience. It’s also worth noting that the English subtitles, which are White and are clearly visible, are locked to the Japanese audio track and cannot be removed or used in the English Dub, furthermore in order to change audio tracks the viewers must use the Pop-Up menu instead of the Audio button. This is something that has been hard-encoded onto the disc and was most likely done for licensing reasons but it can be annoying for viewers who want to use this option.

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Blood-C is definitely not for children and viewers discretion is advised, especially during the later scenes, however overall Blood-C is an interesting reincarnation of the Blood franchise that provides plenty of gore and violence, but it’s slow approach to the story and an un-conclusive ending may put some viewers off.

Score: review-stars-3

Blood C – The Complete Series will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from the 10th June 2013.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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