Blu-ray Review: Blood C – The Last Dark

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The feature-length conclusion to the Blood C TV Series has a lot to explain, but that aside what did we think of the Blu-ray release by Manga Entertainment? Find out in our Blu-ray Review of Blood C: The Last Dark.

Synopsis:

Saya is part human, part monster, and has one thing on her mind: revenge. Visions of twisted experiments and creatures slaughtering everyone she loved fuel her thirst for vengeance. With blade in hand and rage boiling in her veins, she tracks her tormentor to Tokyo, where flesh-hungry beasts have begun to feed. There, she joins a group of young hackers hunting for the same man. As Saya slices her way through lies, traps, flesh, and bone, how much blood will she shed to cut down the mastermind behind her madness?

Our View:

It’s been six months since Saya survived the carnage at Ukishima, the events which transpired in the TV Series, and now she has finally arrived in Tokyo to take her revenge on Fumito Nanahara, however upon arriving in the city she soon discovers she isn’t the only one wanting him dead. Prepare for a new adventure as Saya makes new friends and some shocking revelations, this is the long-awaited conclusion to the Blood-C franchise and it’s different to what you may have been expecting.

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The story is quite simple, with Fumito Nanahara in control of Seventh Heaven he has turned Tokyo into a safe-heaven, whereby the internet is restricted and minors are not allowed out after 8pm. In the background however Fumito Nanahara is in charge of a mysterious organisation known as Tower, whereby they kidnap people and experiment on them – which results in Elder Barins (Demons) being created. To put a stop to both organisations Saya teams up with Fumito’s cousin, Kuroto Mogari, and his rebellion group, Sirrut. Sirrut is mostly composed of young people who are fed-up with the restrictions and together with Saya they take on Fumito in a last ditch effort for freedom.

The film pretty much follows a direct-path from start-to-finish, as the whole team work together to locate Fumito. Of course this being a movie there is a few curve-balls, bloody battles and some surprising plot twists – all of which add the entertainment, however despite all of this build-up the film fails where it was most needed, it’s conclusion.  The film provides a conclusive explanation into the events that occurred in the film, such as Kuroto’s real motives, but when it comes down to the events at Ukishima and Fumito’s true motives, the answers are slightly amiss and are left in the open.  That’s not to say the answers aren’t provided, it’s just some more clarification would have been nice other than death.

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Interestingly despite being a conclusion to the TV Series the film (The Last Dark) hardly takes inspiration or reference from it – instead the film provides a new backdrop, a new cast of characters and a new storyline.  The only thing that remains consistent with the TV Series is that Saya wants Fumito Nanahara dead, a common goal which is shared with her new allies. At first this ‘indirect approach’ to continuing the story may seem like it would weaken the films overall presentation, but instead it allows fans of the original (and newcomers) to watch the film together with the same perspective, it’s a clever way of allowing both types of people to experience a film and it works quite well.

Extras:

The extras included with the film are to be expected, with promotional trailers for the movie taking up the bulk of the space, along with trailers for various other Australian (since this is an Australian authored disc) released anime titles.

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The highlights for me where the inclusion of the NoNeNoNe Theater episodes, as these provide several minutes worth of viewing and act as a brief recap to some of the franchises main characters, such as Saya and Fumito, but each mini-episode is slightly different and has a comical twist to them.

  • US Actor & Staff Commentary
  • NoNeNoNe Theater
  • Promotional Videos
  • Original Teaser
  • Original Trailer
  • US Trailer
  • Trailers

The US Staff Commentary mostly features ADR Director Mike McFarland sharing his experiences with the Blood franchise along with production of this film, however throughout the commentary various other staff members, such as script writers and voice actors, also provide their own experience with working on the franchise. It’s an interesting bit of commentary and it’s not something you’ll always find on cinematic releases.

Of course the final list of extra content is the long list of Promotional Trailers, all of which have their own option on the Extras Menu. All of the Promotional Videos related to the film are in Japanese, with the exception of the US Trailer which is of course in English. The final selection of trailers include previews for Appleseed XIII, Baka & Test Season 2, Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya,Eden of the East Movie  and Evangelion 2.22, all of which have previously been released on DVD (or Blu-ray) via Manga Entertainment – but it’s nice to see them included as an added bonus, even if they are the Australian versions.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50
Region: B
Running Time: 1:46:15
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Blood-C: The Last Dark potentially has a lot to offer, unfortunately despite the steady story progression  and build-up the ending doesn’t suffice.  The ending has a “Lets wrap this up in five minutes” kind of feel, as things tend to happen as opposed to being explained. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but seeing as it’s a conclusion some ‘detailed’ clarity would have been nice as opposed to a huge monster appearing for no apparent reason other than to make the final fight seem dangerous.

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While the ending ultimately let the film down there are some positives to be had, for instance the character artwork (CLAMP) and animation (Production I.G.) blend perfectly together and look stunning in High Definition but more interestingly is the amount of cameo references that are included in the film. It’s not just those either, as the introduction of a new set of characters, each with their own backstory to tell, gave the film some depth and meaning other than just pure violence (which this film also lacks).

The film’s issues aren’t just down to the ending either, as some viewers may find the audio options disappointing aswell. Both Audio tracks are presented in Dolby TrueHD Surround Sound, which is ideal for those who enjoy 5.1 Soundtracks, however the actor’s voices are noticeably more quiet than the surrounding noises – so may find yourself adjusting the volume throughout the feature. Speaking of adjustment the English Subtitles are locked to the Japanese soundtrack, meaning if you want to watch the film in English (with subtitles) or a RAW Japanese version then you can’t, furthermore in order to change the audio options you have to use the Pop-Up menu as opposed to the Audio button on your remote. These issues are not a disc issue but more of an agreement with the original Japanese license holders.

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Blood-C: The Last Dark is a film that will receive mixed opinions from viewers, the quality and overall presentation is superb but the lack of clarity on the “Blood-C” storyline is questionable, however when viewed as a stand-a-lone film (rather than a conclusion) then you’ll find it much more entertaining and conclusive. Uniquely it’s a film that will appeal to anyone who likes corrupt organisations, hackers and sword-slashing demon hunters, but interestingly this film focuses more on the story rather than bloody battles (but it does have its fair share of them).

Score: review-stars-4

Blood C: The Last Dark will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from the 24th March 2014.

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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