Region: 2 - UK
Length: 106 minutes
Japanese Dolby Digital Stereo
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?
PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE SERIES, THERE ARE SPOILERS HERE.
I had a crash course in the series Blood-C over the past week. Blood-C is a continuation of the Blood franchise, which began with Blood the Last Vampire and continued with Production IG's Blood+. Blood-C, is so named because of the creative minds connected with it – the all-star female writers and artists known as CLAMP. I think something that has escaped the notice of many anime fans (including myself) is that CLAMP had a far greater hand in the work than simple design support. Having contributed to series such as Code Geass by proving character designs, I had assumed that Blood-C was much the same. As it turns out, however, CLAMP's Nanase Ohkawa steered the story and worked closely with Production IG to produce an original animated series and movie under the CLAMP creative banner.
In Blood-C Saya has had another makeover and is woven into a tale of misdirection and manipulation. The TV anime was a remarkably gory series and ends with an incredibly angry Saya who hungers for revenge. In CLAMP's rendition, Saya is still a vampire who is unable to kill humans, yet here she is pitted against grotesque monsters called the Elder Bairns. While as a vampire, humans should be nothing to her, she battles to protect those around her from being devoured by the Elder Bairns.
The film itself is set one year after the events of the series. Of all the original characters from the series, only Saya and the mysterious, seemingly mild-mannered Fumito remain.
The animation is fantastic and Production IG have taken great pains to make Saya look as beautiful as possible. The character's all have the hallmarks of CLAMP's delicate designs and their eyes are exquisitely rendered. IG produce a fine synergy of digital backgrounds and lighting with the 2D characters. The characters new to the film are a nice little computer hacking clique, somewhat reminiscent of those in Eden of the East.
Blood-C brought to the screen many truly nightmarish creatures and the film begins very well with one of these appearing on a commuter train in Tokyo. This largely humanoid monster is, unfortunately, really the only great scare in the film. The other Elder Bairns are all a bit of a mess, the designs confused, their screen time fleeting and unmoving.
What is worse than a series of disappointingly crummy monsters for Saya to fight is the fact that the story is inelegant, confused and pretty frustrating. The series has received a very mixed reception, yet I enjoyed its harsh violence and shocking conclusion. The film, which dangles like a shiny red fruit full of promise of a great conclusion is little more than gloss and mush. To be honest, even after watching the film, I still can't understand the conclusion or what the hell the point was.
I think everyone expects better of CLAMP and even a cameo by xxxHolic's Watanuki is not enough to make the film any less frustrating for those who were hoping for a great crescendo to a powerful drama. With great characters, wonderful designs and masterful animation it is a great shame that the story is a malformed clod. Disappointing in the extreme.