Soft Action

Many have called Blood C dull. That’s too vague I think, I’m calling it a softer version of an action show, a softer version of a monster of the week show, an underdeveloped and ambiguous variation of a fighting show project that has still to find its own niche. Facetiously, I’ll refer to Blood-C’s lead as Kobato dropping the duty of healing hearts and picking up swordsmanship instead. More seriously, I’ll refer to Blood-C as a mixed bag of action with supernatural elements where more than 80% of the time it is nothing about neither of those themes.

Blood-C is separated in two parts. The first part is the easy-going regular daily mundane life of Saya the klutzy cute high school student and the second part is Saya the monster slayer who hunts freaks of nature at night because they’re bad and no one likes them. More importantly, because they’re actually bad. Would you like them to be in your town hurting your friends? Of course not, I don’t either, that’s why Saya deals with them at night once school is over in a desolated place in an orderly fashion. It all works out.

(How can you say no to that face?)

Saya per se isn’t a bad character. Saya is more like an in-between character who belongs in a slice of life/comedy show with some drama overtones more than in an action would-be horror show without so much horror. When looking for a lead for such show Blood-C could’ve gone with either making its lead the unruly delinquent type that keeps to herself or the klutz with a heart of gold who no-one-can-say-no to heroine. Knowing Clamp it is easy to guess which one they would choose any day if they can help it (and they can help it). So instead of we have this wonderful cheerful girl who goes to school like any other and at night indulges in monster hunting activities. Great so far.

> What does the life of someone who keeps the good people from harm consist of, you ask?

  • Here is where Blood-C is stumped.

It consists of interesting occurrences. Interesting events. Meeting someone odd. Strange people at school. Stranger people in town. That’s the type of formula that puts and keeps the audience on edge that there is something *else* happening in the story aside from the usual monster hunting business everyone is aware about. And that’s where I see Blood-C has a tough time getting that. Blood-C is more of a softer version of what an action packed monster show should be, it is one which  borders more in slice of life occurrences in the cheerful lead’s life prior to each bloody night where she reports for usual monster hunting duty to keep the town safe. It’s all nice that Saya enjoys being Saya, has breakfast next door, likes sweets, and also likes to sing songs concerning her dad (..ok that is kinda weird). It’s a matter of preference of finding Saya’s morning routine to be unique and making up for the majority of the show and for that there’s a high change of not appealing to everyone. By that it is common that everyone expecting an action packed show found the first two episodes rather lackluster in nature as Blood-C is a watered down version of a regular monster of the week show is.

Saya battles a monster.
Monster loses to Saya.
Saya comes home.
Day in day out.

That is more like Blood-C is going. It is a softer version of bloody action shows with the horror elements are also evidently toned down where the underwhelming fighting scenes take the cake for the Silentest Fighting scenes of the season. The deal with having run-of-the-mill monster of the week story is making the monster in the first place to be a threat to the city, town, or village. Blood-C doesn’t make use of fighting cries, super techniques, extreme visual material, and doesn’t resort to anything fancy. The villains are not actually villains they are mute, silent monsters varying from humanoid to insect like creatures that exist to be defeated by the end of episode only.

One of the stepping-stones of such devices is to create a world where the hero is required to stop the evil in the middle of its nefarious rampage. Blood-C skips to the last part and deals with the issue until next time. There’s not enough emotion when it comes to the action part. It forgets that the other stepping stone in a monster of the week show is to have the monsters possesses a “mind” or a will of their own and in the case of armies of mindless monsters there should be present then a mastermind, be that organization or individual behind the monsters’ appearance is required thus giving the plot a direction. It’s not much of a monster fighting show if there is no “real enemy” other than waves of number of mechanical monsters trying to bring Saya’s day down and in return she has to do her best each time. Saya Fight-o!

At this point the better move Blood-C can make is to embrace its own softer action approach or use its own variation as a stepping stone to get to that level and shoot for a better ambiguous mix.

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4 thoughts on “Soft Action

  1. Well, i don’t know why everyone had such high expectations for Blood-C, after all, the most exciting thing you see in all the trailers is a girl unsheathing a katana…

    The thing about the monsters being silent could even be an original idea, looking more like demon hunting than the typical fights of a hero, but it was a pain to stand 2 minutes of Saya singing as she walks to school only to see a short fight at the end of the episode (the one in the second one wasn’t even cool)
    I don’t see how this anime can become interesting…

  2. I personally think you’re making a lot of conclusions in 2 episodes. For the whole second half of what you said, there’s definitely lots of room to inject some emotions in the fights, get a human face on it. I’d rather let the story unfold a bit more before and quick judgements.

  3. I took the transition between sweet Saya and sinister Saya as CLAMP masking the dark side of the show with guimauves and sprinkles, plain cute on top of plain dark. Not much depth on either side yet, and with the pressure of finishing this show in twelve episodes…I think this show is currently stuck between an incline and a plateau.

    But yeah, said transition is too abrupt. Soft action pairs good with subtlety, imo. oh well, ten episodes to better themselves.

  4. It’s certainly too soon to condemn or praise the show in one way or another but what definitely invites this feeling of actually already knowing what Blood-C is, originates in this feeling of things already being repeated after 3 episodes. The structure of the first three episodes seems very similar, there are scenes which occur again and again with only little progression plot-wise (that strange thing with the dog for example) and ultimately the plot itself is hidden in the dark. I would even say this series goes sometimes out of its way just to hide the plot (Making the viewer ask ‘why?’ every time the series tries to concern itself with Sayas night-activity for example instead of explaining it). The series clearly wants to build up to one huge twist but one could say that Shiki tried to do the same with the revelation of the vampires presence or that Madoka Magica tried to do this building-up to a twist thing with Akemi’s background. But none of these two tried to leave the viewer as much in the dark as Blood-C and that’s why all that’s left of it are these watered down basics of a monster-of-the-week-genre. The series simply refuses to show more than these basic elements.

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