The Blood-C saga is the latest entry in the long running Blood: The Last Vampire franchise. Despite the use of the Youth Ordinance Bill to enforce curfews for minors and regulate the use of the Internet, young people continue to fight for their own freedom through underground methods. One such group calls themselves Surat. They have decided to take on Fumito Nanahara, a man who has great influence on the political world, and basically controls Tokyo with an iron fist. While using the Internet as a weapon to discover more information about Fumito, they learn about “Tower”, the secret organization behind Fumito which engages in human experimentation. When members of Surat attempt to set up an ambush in the subway to expose the truth behind “Tower”, mysterious creatures suddenly appear and attack the passengers. During this crisis, Saya appears – a young girl who uses a Japanese blade to slay the Old Ones. The same Saya who lost everything dear to her in that horrifying incident in Ukishima Province.
This film is not a sequel to the first movie, however, as Saya is not only stronger than any possible attacker, but she shows no mercy toting her samurai sword. In fact, her samurai sword gets put to much use in this film. The nudity and bloody mayhem seem to demonstrate that the producers stepped up to new extremes, at odds with the simple set-up and childish humour. The amount of blood and gore is so excessive that a friend with whom I was watching this film with had to leave the roomfor a huge number of scenes. Blood-c puts a new spin on the story of Saya, but rest assured that people who hated the TV series can come into this film fresh and with higher expectations. We learn that Mana is already a part of this small group of young hackers, and that the members of the secret group share a common goal with Saya, the destruction of the man in charge of Tower. Saya is quickly enlisted as their ultimate weapon.
As I mentioned in the last sentence, yes, the film does a decent job of laying out just enough mythology that a new or lapsed fan can grasp the important elements without smothering the audience with exposition. The manga creator team CLAMP developed the story and original character designs for the vampire television series and film, and Production I.G has been animating both projects. Naoyoshi Shiotani (Tokyo Marble Chocolate, key animator on Blood+ and Blood-C) is directing the film instead of the television version’s director Tsutomu Mizushima. Writers Jun’ichi Fujisaku and Nanase Ohkawa (CLAMP), animation character designer/chief animation director Kazuchika Kise, and voice cast members Nana Mizuki (Saya Kisaragi) and Kenji Nojima (Fumito Nanahara) are returning from the television series. Blood-c: The Last Dark is the film that serves as closure to the 2011 anime series. The cycle is now complete.
Blood-C: The Last Dark was one of my most anticipated films of Fantasia 2012. Knowign I didn’t have to wait until February of 2013 was a huge sigh of relief and it was great to see that Saya is back on the big screen, but this time for a whopping 106 minutes, which was more than enough time to flesh out an exciting story without skimping on the bloody action that the franchise is known for. Like many anime projects these days, Blood-C appears to be a combination of hand-drawn and computer animation. Does it work? Yes it does and this film comes highly recommended (more-so than its lackluster TV counterpart).