Anime Reporter takes a garlic-bath before taking on Blood-C: The Last Dark, the film sequel to the series Blood-C.
Fans of Blood-C, Blood +, or even the original short anime Blood: The Last Vampire (or its lengthier live-action adaptation) will know to expect two things: a schoolgirl uniform and sword-swinging, limb-flinging, monster-killing action.
In Tokyo, the new Youth Protection Act forbids young people from staying out past 9pm due to recent disappearances and Saya Kisaragi (voiced by Darker Than Black’s Nana Mizuki in Japanese and Fairy Tail’s Alexis Tipton in English) is back, just six months after the events of Blood-C, though she may not be quite as some fans remember. The events of the series’ finale have taken their toll upon her and her cheerful, upbeat attitude is long gone. Haunted by her discoveries about her past, Saya’s mind is focused only on revenge.
One criticism of the Blood-C anime, and there were quite a few, was that the series’ version of Saya was much chirpier and more sociable than other itineration’s. Here, the film strives to rectify that and presents viewers with a single-minded, blood-drenched Saya, returning more to the style of the original terminator-style schoolgirl.
Existing fans of Blood-C will find the plot taking off six months following the end of the series, but in reality following almost directly from the revelations and questions left in its wake. While Blood-C: The Last Dark has a self-contained plot, it does rely heavily on information gleamed from the series and the film is truly a sequel. Anyone unfamiliar with the earlier anime will find themselves lost to the specifics and to a lot of the emotional impact behind the story, though everyone can surely appreciate a good old, blood-soaked vengeance tale. That’s really what this movie is. There’s a plot involving Saya being taken in by a small, secretive group hunting down Tower, a group linked to the many strange disappearances and who seem to be experimenting with monsters but all of this can fairly easily be thought of as background noise to Saya hunting down Fumito. At the end of the series, we learned that Fumito had manipulated her memories and her mind and essentially left her for dead when he escaped. The entire purpose of the film is to resolve this and there’s very little in the subplot about missing people to draw in viewers’ interest.
The action is predictably gruesome, with blood and gore aplenty and fight scenes are filled with Matrix style acrobatics and frenzied swordplay to satisfy anyone’s bloodlust and the animation hits just the right tones. Light and shadow are played with beautifully and deep reds mean that blood always makes an impact on screen. Action is fast and fluid while creatures are impressive in both their design and movement. Graphic violence and some very brief nudity earned this film a 15 age rating on DVD and Bluray.
The supporting characters are colourful ways of moving the plot forward but are ultimately fairly uninspiring in their own right and often to be a way of moving the plot forward through exposition against Saya’s cold, silent manner. While the other characters can happily be shuffled to the background, Saya dominates with both Mizuki and Tipton doing a fantastic job of portraying her cold distance and fury. You may just find yourself walking away from this movie thinking that pigtails are pretty badass.
Blood-C: The Last Dark spins a tale of revenge and, well… blood. Fans of the series should find closure from what feels like an extended epilogue and fans of action and horror should find themselves catching up to the story at a fairly early stage.
Blood-C: The Last Dark is available on DVD and Bluray from March 24th 2014 with a limited edition version available at HMV, all courtesy of Manga Entertainment.
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81% – Blade with pigtails!
If you’re looking for a great storyline, you may have come to the wrong place, but fans of the earlier series and blood-drenched action should find what they’re looking for.