Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blood-C: the Last Dark – review

Director: Naoyoshi Shiotani

First aired: 2012

Contains spoilers

I gave a rundown of the potted history of the Blood family of anime when I reviewed the Blood C series - so you can look at that and add this film to the franchise.

And what a sad franchise it is. Despite the potential for creating some iconic anime/films we have a franchise that, it could be said, epitomises the saying “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”. When I looked at Blood-C I was tempted to go down the “Vamp or Not?” route but, ultimately, lead character Saya (Nana Mizuki) proved herself to still be a vampire. It is just as well that this is a direct follow-on from that series, as there is nothing vampiric (bar some quick healing) shown in this film.

Saya scoffs at your curfew
It begins 6 months after the events in the series, with the location moved to Tokyo. It is a dystopian Tokyo where main bad guy Fumito (Kenji Nojima) has used his conglomerate, Seventh Heaven, as a political tool and convinced the Government to introduce stringent censorship of the internet and the Youth Ordinance Bill, which forces all people under twenty to follow a strict curfew. Later it is suggested that this is to prevent the kids questioning things on the internet (so you force them home where they will… go on the internet).

monster on a train
Anyway, a rebel group of hackers, called Sirrut, are trying to expose Fumito and his shadowy Tower organisation (the black ops area of Seventh Heaven, I guess). A few of them are trying a field exposure of the group when a man on the subway train turns into a monster. Saya happens to be there and fights him but he manages to escape with the Sirrut agent, Mana (Ai Hashimoto). It turns out that Mana joined Sirrut to find her missing journalist father, at the end of the film we discover that the man/monster was him but it has no film impact at all.

boss battle time
Anyway Saya chases him and kills him, when the other Sirrut operatives arrive. Tower are closing in so they escape by car, with Saya, and she becomes part of the group. All that is left is for them to point Saya at Fumito whilst their sponsor, Kuroto (Hiroshi Kamiya), asks Saya to kill Fumito for him as they are cousins and Fumito killed their family. Fumito has been playing with Furukimono (or old ones) blood to transform humans into monsters and Saya gets near him once before a final assault on Tower’s base and a big boss monster that is easily defeated.

That is the trouble with the film; low on exposition, a silly twist in the tail, non-descript characters that bear no scrutiny, all in all it is pointless. It looks pretty enough in places, with some nice cgi amidst the more traditional animation. Saya is back to the taciturn character of the original anime rather than the effervescent character of the Blood-C. There isn’t a huge amount this does brilliantly but I have seen much worse. 5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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