Friday, July 15, 2011

Blood-C - 02



I'll be honest. If it weren't for the fact that this is a Blood series, and Production I.G., and Mizushima-sensei, and the reader's #1 choice in the Summer poll on this site, I think there's a pretty good chance I'd drop if after the second episode. Frankly, there just isn't a whole lot happening that interests me yet. Part of me wonders if this isn't one of those "it looked good on paper" scenarios.

I'm not going to give up yet, not with the pedigree at work here. But I haven't found either the slice-of-life or action elements of this show compelling thus far, and it still looks surprisingly ordinary for an I.G. series to my eyes. This version of Saya is a change, that's for sure. She's so naive and clumsy that it almost appears that she's just plain dim-witted, frankly. I know she's a demon in combat, but her interactions with her classmates and her father paint her in a pretty unsympathetic light. I know she's supposed to be kawaii, and that's part of the twist - but it just isn't working for me.

Also an issue is the action side of things. Frankly, considering this is the studio that brought us the spear fights in Seirei no Moribito (4 years ago, mind you) it's startling how uninteresting they play out visually. The CGI isn't especially well integrated, and the movements lack the fluidity I would expect from a high-caliber production. Sure, there's a lot of blood, and at least the design for this week's "Elder Bairn" (I guess that's what we're calling the Chiroptera here) was interesting, actually a little reminiscent of the Rarunga from Moribito. But especially given the absence of any context for these fights - it appears to basically be Saya going off into the wilderness to find and kill the Bairns one at a time - the sequences just don't elicit much of an emotional reaction.

I know some will take criticism of this show hard or call it CLAMP-bashing, but that's not the issue for me. I like CLAMP a fair percentage of the time (while I do admit the noodle designs aren't favorites of mine) - it's just that, so far, Blood-C isn't a very good show. The pacing is odd, the supporting characters haven't really jumped off the screen and there's no emotional imperative behind the action. And worst of all, for me, Saya has been a singularly unimpressive heroine. Maybe this clumsy, dim-witted girl who sings annoying songs about laundry and sweets will win me over - and I surely hope that happens, as I would like nothing better than to become a fan of this show. So in deference to the studio, the director, and the mythology I'm going to stick with it for a while at least and hope that happens.

9 comments:

  1. I gotta admit, I'm worried when a 12 episode anime spends the first two episodes doing nothing to build up the plot or really explore the characters, if episode three does nothing then I think I'll drop the show. And I was also wondering if I was the only one who is, well, not as impressed by the action scenes as others, although Balsa's spear fights are really hard to top. :P

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  2. Indeed they are hard to top, but these did nothing for me I'm afraid.

    And was it just me, or did that dog look a lot more like a cat?

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  3. I could not tell if it was a dog or cat either until it ran off.

    The anime is slow to start but I think the makers are planning for more then 1 season and aren't in a rush to jump right in. They want to show us her life and what its like before the shit hits the fan.

    The 2 twins in this series are adorable. They are just as cute as Yune in Ikoku Meiro and Rin in Usagi Drop.

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  4. inb4 the guy she gave food to is somehow related to the monsters and tragedy ensues.
    Or maybe I'm just imagining things.

    I just get the feeling the staff is trying to put us to sleep on purpose to better catch us off guard later on.
    Problem is,you're going to lose part of your audience doing that.

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  5. @totoum You might be right about them trying to put us to sleep, but the only problem is its working. Yep, that guy us the Hagi of this version I'd bet.

    @ Ikaze You may be right about planning for more than one season, but I think they still have a responsibility to try and make an entertaining show right out of the gate. And TBH, I don't think they have so far. The slice of life stuff would be fine with me if it were well-done, but I'm just not feeling it. Hopefully this will all turn for the better.

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  6. Also forgot to mention,but you're right about the animation,appart from the fight scenes it's not that smooth

    It's not bad by any means but it seemed to me that the in between animation was a bit rough.
    When I look at the credits all the in between was outsorced and there isn't any real major studio helping out.
    It's not like Seirei no Moribito where a lot of it was in house and they also hired P.A works to help them out.
    Or another exemple is eden of the east where things were made in house and while some minor studios did the in between you still had folks like gainax helping out.

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  7. I have to confess, I worry for Production I.G.. There's been nothing of real visual flair from them since EotE. Usagi Drop is a good show, but it isn't especially lavish visually - it's nice in a simple sort of way. Most of their shows over the last three years have looked very ordinary.

    At this point, based on HanaIro I think you'd have to say PA Works has emerged as the top studio in terms of TV animation. It's a shame they don't produce more series, but maybe that's why they're able to be so damn good.

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  8. Well, I just discussed this on my own blog, but I view the paradoxical attitudes of Saya's battles and school life actually complementary to one another. I especially liked the scene near the start of the 2nd episode where she tries guimauve for the first time, and has it as a treat alongside her typical black coffee. I drew a relation between the guimauve/coffee combo to her school life/night life combo. The two balance each other out.

    I'm sad to hear that you find her interaction with her father and friends as "unsympathetic," since I see it more as the calm before the storm. I see her more as an infinitely kind and caring girl who only wants to protect the people she loves.

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  9. Fair enough. I'm not buying it yer, though. I'm good with the calm before the storm motif, but it only works if I find the calm emotionally involving and the storm.terrifying. Right now, I'm not getting either, but I haven't given up hope.

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