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Review: Blood C: The Last Dark

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Last chance for redemption

One of my largest criticisms in my review of Blood C was that it had no definitive ending. Yes, there was a resolution involving most of the characters in town, but it was clear that the show was a 12-episode precursor to the movie, The Last Dark, conveniently teased at the end of the final episode. It felt like a giant cop-out. 12 lackluster episodes leading into a movie? Come on.

Two years later, I’ve finally seen The Last Dark. This was Production I.G.’s chance to make up for their errors with the TV show: Here, they could expand more on Saya’s past as well as give her a satisfying conclusion, after getting so marvelously screwed by everybody she thought was her friend. Well, let’s just say that Production I.G. missed those marks. They still hit the target, but they were pretty far off-center over all.

 

Blood C: The Last Dark [DVD/BD]
Studio: Production I.G.
Licensed by: Funimation
Release Date: Oct. 22, 2013
MSRP: $34:98 [Amazon | RightStuf]

Taking place a short time after the rather drastic conclusion of Blood C, The Last Dark begins with Saya’s arrival in Tokyo. All healed up after being shot in the face by Fumito, she’s ready to exact vengeance on the man who turned her life upside down. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple, as Fumito has managed to escape behind a pair of powerful organizations called Seventh Heaven and Tower. One controls politics in the mortal realm, while the other manipulates things in the realm of demons.

Thanks to an encounter with a demon on the subway, Saya hooks up with a different group called SIRRUT. These young hackers are trying to uncover why Seventh Heaven has convinced the Tokyo government to institute a curfew for those under 21, which happens to connect with Saya’s search for Fumito. Kuroto, the money man behind SIRRUT, has a pretty big grudge against Fumito, so he's willing to help Saya find the traitorous bastard. In the end, there’s death, betrayal, a whole lot of blood and Saya gets her revenge...sort of.

See, there’s the thing. Saya does get her revenge in so far as justice is delivered to all appropriate parties. However, there’s little satisfaction for the viewer in any of it. For one, the main recipient of said revenge hasn't been around long enough to make any sort of impact, and the way he's dealt with is underwhelming. Then, there’s Fumito, who explains his actions by saying he fell in love with Saya.

Now, there could be a place for a creepy, obsessive love that consumed both the villain, his family and the organizations that he manipulated. That would actually be pretty neat. The thing is, that’s not how it plays out. It comes off as a tragic passion that wasn’t meant to be, one that ends with a confession near death. It’s weak, played out and boring. Done correctly, it could've been a solid ending and Saya’s abrupt exit afterwards would made sense. Instead, it peters out, like a sparkler dipped in cup of water.

Besides the problems with the story in general, The Last Dark isn’t a bad flick. It looks fantastic, with Production I.G. delivering on the animation and backgrounds. The acting is solid, with Nana Mizuki depicting a bitter, angry Saya on the war path. The members of SIRRUT are pretty forgettable, but at least they don’t wear at the nerves. Mana’s missing father provides a decent amount of pathos, though a lack of time with her (and the way it neatly wraps up) keeps it from having any lasting impact.

I was also surprised to find that there are several CLAMP cameos sprinkled throughout the film. There are several Mokonas, as well as an important character from one of their older works that acts as a deus ex machina. I remember from the show that there were hints to his existence, but I was still surprised to see Saya and Mana visit him. Does this mean that Blood C is set in the Blood world or in the CLAMP world? You know what? Never mind. Thinking about it makes my head hurt.

I was also a bit disappointed by the lack of action scenes. Based on the show, I was expecting there to be more demon slicing, but I didn’t get that. I got one lone blood-sucker getting shanked in the opening, one truly creepy…thing that Saya fights in the middle, a very quick dog-ish demon and a huge beast at the end of the flick. This is probably a bigger issue for me considering how abrupt and unsatisfying the conclusion was, so keep that in mind. I was also surprised at the lack of collateral damage. When you look back at the slaughter that was the final episode of the show, this movie is positively tame by comparison.

If this is indeed the last note for Blood C, it's not a very good one on which to exit. While pretty and decently entertaining, it does little to make up for the deficiencies of the show the preceded it. There are no revelations about Saya’s past, and few hints to her future. Production I.G. had one last chance to redeem this series and they ultimately failed; it’s a disappointing end to something that had potential.

 

5.0Average. This one’s just “okay”. It has many flaws, and just couldn’t follow through on its intentions or had ones that were simply too narrow to warrant consideration. Some will still enjoy it, but should temper their expectations, or perhaps just opt to pass. Watch more trailers and read more reviews before you decide.


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Blood C: The Last Dark reviewed by Pedro Cortes

5

MEDIOCRE

An exercise in apathy, neither solid nor liquid. Not exactly bad, but not very good either. Just a bit "meh," really.
How we score:  The Japanator reviews guide

 
 
 

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Pedro Cortes
Pedro CortesAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Pedro Cortes has been known to swoon at the sight of a robot. This is understandable, as robots are pretty awesome. more + disclosures


 



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