Genre: Action, Mystery, Drama
Artist: Ranmaru Kotone / CLAMP
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten (JP), Dark Horse (US)
Serialized in: Monthly Shonen Ace
Anime Review of Blood-C
While her friends and classmates are busy lamenting their boring lives in their small town, Saya knows she has something to protect. Between resisting the urge to help people, and subsequently trying (and failing) to make it school on time, Saya works dutifully as a miko at her father’s shrine, which occasionally requires fighting off unwelcome monsters. But when Saya’s father warns of an ominous “impending encounter” and people begin disappearing, Saya must take up her sword and fight against the “ancient ones” to protect her town and the ones she loves.
A spin-off of the Blood franchise conceptualized by CLAMP and Production I.G with art Ranmaru Kotone, Blood-C throws us back into a world of pretty girls, monsters and swords that the rest of the franchise has familiarized us with. And while not mind-blowing, Blood-C is a good looking series; that’s the first thing that stands out about this first volume of the series. I’m definitely a fan of Saya’s character design, but with CLAMP’s hands in the mix that comes as no surprise; Saya’s just so darn cute. As a main character Saya is easily likeable; she loves her friends, and can’t resist helping someone, even if it means being a little late for school. Still, despite with her bubbly and happy demeanor at school, Saya takes her responsibilities as a miko at her father’s shrine very seriously. As a miko, Saya strives to match her late mother, who apparently could see visions of the future.
Though Saya is easily likeable, the plot isn’t exactly the most original thing ever. It’s obvious from the beginning that something a little “off” is going on in Saya’s hometown. One of the first clues is the disappearance of a local bakery owner; a little odd, given that supposedly nothing ever happens in Saya’s small town. The second clue is Saya’s teacher, who gives off an undoubtedly strange vibe, then recounts a town ghost story that makes Saya physically ill with visions. Saya’s father also sees a rather disturbing vision warning of an “impending encounter;” soon after, Saya finds herself face to face fighting “ancient ones” who demand that she “abide by the covenant.” There’s also the strangely aloof but good looking boy — Shinichiro — who Saya finds herself inexplicably curious about. Still, something odd is afoot; I did like that Saya seems acutely aware of the burden she carries; while her friends lament how boring their lives are, Saya sees value in the normalcy, with everyone safe and sound, at least for now.
Despite not being entirely new and original, that isn’t to say that Blood-C isn’t interesting and worth picking up — it is. It’s a solid mystery action series with easy on the eye character designs. This first volume ends on a decent enough cliffhanger; I just think this one just needs more than one volume to really get going. With CLAMP’s hand in the pot I’m willing to give this one a couple more.