Holy crap! When was the last time we saw such uncompromising villains? I mean, being monsters is one thing, but this was just something of a completely different level: once they determined Saya to be a threat, they actually wasted no minutes in not just going after her friends, but also outright murdering them, and actually succeeding. These guys are definitely something else. Saya may succeed every time in killing them and all, but every time they manage to take people with them. They’re terrific in actually posing a threat, rather than the usual villains we always see who are either morons, or fail to kill off the important characters due to them being important characters.
With this, I also understand the reasoning of the creators to make Saya’s friends this bland. They could have pulled extra background, like dead parents, or complex back-stories, but the whole point of the slice of life series was for Saya to live a normal life with the only thing special about it the small details, like happening to live next to a baker who sells exotic sweets. It indeed was all for build-up, because that same tension could now be cut by a knife during the aftermath of Nono’s death. The atmosphere during this was just terrific, as it progressed with the same slow pacing as it has ever had.
It’s definitely a different way of building up the cast compared to the other end of the extreme: No.6, which tries to stuff as much details into its characters as possible. Blood-C instead depends a lot on the things that aren’t said. They’re both very tricky to really do well. At the moment I’m convinced that No.6 is going to nail its attempt. As for Blood-C, I don’t want to say that yet, but that’s only because I remember what happened to Sengoku Basara. The thing however, is that Blood-C is so far much, much better in keeping up and building its atmosphere, compared to Sengoku Basara who just kept on building up and building up, only for a few really good episodes and an ending that disappointed.
For a long time, this is also why I don’t minded Nurarihyon no Mago’s strange turn in focusing more on Rikuo’s friends: they were just spending time together, having fun and nicely fleshing out their characters without actually developing. The big problem with that show however is that all this build-up never really paid off. It was just… there, getting in the way of just about everything else.
I don’t mind a really slow pacing, as long as it’s used consciously. Blood-C has kept showing that it is one of those series, albeit in an unorthodox way that definitely isn’t for everyone. Only now it has been hinting at background, which really shows that it’s planning to reveal its background at a very late stage. That can work too! There have been tons of great series that build up a ton of intrigue and ended up closing off wonderfully by wrapping everything up. This isn’t a manga adaptation, so the creators know full well how much time they have. The big question right now is who they’re going to use the movie in this. The point is that it will take a long time for that movie to arrive. It’s therefore crucial for this series to really have a good and satisfying climax at episode 13, or otherwise the wait will just be too long (like what happened with Eden of the East, for example).
Rating: *** (Awesome)