Blood-C: The Last Dark
Mana is riding the Tokyo subway in the evening. She’s just one of many passengers feeling bored and self-absorbed on their nightly commute home. No one notices the man in the trenchcoat, breathing raggedly, dripping blood from his nose, nor the uncanny transformation taking place in him. Not until he savagely attacks the young woman next to him. Blood paints the subway car red. Panic explodes. The passengers all flee in terror — all but one. A young woman sits in eerie tranquility as the monster closes in on her. She is motionless —and then she is a blur of violence. Unable to withstand her lethal skills, the creature escapes from the train with Mana as a captive. Saya, the sword-wielding schoolgirl monster slayer, has her work cut out for her.
In 2000, Japanese animation studio Production I.G scored a bullseye hit with the brief (50 minutes!) but powerful BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE. This was state-of-the-art anime, lean, tight, high-tech and exciting, and it grabbed the Public Prize for Best Asian Feature when it made its world premiere right here at Fantasia! The cryptic tale of Saya the scowling teenage vampire-slasher had the fingerprints of GHOST IN THE SHELL’s Mamoru Oshii on it, somewhere among the blood spatters. Intentionally curtailed, the film immediately got anime fans slavering like, well, demonic beasts for more of Saya’s gruesome missions. Sure enough, Production I.G obliged. Under the supervision of the franchise’s godfather, Junichi Fujisaku, mangas, novels, videogames, a TV series (“Blood+”) and a live-action film followed. The latest iteration of Saya’s legend is “Blood-C”, a TV animation and comic series that found Production I.G collaborating with longstanding, celebrated all-female manga/anime collective CLAMP, creators of xxxHolic and of course Cardcaptor Sakura.
An iconic anime character, an epic and expanding legend, top-notch creative and technical talent — and a surprising new twist. It all adds up to the thrilling animated feature film BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK. Be sure to wear something that doesn’t stain easy.
— Rupert Bottenberg