“Blood-C” tells the story of Saya Kisaragi, a high school senior living in a small town in rural Japan. The daughter of the local Shinto priest, Saya attends classes by day – but at night, her father sends her out on perilous missions to fight and kill demonic beings called Elder Bairns. Saya believes it is her duty to fight the Elder Bairns because of an oath she swore long ago to protect everyone she knows and loves; but her certainty is disturbed by fragments of unplaceable memory, and by the fact that every monster she kills accuses her of failing to “honour the covenant” – a “covenant” of which Saya has no knowledge or memory. Amidst this confusion, other questions arise: why, for example, is Saya’s neighbour, the ever-attentive café owner Fumito, so interested in her; why does Saya herself find the sullen and reclusive Tokizane so compelling; and why does Saya’s teacher, Miss Tsutsutori, seem to know more about Saya’s situation than ought to be the case?

Co-produced by legendary anime studio Production I.G. (“Ghost In The Shell”, “Psycho-Pass”) and the all-female manga co-operative CLAMP, “Blood-C” reaches into the dark heart of Japanese folklore and H P Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos to deliver a gorily violent tale that, upon its release in 2011, was subject to censorship in Japan and was even banned in China. Amidst all the mayhem and carnage, however, “Blood-C” also meditates upon the nature of memory, identity, reality, and truth, illuminating the dark corners of motivation and the extent to which vested interests manipulate our perceptions for their own purposes. “Blood-C” was followed by a feature length anime sequel “Blood-C: The Last Dark” in 2012, and has spawned a manga adaption, a novelisation, two live action movies and even a stage play.

© Text Copyright Brendan E Byrne 2020. All rights reserved.