Stephen reviews: Blood-C: The Last Dark (2012)

1Blood-C-The-Last-DarkBlood C: the Last Dark [劇場版 BLOOD-C The Last Dark, Gekijouban Blood-C: The Last Dark] (2012)

Starring Nana Mizuki, Kenji Nojima, Ai Hashimoto, Hiroshi Kamiya, Yūichi Nakamura, Yuki Kaji, Kana Hanazawa, Yuko Kaida, Jun Fukuyama, Masumi Asano, Junichi Suwabe

Directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani


Blood C is the latest version of the Blood franchise which started with Blood: The Last Vampire. The Blood franchise is an odd one in that every installment seems to be a complete reboot of the series, which makes this film unique in being the only one to actually be a sequel. The Last Dark follows the TV series of Blood C, but it stands on its own fairly well. The only really important fact you’ll be missing is that the main villain, Fumito Nanahara, used to be a father figure to Saya before he betrayed her.

The Blood franchise started as an action/horror film, but it has evolved over the years to lean more closely to the action side and now has very little horror to it. The biggest horror element that The Last Dark has is in the opening sequence on the train, which is really more of a homage to the opening scene of the original Blood: The Last Vampire. The film does still have its share of big creepy monsters. In fact, they are bigger and creepier here than in any of the previous incarnations of the franchise. However, they are never dealt with in a horror fashion. Instead they are just oversized enemies for Saya to get into a huge brawl with.

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Stephen reviews: Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (2010)

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works [フェイト/ステイナイト Feito/sutei naito] (2010)

Starring Noriaki Sugiyama, Junichi Suwabe, Kana Ueda, Ayako Kawasumi, Hiroshi Kamiya, Jouji Nakata, Tomokazu Seki, Nobutoshi Kanna, Atsuko Tanaka

Directed by Yuuji Yamaguchi


I came to this film without knowing much about it. It was something of an impulse buy fueled by nothing more than a gut feeling. All I knew about the Fate/Stay Night series is that it had a blonde woman with a sword and medieval armor on its promotional art. I heard that this movie was a retelling of the original TV series with amped-up blood and violence. It sounded like a good jumping on point to see what, if anything, I’d been missing. After watching the film, I’m doubtful there’s a whole lot worth seeing in the series, but Unlimited Blade Works itself was well worth watching despite some flaws.

It has a very generic setup. Some crazy supernatural tournament is going on, and the winner gets to keep the Holy Grail as a reward. A bunch of people called magi control magical servants to battle for them. Then, surprise surprise, our poor main character Emiya gets unwittingly sucked into it and finds out that he too can use a servant and participate in the battles. It’s the same premise of a million other bland anime titles out there. Then there’s the irritable pretty girl who gradually falls in love with him despite constantly getting angry at him. It’s a tag team of the two most common anime clichés.

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