Home > Blood-C, Episode Reviews > Blood-C Episode 5 – It Couldn’t Happen Here

Blood-C Episode 5 – It Couldn’t Happen Here

Routines are interesting things. Used properly, they can provide a sense of meaning, purpose, and order to one’s life. Used improperly, they can drain out the magic of the world, turning daily life in a dry, predictable pattern where everything is scripted before it began.

Blood-C, for its first three episodes, was devoted to a routine, and one which from all appearances was being done poorly. It created an improbable and frankly compelling pattern of action and high school antics, neither being particularly compelling. I’m now beginning to think, however, that all this was merely a tool to lull the viewer into a sense of complacency. Only when a viewer thinks he knows exactly what will happen next can a show deliver something truly shocking.

Those who have phobias about things going into eyes might want to skip the first part of this episode

Early on, the routine was simple: Saya fought at night against mute monstrosities and lived a seemingly carefree life during the day. The two parts of her life were completely separate, to the point where it wouldn’t be out of place to think of them as being entirely different stories that just shared a character.

And then the monsters start talking, proving both intelligent and remarkably interested in Saya. They stop attacking Saya and start attacking villagers. They even begin to show human emotions, with the monster this week showing righteous indignation for her brethren, slain at Saya’s hands.

This fight also shows the first attempt by a monster to outsmart Saya, creating a favorable site for a battle and attempting to track her movements. It nearly works

Even there, however, the basic pattern held. Any fighting was kept to the night. Even as we slowly saw the psychological effects of those fights bleed into the daylight hours, any physical threat remained one step removed. An attack couldn’t happen during the day. That would break the routine.

Likewise, even as villagers start to fall in increasing numbers, and the town begins to notice missing persons here and there, Saya’s school life was safely immune. When Saya’s teacher homeroom teacher Kanako starts talking about the monsters overtly (in the guise of sharing a ghost story to the class), Saya suffers from a blackout. The act of talking about such disturbing things in her “safe zone” is just too much for her.

Saya becomes increasingly curious about the nature of the monsters she's fighting. One thing her teacher's story confirmed for her is that this conflict has been going on for quite some time

Early on, I believed that the differences between Saya’s day and night routines, with her sugary, clumsy, innocent exterior during the day and her cold, ruthless persona at night, showed how the show was trying to have its cake and eat it too; it had the badass and the moe clutz in one girl, but couldn’t be bothered to make the combination realistic or integrated.

Now, I’m thinking that Saya’s dual nature was far more deliberate of a choice on the part of the writers. Saya needed her school life to be innocent because she needed a time to relax, to be a normal girl. The only way to make it through each night was to have a safe haven during the day, one which never saw hardship or pain.

Another part of Saya's daily haven is Fumito's cafe, but—even though Saya still thinks of it as safe—the audience has increasing reason to be suspicious of his motives

It’s a sanctuary Saya’s had years to develop, so giving the audience three or so episodes of it was perhaps the only way for the audience to develop the same expectations that Saya had. We had to believe, as Saya did, that nothing would touch those moments. Even as the dubious intentions of her adult peers and the signs of shadowy infiltration became evident, it was hard to conceive that bad things would possibly intrude on Saya’s friends, and certainly not during the day.

Thus, when the breakthrough finally happens, when a monster emerges in broad daylight looking to devour one of Saya’s closest friends, it’s a disruption of every pattern, of every expectation this show has given us up to now. That’s what makes the surprise so powerful, so overwhelming—and so welcome. It shows that everything I had been annoyed at about the show until now had a greater, more devious purpose than I originally gave credit.

Nene, a lover of ghost stories, really needs to learn to be careful what she wishes for

I don’t know where Blood-C will go from here, but that’s hardly a reason to complain. Rather, it’s a reason to stand up and cheer. One way or another, Saya’s safe, smaltzy, tranquil school life will be disrupted forever. And as much as I wanted that to happen two episodes in, I now understand why it was worth the wait.

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