Home > Blood-C, Episode Reviews > Blood-C Episode 6 – Darkness at Noon

Blood-C Episode 6 – Darkness at Noon

Humans have remarkably poor night vision compared to most of the things inclined to eat us, so perhaps it’s natural that many of the macabre creations of our folklore only come out at night, from vampires being burnt by the sun to werewolves transformed under the light of the moon. The monsters of Blood-C had followed that pattern, which is why the appearance of one during the day caught Saya (and the audience) so off guard.

The monster also struck at Saya’s home, in the (presumably warded) temple where Saya sleeps. It attacks not Saya, but one of Saya’s close friends, who is utterly incapable of defending herself. Nene spends most of her remaining screen time alternating between catatonic shock and panicked flight, and Saya sustains her own injuries in a frantic attempt to save her.

Nene's survival instincts being absolute crap, Saya has to save her more than once. It still doesn't help

It’s an attempt that fails: Saya manages to get to her blade, but by then the monster has gotten to Nene, biting off her head in what I imagine will be rather graphic fashion. (It’s censored out here.) It’s the final in a series of narrative blows meant to communicate that nothing is sacred or protected anymore, and the survival of any character cannot be taken for granted.

Rather, it’s what would be the final blow in a normal plotline. Most stories are content to kill off one or two characters to show that the situation is sufficiently dire, but will save any serious carnage until the finale, when we don’t need the cast around anymore. Nene was a particularly good choice in this regard; her twin Nono is so alike her in personality and appearance (they even share a voice actor) that killing off one of them just trimmed out the extra fat.

Based on the sounds accompanying the frame, I'm guessing the black part covers the rows of teeth grinding apart Nene's skull, or something equally graphic

Blood-C is not content to be a normal show. Rather than just have her sister’s disappearance change her, Nono winds up being possessed by yet another of the multivaried creatures swarming the village. This one also attacks Saya in broad daylight, butchering several townsfolk along the way. And Saya finds that her only method to defeat the monster is to go through Nono first.

Blood-C isn’t interested in disrupting the status quo or highlighting a sense of danger. It wants to break Saya down completely, and with her second failure in twenty four hours to protect those closest to her, she’s emotionally spent. It’s a situation which makes her particularly vulnerable to self questioning, which is probably why the dog she’s been following around chooses this time to reveal he can speak. His questions point to the holes in Saya’s memory, and how she’s been running on autopilot for so long without ever thinking about the why.

Saya doesn't quite have time to figure out how a dog is speaking to her before the latest attack happens, but given what's she's gone through today, it's hardly the most shocking thing on the list

With Saya’s world unraveling from without and from within, the pacing and plot of the show has never been better. It’s for that reason that the very glaring censorship in this episode stands out as such a disappointment. While I’m more lenient of censored violence than censored sexual content (mainly because of the crass DVD marketing inherent in the latter practice, and because the sexual content is rarely justified in the first place), I’d still prefer the show use more carefully editing to suggest the carnage if they can’t show it on TV outright.

Perhaps the brutal imagery being blocked out here is just so the director and/or writers can preserve their gritty vision of how the show really should look, but it’s really annoying to have half the screen covered in black streaks. Anime is a visual medium. Covering up what you want us to see is never a good first choice.

The victims of the shadow beastie are censored with white streaks, probably to keep us from confusing the censoring with the monster

Putting that aside, the show has thrown the gates wide open as to what comes next. School is cancelled due to Nene’s “disappearance,” and I doubt it will start up again with Nono and multiple other townspeople being taken out in the middle of the street. Saya is now carrying her sword around in public, during the day (a fact no one seems to notice or comment on, but oh well). Her normal life is not just disrupted. It’s gone for good.

As I found most of the school portions of the show boring and pointless, this is hardly a bad thing in my book. My only question is how the show can keep this momentum running for the remaining seven or eight episodes it has left (given its pacing, I’d be really surprised if Blood-C continued into the fall season), or what it will do when it wants a breather or a comic relief episode.

One great thing about the fight this time: Saya turns on the red eyes of doom, and still has her work cut out for her

For now, Blood-C is vying Kamisama Dolls for best action show of the season. Where Kamisama Dolls has a wider selection of cast and subplots, Blood-C has shown—at least in the past few weeks—to have a relentless focus on a main plot which Kamisama Dolls has yet to even settle on. They are such different shows that it’s sort of difficult to compare them. But if you asked me right now which one I most want see next, Blood-C wins hands down.

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