Blood-C Episode 8 – Unthinking Loyalty
There’s this great line in Moulin Rouge: “Without trust, there can be no love.” The reverse is also true: When there is love, trust often follows—even when it is not deserved.
Saya has that work both for her and against her this episode, and I think I prefer the latter incidences far more than the former. Saya, after all, has a variety of reasons to trust people who have lied to her repeatedly. But her classmates, however fond they are of her, have their own reasons to recoil at her actions. We don’t see that here.
Specifically, we don’t see that with Shin’ichirou, who stumbled upon Saya last episode as she was finishing off her latest opponent. His first response to seeing Saya, covered in wounds, fell a multi-limbed giant is not one of panic or revulsion. Rather, he tries to comfort her as if they were already dating, even though she doesn’t even seem to need comfort.
When Saya reluctantly explains her situation to him, Shin’ichirou seems remarkably nonplussed by it all. I mean, I can understand why he believes it, as he saw the bisected monster corpse with his own eyes. But the specifics—where the monsters are coming from, why Saya in particular has to fight them, why no one else has been told—don’t seem to interest him at all. He accepts Saya’s story at face value, and only asks how he can help to support her.
There’s a similar lack of curiosity with Saya, of course. She never questions when her father says she’s the only person who can fight, nor does she listen when monster after monster imply or even outright state she’s being lied to. But Saya, we now realize, has been implanted with a very carefully crafted set of memories, which naturally lead her not to question what her “father” has told her, even as she’s continually given reasons to do so.
Likewise, we’ve little to no indication that she’s come to distrust Fumito, despite hazy memories indicating that he drugged her on multiple occasions and even more distant memories about being his prisoner. For Saya, it makes sense that she would be unquestioning, although the fact she fails to question even now makes me wonder what level of shock is needed to break the spell. Shin’ichirou, as far as I can tell, is a normal guy. What’s his excuse? Is CLAMP just forcing him into the mysterious bishounen role, regardless of how little it fits within the established narrative?
The relationship between Saya and Shin’ichirou follows the same pattern as their tendency to trust: realistic on her side and not on his. For Saya, her breathtaking cluelessness as to Shin’ichirou’s romantic intentions are on the one hand part and parcel of standard anime cliche. But on the other hand, it makes perfect sense for someone as isolated as Saya, who has never even watched TV, and whose understanding of her own humanity has been programed in, to be missing the romantic parts. Maybe Tadayoshi and Fumito didn’t think it would be important.
Shin’ichirou’s blind love, by contrast, seems to stem from nothing. He clearly loves her deeply, or at least has a mega-sized crush, but there’s no reason as to why. I don’t know why he fell for her in the first place, why he can stay so calm in the face of horrific violence, and why, if he loves her enough to stay by her side even in the face of mortal peril, that he doesn’t try to get across to her exactly what his love for her is.
Shin’ichirou, in other words, is a cypher. His actions and persona don’t fit with anything it is realistic to expect from him, so unless he is like Fumito in having a secret underlying agenda, he just doesn’t fit. Given how I was hoping that the romantic elements of the story would make up for the hash of last week’s episode, this is a particular disappointment.
I am happy to say that the monster-related mayhem is back to its usual levels of terror, although that means the aggressive censoring is back too. This time, a suitably nasty looking horror attacks the school the first day classes are back in session, skewering several of Saya’s classmates before her very eyes. While I won’t find out until next episode if the fight is back up to the level I have come to expect from the show, at least it gets off on the right foot.
Depending on how many people survive the attack, we’ll also discover if everyone else in the town will act like normal human beings, too. The proper response when you realize that monsters have invaded your town slaughtering everyone in sight? Run. And Saya’s classmates, unlike seemingly everyone else in the show, seem quite capable of acting like normal people would.
Running is something Saya never does, so we’ll see what her bravery gets her next episode. If the preview is any indication, she won’t be showered with praise from her remaining classmates. I wrote above that I didn’t know what event could take place at this point that could shake apart Saya’s world view. Maybe being treated like a monster by those closest to her, by those whom she thought loved and trusted her, will bring back memories of when she actually was one.