Home > Blood-C, Episode Reviews > Blood-C Episode 11 – Curtain Call

Blood-C Episode 11 – Curtain Call

With the revelation last episode that certain character thought dead were very much alive and kicking, the full extent of the charade around Saya’s life came into focus. This episode, aside from a sudden appearance from an monster which is just as quickly forgotten, devotes itself to playing that out, with the frankly mercenary motives of the deceivers laid bare. Such motives become all the more horrific when one realizes that only the “main cast” was spared death; everyone else wasn’t in on it.

Kanako, however, is far less concerned about the carnage left in the wake of the experiment, so much as the fact that it’s still ongoing. She has reason to think Fumito is “cheating” with the results, wiping Saya’s memory whenever she is close to remembering. So she decides to cheat a little on her own—regardless of what it means for Saya.

Saya spends most of this episode is shock, so what little action we have is from flashbacks. It's worth noting that the unbrainwashed Saya deliberately avoided killing humans, even when they were attacking her

In doing so she’s gathered those who are also eager for the charade to end: Nene and Nono, who want certain unspecified but likely sadistic crimes expunged off of their records (the pair even starts planning a new set while waiting for the end), and Shin’ichirou, who wants to be paid and finds being around monsters (a category in which he includes Saya) to be disturbing. Those three were the most affectionate in their interactions with Saya, and I have no doubt they were chosen as betrayers just to drive their mendacity home.

Kanako, by contrast, merely wants her research proven correct; she’s been ostracized by her peers for her views on Japanese folk lore and now, she thinks, she has proof she’s right. To her Saya is a tool, evidence, not a person. That also means she has not problem abusing Saya if it will get her what she wants.

In addition to the force feeding, Kanako is rather free with Saya's body. There's always been an undercurrent of sexual interest in her obsession with Saya, perhaps another sign that Kanako isn't playing with a full deck

Kanako thinks the best way to awaken Saya is to make her drink the blood of her own kind, something the show know reveals Saya was doing from the beginning. Fumito would always come to put the lid back on, but Kanako bets she can evade that now. It’s a bet she gets wrong, as the rest of the main cast (that is, the named characters of the show) arrive to stop her.

Do Itsuki Tomofusa and Yuuka Amino care for Saya in some way the others don’t? Are they, who witnessed the slaughter at the school, regret their involvement in a way that wouldn’t occur to the others? (I doubt the twins would regret involvement in anything that didn’t immediately impinge on them.) Or are they simply intelligent enough to know that crossing Fumito is a bad idea?

Itsuki notes that the others are doing the reveal too early: "I haven't even died yet." That probably signals that he's on board with the production, but I'm sort of hoping to be proven wrong

One problem with this episode is that it spends too much time exploring the motivations of four individuals (Nene, Nono, Shin’ichirou, and Kanako), when there’s a much larger cast out there, so we’re still guessing as to their purpose. I do appreciate that there are several hints about how it all come about—how everyone was monitored, what kept the key players alive, how extensive the deception was and what it didn’t cover—but the audience has known for the last month at least that it was all a ruse. The why is more important that the how, and all the “why” we were going to get this episode came early on.

Even with all the explaining, there are still questions about the extent of the production. Where did the town come from, for example, and the people who populated it? Accepting that the main cast had wards that protected them from being eaten, where did their body doubles come from, and how did they deceive the normally perceptive Saya? Such questions, however, pale to the question of motive. What, ultimately, was the point of it all?

And why does everyone run from the monster of the week if they have wards? And why doesn't the monster follow?

Fumito, as the ultimate instigator, the one who had Saya captured with his private army, and who inspires fear from everyone with only a few soft words, is the only one who can answer that question. Delaying his appearance until the end of the episode means that it wait for the finale for all to be revealed, which I suppose is how it should be. The show is so overwhelmed by metanarrative that keeping up with genre conventions is not merely appropriate, but the only way it could play out.

The last question is about Watanuki, and his involvement in all this. Did he help create the scenario? Is he there to end it? Ironically, given how little I liked the crossover element, I want for his role to be as strong as possible in the resolution of the matter. Only that would justify bringing him into the story in the first place, given all he’s done so far was either unimportant or transferable to someone else.

Fumito, for example, apparently has enough power to make this entire show happen on his own. What need is there for a wish shop?

Whether Blood-C is a great show, a good show, or a stupid show with some great fight scenes and a decent middle act will depend on those questions get answered. But whatever Blood-C is, it’s a show that is sufficiently aware of the its classic narrative flaws (Saya’s slowness to remember, the artificiality of its setting, etc.) to regularly incorporate explanations within the narrative to explain them. I’m not sure whether that’s clever or too clever, but it’s only one of the reasons I keep coming back for more. Whatever happens next week, I won’t regret having done that.

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  1. FFWF
    September 24, 2011 at 5:02 am

    This was a very satisfying episode from the point of view of someone who suspected the town was made up of actors and delinquents (and I can still pretend that the original script would’ve called for Class Rep to go crazy at some point, as I predicted and as is now obviously not going to happen). I agree that there’s still some explaining to do, though – how exactly did Fumito manage to get so many people to participate in this without any kind of guarantee that they wouldn’t be killed? And how exactly were the deaths of the “main cast” fabricated? The latter in particular would have to require the monsters to be in on the scheme, unless the cast’s body doubles were so convincing as to render the very purpose of a body double redundant. I kinda suspect this will be ignored or handwaved, though.

    As for Watanuki – or Wishbone, as I’ve been calling him due to being unable to remember his name – the fact that others can’t see him suggests that his involvement may lead to some kind of twist. Maybe he’s the one with the power to set up the experiment, rather than Fumito’s authority – or maybe he represents a significant side which is external to this, which we don’t know about yet, although that’s really more of a sequel hook role. The classic twist would be that Saya made a wish with him, and that’ll influence the finale. We shall see.

    Although I guess the big question at this point is who and what Saya’s father really is. In the flashback, it seemed as if Fumito turned into a monster and knocked Saya out, but that doesn’t really seem like his style, whereas we know Kisaragi is no normal human…

    • threeheadedmonkeys
      September 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      Well, I rewatched episode six, and realized that when Saya turns around to see the monster munching on Nene, the head is already being mulched by the monster. So it’s possible for a substitution there, assuming another girl in uniform was handy. So, maybe it can be explained. Still seems like a lot of work.

      I think the monster is Saya’s father. It’s Fumito off to the side talking, and then he sends in Tadeyoshi. Fumito is almost certainly human.

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