Plot Synopsis:(from MAL)Ukishima Shrine is located in an old, picturesque lakeside town. Shrine maiden Kisaragi Saya lives there along with her father, Tadayoshi. By day, she lives the life of a normal high school student at Sanbara Academy. By night, she hunts the Old Ones. Possessing supernatural physical prowess, the Old Ones prey on humans, and only Saya has the ability to defeat them.
Thoughts after viewing: What exactly the connection between this series and the Blood+ series or the movie is I'm not entirely sure, but I haven't seen either of those, so I'm seeing this series without any knowledge of the related series.
This was a pretty slow episode. Nothing particularly interesting happens until the last ten minutes of the episode, and the first fourteen minutes is spent introducing the characters and rather lazily giving exposition (Why don't Saya's friends already know this information about her?) The imagery from the opening and what little I did know of the Blood series suggested to me that this would be a fairly dark series, so I spent this part of the episode anxiously waiting for something interesting to happen.
Once you do get to the end of the episode, it becomes worth it though. The last ten minutes of the episode is a fight scene, and it's pretty awesome. The coolest part of this fight scene is how Saya responds to combat. She is a complete badass, which is unexpected because she spent the rest of the episode being so cute, sweet and klutzy. Okay yeah, it makes no sense for her to be clumsy except when she fights, but it's still cool.
There is absolutely no dialogue in the fight scene, just ten minutes of kicking ass. Saya doesn't whine or say annoying catchphrases to the audience, no unnecessary explanation of everything she is going to do. She's known that this would happen her entire life, so she's prepared and knows what she has to do. She just silently stares off with the monster and kills it as quickly and efficiently as possible. It's seriously cool.
The character designs are by CLAMP, and the series is visually similar to xxxHolic. As expected, the character designs are very attractive, while managing not to make everyone look exactly the same. Saya's hair does bother me a little bit, it doesn't seem to move naturally, but I'm just nitpicking. The animation itself is fluid, and pretty well done. The opening theme is a fairly generic J rock song, and the background music is pretty good, but oddly creepy at unnecessary parts, like when Saya is walking down the stairs and this creepy piano music is playing. I thought something was going to jump out at her, but the next scene is her going ga-ga over a puppy she found.
If they make the fight scenes longer, and spend less time on boring scenes like Saya being late for school, this will be a pretty entertaining show. Hopefully it's just because this is the first episode and they wanted to give us as much backstory as possible before kicking things into high gear. There still is a lot of things that need to be explained, such as the creatures is fighting, and the nature of her and her father's powers, but I expect that in the next episode I'll get more explanation for the interesting details of the show and less about the more dull ones.