Strike the Blood – 07

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Yukina breaks up Kojou and Sayaka’s fight and takes Asagi to the nurse’s office. Christoph Gardos infiltrates the school and kidnaps Asagi, Yukina, and Nagisa. He wants Asagi to analyze the control commands for Nalakuvera which has already been activated. Yaze tracks them, but is taken out by Vatler, who is involved to stave off boredom. Kojou waves off Vatler, vowing to take on Nalakuvera himself.

In yet another watchable but ultimately uninspiring episode, everything is set up for the climactic battle between Kojou and the ancient war machine Nalakuvera. But this show’s problem right now is needless complication: there are too many hastily introduced parties with too many different motivations. We can understand Lion King bringing in extra help to stop demonic terrorists from ruining Itogami Island, but it’s unwise to squeeze in the conflict between Gardos and Vatler at the same time, along with whatever Natsuki and Yaze are up to.

Without any time to develop any of these various factions individually, it’s hard to care about any of them, beyond the fact that they all oppose Kojou in some way and should be defeated. We’d also mention how pathetically easily Yukina lets herself, Asagi, and Nagisa get captured. We didn’t see much point in Nagisa being present in the episode at all, much less bring up her fear of demons, which was kind of a non sequitur. Sayaka is kind of a train wreck of a character, which might be okay if she was good at her job. Honestly, we’re still not able to articulate why we’re still watching this or why we don’t just stop. It’s very strange.


Rating: 5 (Average)

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Strike the Blood – 06

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Kojou and Yukina meet Vatler, who is accompanied by the Lion King assassin Kirasaka Sayaka, who doesn’t like Kojou hanging around her friend Yukina. Vatler wanted to meet the man who essentially consumed his lover, but also notifies them about the presence of Christoph Gardos, whom Yukina vows to deal with herself. When she and Kojou meet with Natsuki for intel, she tells them she’s on the case, and to focus on not letting Vatler devour Kojou. Asagi decodes information on Nalakuvera, an ancient weapon Gardos may be after, while also setting to work attempting to “seduce” Kojou. Sayaka notices Kojou’s “infidelity” and ambushes him on the school roof. When she cuts him, his vampire powers release, in plain view of Asagi.

This show is a bit too qualifier-happy. Lord Blah Blah of the Blah Blah informs Kojou of that Blah Blah Gardos of the Blah Blah Faction is after the Blah Blah Weapon. Piling titles upon titles and organizations upon factions just makes for a whole lot of proper nouns we’d rather not have to memorize. Still, while there’s plenty of supernatural political intrigue, with Kojou in the middle and the target of many interested parties, the show doesn’t forget that not long ago he was just a regular high schooler, who is still hanging on to a decent chunk of his normal high school life. As many problems he has on the supernatural side of things,almost equal importance is given to the love triangle the show is committed to sticking him in.

What really makes it clear is just how angry and jealous she gets when her rival Asagi starts resorting to extreme seduction measures. Asagi likes Kojou and relieved to hear he’s not dating Yukina, so makes her interest in Kojou abundantly clear to him whenever possible. Still, Kojou doesn’t seem interested in really dating anyone at this point. Part of this is practical—he can’t control his vampire side if he gets too…excited—but it’s also because his normal side is being disappointingly dense and indecisive. DURRR U MAD YUKINA… DURRR WHY ARE U LYING ON TOP OF ME AND BLUSHING ASAGI DURRR…really? Sort it out, dude. We’ll also see how Asagi deals with Kojou’s dark side.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Strike the Blood – 02

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Yukina moves next door to Kojou and transfers to his sister Nagisa‘s middle school. Kojou’s teacher Minamiya Natsuki warns him to stay well clear of Lion King Org. members. Kojou accompanies Yukina while she shops for her empty flat. While on their way to a convenience store after dinner, Yukina and Kojou witness a huge fight between two familiars. Yukina runs off to investigate and is attacked by Combat Deacon Rudolf Eustach and his colleague Astarte. Kojou shows up and saves Yukina, but his powers go haywire.

It’s well-worn, but we still like the idea of the usually ordinary guy possessing awesome powers that he almost never uses, but are always there. Kamijou Touma is another example. Both he and Kojou don’t think they can change the world but always seem to end up doing so anyway. But while Touma simply seems to have abnormally bad fortune, Kojou’s issue with his powers is that he’s not particularly confident he’d be able to control them were they to fully surface. By the end of the episode, it would seem that his fears were correct. But before all that, the episode shows that it can do slice-of-life competently, and the rapport growing between Kojou and Yukina is also progressing nicely.

Yukina’s ignorance of golf clubs notwithstanding, there’s just something amusing about the world’s most powerful vampire and his sword shaman minder going to Home Depot. But while he seems to be the model Primogenitor with his hot-pot invitation and crane game prowess, when he inserts himself in that battle he shows he can be a “dangerous being”, and Yukina’s explicit orders were to eliminate him in that instance. We know she won’t do that – it’s only the second episode and she doesn’t seem powerful enough at this point – it could complicate their relationship. Or maybe he’ll snap out of it, she’ll thank him for saving her, and he’ll begin the long process of mastering his powers in hopes of using them for good.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Strike the Blood – 01

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Akatsuki Kojou was once an ordinary high schooler in the Demon District of Itogami City, but somehow became the Fourth Primogenitor – the world’s strongest vampire. The Lion King Organization, an agency tasked with preventing supernatural calamities, dispatched the apprentice Sword Shaman Himegari Yukina to observe Kojou – and eliminate him if necessary.

Like Staz last season, Maou the season before, and Mirai this season, Akatsuki Kojou is a reluctant host to a potentially world-threatening power, but still in a low-power state, who would rather just live a normal life, but the story will probably make sure that doesn’t happen. In the beginning he’s presented as just your run-of-the-mill slacking high-schooler whose nose bleeds when he’s turned on. And that he’d like nothing else but to keep that nose down and stay out of trouble. Trouble will of course eventually find him, however, so continuing to pretend he’s not the Fourth Primogenitor is futile.

Enter the heroine, Himeragi Yukina, who doesn’t seem to be there only to keep an eye on him and destroy him if he tries anything. It’s possible the powers that be paired her with Kojou because they’re both still figuring out who and what they are. Perhaps they’re not even certain anyone can defeat him, so they’re going with a softer approach to appeal to the humanity still within him, in an effort to manage the threat. Or maybe they have so much faith in Yukina, despite her youth and inexperience, to be a Sword Shaman who can handle the Fourth.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Stray Observations:

  • There’s not a lot we haven’t seen before in this series, and the expansion of the cast the OP foretells could be troublesome, but we know for sure that we like the two leads, and after an unfortunate upskirt incident, they eventually settle down and interact cordially. Considering they’re stuck together, making peace was the logical course.
  • Yukina is a lot less stealthy than she thinks.
  • Animation quality is a step down from the other Fall series so far, but it doesn’t embarrass itself. Where the series is truly let down is in its uninspired soundtrack.
  • We appreciated the restraint with which the episode handled ecchi elements, but Kojou’s bloody nose will probably continue to get him into trouble, which is kinda lame.