Wherein From The Warlord’s arc begins in full.
What They Say:
The fourth progenitor is the most powerful vampire once thought to exist only in the world of legends. Yet when it appears in Japan, the government for some reason chooses an apprentice “sword shaman”, Yukina Himeragi, to observe and obliterate it. Bewildered by the disproportionate task and its specific details, Yukina arrives at the Demon District of Itogami-jima to watch Akatsuki Kojo, and a student at a private high school on Itogami-jima.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While the opening arc of Strike the Blood didn’t floor me with what it did, it definitely hit some good notes in giving us interesting characters and a setting with potential. That can go a long way, even if unrealized in some ways, because you can get a solid bit of enjoyment out of it. With the manmade island aspect, a male lead who is at least aware of what he is and not going through an awkward and weak discovery phase of it and a younger female lead that isn’t sure how to handle him made for a good combination of events. Throwing in a whole lot of magic only adds to it and gave me echoes of A Certain Magical Index in a lot of ways as there are certainly some parallels to be had. But Strike the Blood certainly stands on its own as well and does so pretty well.
Putting all that behind, the show is moving forward with some of the predictable material here as we get everyone going to school as you’d expect and dealing with Yukina being a bigger part of it now since she’s trying to deal with that as a part of her life, which includes watching Akatsuki since she’s not actively trying to kill him now. Akatsuki isn’t scot free in all of this either as he now finds himself paired with Asagi for the new school year when it comes to the sports they have to partner up in, though Asagi is far more upset about it. To make matters worse, the two of them end up with badminton as their sport, which peeves Asagi even more since it’s not quite her speed. Akatsuki is as good natured as always, but that’s because unlike Asagi, he doesn’t realize it’s all a setup on Motoki’s part.
While we get a bit of the badminton aspect of the show starting, it gets derailed fairly quickly as the gang gets attacked and we see Yukina appear out of the blue to help. It’s not a surprise since it reinforces that she’s always watching him, but giving him some privacy. Which is going to be slim as we also see through a separate arc that there is a group that aims to eliminate him as the Fourth Progenitor for their own mysterious reasons that are slowly being exposed. The fight that hits, short as it is, starts to lay some of the clues for them as Yukina has an idea of what some of it may mean. But mostly, it’s just a bit of token action that breaks up the episode and hints that things will come. Most of what we get here is largely social niceties and seeing Yukina adjusting to being a part of society here. That’s not exactly bad and it helps to flesh her out some while also providing a few moments where we see just how intense she can, especially when her measurements are revealed.
Everything here is largely about the setup for the new arc, which is pretty much expected. The latest opponent, who truly gets introduced only in the last thirty seconds or so of the episode, makes a decent impression but is more about providing the hook for those looking for the larger story material. The bulk of what we get is character material in showing us how Yukina and Akatsuki are co-existing with the new balance that’s being forged and some of the simplicity of school life and the ages they are. There are cute moments to be had, particularly with the way Yukina whips from friendly to violent of course, but there’s also a decent bit of fluff. In terms of showing the relationship, it does fairly well when it comes to the leads and adding Asagi in for a little additional flair. But there’s little earth-shattering here that demands and commands your attention, even at the end.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.