Events move fast, though with thin logic at times.
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 Strike the Blood started off strongly for me, the more we get the more I’m seeing the inherent weaknesses of adapting a light novel series to anime. Some are more adaptable than others and I certainly believe this one can be done well, but it feels like it’s not coming across as smoothly as it should in terms of building the world and really connecting us to the characters. We’ve had some fun moments to be sure and gotten some decent character material, but the story arc material itself just feels haphazard half the time and that makes it difficult to really work with and to feel like it’s worth following. The characters help to ease that a bit, but it’s still a problem.
With the group having survived the incident on the roof and doing their best to cover what happened a bit with others, we’re largely in a holding pattern that also has a bit of racial undertones since Akatsuki is pretty defensive of vampires and the perceptions of them while dealing with Sayaka and the fallout from the terrorists. It’s fun to watch overall, but it gets short quick when the terrorists make their full on attack on the school and kidnap several of the students, Asagi and Yukina included. With Astarte a bit of a bloody mess, it’s good to see how many people kick into action in a quick and effective way to go after the terrorists, especially since they went for the obvious all black van that makes it easy to track them with. The chase side of it is solid and it’s fun to see how it moves, even if the terrorists do their own stupid things along the way, such as not checking anyone for cell phones.
While we get the usual drama as the terrorists question the girls and make far too many statements instead of keeping to themselves, we get the forward push as Sayaka and Akatuski attempt to work together to rescue them. This works pretty well as we get a number of people all arriving at the same location and some amusing interactions that comes from it, but mostly it’s just a lot of noise that doesn’t feel like it has a lot of usefulness to it. The bringing together of everyone does lead to the bigger scene with what’s revealed with the familiars that are used, and it seems like Vatler has a really big goal himself here, which in turn is about to set him and Akatsuki to fighting. Which, of course, just adds more noise and complications to things depending on how Vatler responds. And that response is certainly welcome to see, though he does it in a pretty big way.
Strike the Blood is one of those shows that feels like it’s right on the edge for me whether it can salvage itself or not. The premise is good, the character are decent with plenty of room to grow and the various aspects of how the world works has a lot to offer. But there’s just something about how it’s not clicking in a strong way here, not making a seamless transition from episode to episode and story to story. But even worse is the way it feels like it doesn’t have a handle within the story to make something cohesive and engaging. We’re getting a lot thrown at us but it doesn’t feel substantive enough to really hold it all together and make it work. And some of the weak aspects, such as the cell phones in this episode, just makes it a little more cringe inducing.
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.