What better thing to do than to spend some time on a tropical island in survival-ish mode.
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)
Though Strike the Blood hinted a bit about this arc towards the end of the previous episode, the bulk of it was focused on the normal lives of the kids to some degree. And while that kind of material can be grating at times, it does work fairly well here since we’ve had a lot of convoluted aspects to their lives with the arcs that have existed so far. Giving them all a chance to just sit around in different places and go through their normal lives certainly helps to humanize them a bit more. And that’s been very needed overall. Part of what drew me to the show initially was some of this kind of material as we get to know Akatsuki and Himeragi when they first came together and got to understand each other. It’s not been on a breakneck pace since then, but it hasn’t spent much in the way of quality character time.
With that kind of background to it, the episode has some decent fun here as Akatsuki is called in to do a bit of bodyguard kind of work with Natsuki and Astarte as the festival is here and Natsuki is looking to let Astarte have a bit of normality about it. Himeragi naturally tags along and they get some of the background on the organ harvesting that has been going on lately, which certainly gives it all a dark and ominous tone. Which is pretty much given a good reason to be as it doesn’t take long for an attack to land on all of them after sending a Familiar out to scout the area and see what’s going on. It’s not a lengthy fight that happens here, but it’s good to see how everyone is pretty much on their game as the attack lands its blows and they push back against it, holding their own since there’s still a mystery over what’s really going on.
This all pushes them towards the mission at hand, which has Akatsuki and Himeragi on a propeller plane ride that causes them to be effectively stranded on a small island where they have to get some basic survival done. It makes the logical moves towards it, but it happens in such short order that it feels like it’s really rushed in order to get these two alone for awhile. Of course, they’re not going to be alone for long as it turns out the other familiar characters from the school are here as well, including Sayaka which leads to a confrontation with Asagi, and it has all the makings of a lot of silliness to be mixed in between all the rest. The lightness of events here is admittedly fun and I do like it since it puts Akatsuki and Himeragi to the side for awhile on their own and I do like the dynamic between the two of them. But it also keeps this arc from feeling like it’s getting a solid pushing off point between the previous episode and this one.
Similar to the previous episode, it’s the last minute or so that brings in the important material and it’s just a tease that’s going to be dealt with more later. Most of what makes up Strike the Blood this time around is light and fun character material in the second half as the two groups of kids are on a tropical island and trying to survive without much of a real threat to them at the moment. Himeragi and Akatsuki are fun to watch together and the other, larger group has its moments as well. It’s all set up by the material earlier on with the attack and the hints from the previous episode, but nothing makes much of an impact here. It’s cute and fun at times and the action sequence is spot on, but at the end of it I still find myself wondering what it’s all about. And certainly not eagerly awaiting the next episode.
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.