Original Story: Gakuto Mikumo
Character Design: Manyako
Translation/Adaptation: Jeremiah Bourque
What They Say:
Kojou, having learned both the secret of Itogami Island and Eustach’s true goal, agonizes over the right thing to do even as Eustach presses his attack on the Keystone Gate. Are the lives of the island’s citizens more important than justice? Either way, their fate is in Kojou’s hands!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Asagi and the other workers are trapped underground when the tunnels collapsed and now Kojou must find a way to rescue them. With Yukina by his side, they must figure out why that old man and his beast vassal are attacking the foundations of Itogami Island. It can’t be just to sink the demon sanctuary so he can destroy all of the monsters at the risk of endangering the innocent. There has to be another reason behind all of this destruction, contradicting his vows to protect humanity. But in his current form, the Fourth Primogenitor has no chance of defeating this mad priest without getting sliced up once again. There must be another way … and the Sword Shaman might have the solution, even if her senpai doesn’t want to hear it, let alone unleash it.
Kojou has loath to remember when he was granted his powers and as such, has never tried to tap into them since it requires a sanguine sacrifice. But with so many lives at risk, there seems to be no other option, especially since Asagi is among them. Yukina knows that her task is to watch over him to assure that he never uses these abilities, but with the safety of the city in balance, what other choice is there? She knows that this may place them in more danger than before, though if they don’t, there may nothing to protect if they let that crazy priest have his way. So, with the full moon at their back, the couple share an embrace with the future of Itogami Island at stake. The Fourth Primogenitor is their only chance, but will he also be their final mistake?
To have the manga presented after seeing the animation sometimes put everything into perspective, or sometimes it works against you. In this case, it is the latter and at this junction to see the print form of such a frenetic action scene leaves the story lacking. While we are used to seeing a disparity between the two forms and most of the time the differences are barely noticeable, in this presentation, it feels as if something is missing from the paper medium versus the anime. Though the addition of fluid movement to the screen is obvious, when you see the same events in the static form, it appears as if something has been deleted. The panels between incidents seem disjointed, almost as if a page was removed to make room for something else. And at times the reader needs to make assumptions as to what happens between one picture and another since there is no clear transition with these actions. While this may work in dramatic scenes, this narration method leaves us wanting an explanation when it occurs in the midst of a critical action moment and you are left wondering or guessing how it happened.
Strike the Blood is becoming a very moving story about a human trying to deny his monstrous side, but once he acquiesces to that darkness, it transforms into a remarkable tale of acceptance. While the narrative is choppy at times, if you can keep up with the events, the tale is not your typical vampire melodrama. Hopefully, it will evolve into something that can become noteworthy of attention instead of blending into the other grisly love stories.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: May 24th, 2016