What They Say:
Episode 7 – “Omen”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Kohei’s life at the school has certainly not been problem free, what with discovering that several students on the council are vampires, but I’d almost say more so because of the school activities he’s been roped into that have kept him busy. While we’ve noted it’s been a good way to get him familiar with everyone that he doesn’t know and to make a positive impact, there’s also the sense that he’s being easily manipulated by everyone in order to make their lives a little easier. It’s a bit of win/win for most of them, but there’s still that edge that makes you cringe just a little bit.
Fortune Arterial actually lets Kohei push back against this a bit but it manages to turn things nicely into having him and Erika spending more time together, which allows both of them to be humanized a bit more. There’s a short but very nicely done sequence that highlights some of the variety of skills that he’s acquired over the years which includes some minor flower arrangement. The small bit of history for it is done well enough, but having him involved with Erika with it allows her to really soften for a minute or two in a way that doesn’t feel forced or is overdone. It turns her into a more interesting character because of it and because she’s continuing to smile more and more now that Kohei is in the picture of her life.
While we get those rather endearing scenes, there’s also a good bit of fun as the summer school activities continue and we get the school meet. That means lots of school swimsuits to be had and a continuance of the softening in the relationship between Erika and Kohei. Emphasized by the music, the two really come across well here again and seeing the way they’re dealing with these changing feelings, slow as they may be, is a welcome diversion for the big and brash swim meet moments and the silliness of it all. There’s an undercurrent playing to all of it as well with Erika as we see her getting weak at one point prior to the meet and that hints at something larger than you can sort of see coming where Erika may need a little blood, but by and large this episode is about feelings and fun. And it handles it well.
Fortune Arterial is a show that I’m almost surprised that I’m enjoying because it does play with such a basic storyline. It’s the execution of it and the mild but important differences in how it tells things that allows it to work. Keeping the vampirism to a minimum overall, sometimes without a mention at all, is a surprising element, as is the way that there aren’t any significant blocks to Erika and Kohei getting together in the form of a serious romantic rival. There are things afoot, but they haven’t introduced it from the start and made it a triangle that can be divisive for comedic effect. It definitely harkens more to the emotional side, tied with very appealing designs and music, to give it all the right effect. It’s easily manipulative if you let yourself be taken in by it, which isn’t hard because it’s not a show that really offends with how it wants to tell the story. Cliches can be done well and in an interesting way.
Originally Streamed By: Crunchyroll