Strike the Blood – 18
「観測者たちの宴篇III」 (Kansoku Sha Tachi no Utage Hen III)
“Fiesta for the Observers III”
It seems like every week that I’ve been thinking this lately, but Strike the Blood really knows how to do its genre well. Flashy action fights combine with a fantasy/supernatural themed universe to make a potent combination, and strategically placed fan-service gives this cake the cherry topping it deserves. It’s similarities to the well-loved To Aru Majutsu no Index series only add to this enjoyment—we got Natsuki activating her “John’s Pen Mode” this week—and the bottom line is this: Strike the Blood keeps getting better and better. The past two arcs especially have been some of the best this series has to offer—a tough feat considering how the cast has continued to expand with every episode.
And suffice to say, it’s amazing how easily they’ve made it to accept the introduction of new villains and allies on a weekly basis—especially when they’ve got funky names like Broodt Dumblegraff, Lydianne Didier, Kira Lebedev Voltisvala, and Tobias Jagan. Put simply, these are names that seem to be a random amalgamation of syllables that “sound cool together,” and it’s something that would leave viewers going “ehhhhhhhh” if this was a normal show. But as we’ve seen so far, this series is far from ordinary in terms of its execution—a fine accomplishment considering its generic backdrop—and this episode in particular yields a boatload (pun intended) of examples in this regard.
Indeed, when one considers how fluidly the series bounces between the comedic and serious moments, there are few other phrases one can use to describe this phenomenon. It’s just good execution when your life and death moments can still yield to jokes at Akatsuki’s expense without taking away from the experience, even though you’ve got to feel a little bad for the guy at this point. I mean, on one hand, he can’t be in a room together with another female without being accused of being a pervert. And on the other hand, the fact that he hasn’t made a move on any of the girls also makes Asagi question whether or not he’s actually into men—something that’s made even more hilarious when you consider his interactions with Kira and Vatler. No matter what he does, he seems destined to be at the receiving end of all kinds of jokes and misfortune, which makes him quite like a certain main character from a certain scientific series. In the end though, I have to say… if I were him, I wouldn’t mind having to deal with all of that if it meant I’d meet people like this on a daily basis. I’m all about subverting the social order after all. Though I’d prefer not having to deal with crazy mothers and getting stabbed.
But yeah, it’s another superb episode of Strike the Blood as Asagi, Natsu-kyun, Sayaka, and Vatler end up receiving quite a bit of the focus this week. Seems like things’ll go back to focusing on Himeragi next week though, as it seems she was Tokoyagi Aya’s target the entire time, and things look like they’ll only get more and more interesting from here. Because as it turns out, there’s a lot more behind her choice as Akatsuki’s observer than we had expected, which is a nice addition to the story considering how she’s constantly been abusing that term as an excuse to dabble in all aspects of Akatsuki’s life. Until next week however, I heard you guys like…