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Strike the Blood – 20

「錬金術師の帰還篇I」 (Renkinjutsu Shi no Kikan Hen I)
“Return of the Alchemist I”

It’s the start of a new arc and Kanase Kensei is back in the picture (along with his Millennium Ring). It’s too bad for him that his return ends up short lived though, because a certain alchemist—one quite reminiscent of the one from Kara no Kyoukaiwants something, and he happens to be the one who has it. Well, at least he manages to survive somehow, which may be better than Asagi’s prognosis at the end of the episode…

All things considered though, it’s just more of the usual this week. The potential of Asagi getting tossed to the curb was something I didn’t see coming—SHE’S NOT DEAD DAMMIT, SHE BETTER NOT BE—but all things considered, this episode does a lot of what the previous arcs have done to great effect. For one, the start of the arc introduces yet another aspect of the series’ universe in regards to Alchemists and the Lion King Organization’s branch HQ. In turn, this gets combined with the return of Kanase Kanon (does this mean La Folia’ll be back soon too!?), Natsuki, and Asagi in the roles we’ve seen of them previously, which highlights the series’ uncanny ability to gradually introduce bits and pieces about the world while tying multiple plot-lines together.

Best of all, the series tends to ensure that none of the main cast gets left out for too long. Without exception, each arc tends to rotate the focus back to cast members that didn’t get as much focus in the previous arc, and it’s a superbly executed tactic that basically ensures that nothing is wasted in terms of potential plot devices. Basically, it ensures that there’s a diverse amount of paths the story can take—all while keeps things like the jokes at Akatsuki’s expense fresh, because it’s typically a different group of people doing it each time. It may be the same kind of joke each time, and it may even be the same person reacting the way they do, but the fact they aren’t always around makes it feel new everytime, and it’s just one of the reasons I come back to watch this series. You know—aside from the great frontal looks, maid outfits, and full-lengths we get on a weekly basis. Oh, did I mention the quality dialogue and great facial gestures (this is the face of true contempt!) too?

But yeah, as we look forward, it’s intriguing that they’ve bought back the Monastery from Kanon’s previous arc. If there’s one thing I forgot to ask about amid all of La Folia’s flashy ass-kicking, nose-bleed inducing antics back then, it was how the Monastery got the way it did in the first place, and it’s nice to see that they’re actually going back and addressing this in some way. Not only that, it’s connected to an entire arc of its own, and it’s great to see how all the puzzle pieces seem to be fitting together—not only for this arc, but the overall story proper. Indeed, it looks like we’ve only touched a bit of the iceberg that is Strike the Blood, and this week gives us some extra tidbits about Avrora too.

Sadly there’s only four more episodes left in the series’ current run, which makes it more and more likely we’ll be left with a lot of the major plot points untouched in some shape or form. For now though, I guess we’ll take what we have, and what we have are another decent spread of full-lengths below. It’s not quite as much as the previous weeks, but I’m pretty sure the coming episodes will have a spectacular spread to make up for it—especially given the things we saw in the preview…

Full-length images: 04, 10, 14, 26, 35.

 

Preview

March 1, 2014 at 7:33 pm
53 comments »
  • March 1, 2014 at 7:38 pmDude

    She won’t die, not before giving us another blood-sucking scene.

    • March 2, 2014 at 9:28 amPeTdo

      in this chapter we have wise’s man blood which make a person immortal lol Asagi it seem we’ll have to use that on you and then unless himeragi have crazy new power asagi will always be OTP now like oshino shinobu, no matter who you love kojou, they will all die and leave you behind but immortal asagi won’t

      • March 2, 2014 at 5:49 pmYou know, for kids!

        My guess is, the red goo woman will merge with Asagi, making her immortal. I don’t know if it’ll happen, but it better.

  • March 1, 2014 at 7:53 pmCybersteel

    NUOOOOOOOOOOOO ASAAAGIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!

    On a related note this resembles the fate of Himegami from Index.

    • March 1, 2014 at 8:17 pmZephyr

      Himegami x Alchemist.
      Asagi x Alchemist.

      Hmmm.

    • March 1, 2014 at 8:27 pmc2710

      Asagi is alive and Koujo will come in the nick of time to save her…..

      Right? Right? RIGHT??????

      That’s what happened in Index… Touma came and rescued Himegami and busted the Alchemist with his Image Breaker…..

      Right? Right? RIGHT??????

      • March 1, 2014 at 9:11 pmjrj

        EDITED: You gotta stop saying stuff that are spoilers/seem like spoilers. Preview may hint at things, but it’s far from a confirmation.

      • March 1, 2014 at 9:57 pmzztop

        @jrj:Understood. But if the remaining episodes do not address the Kojou-Avrora backstory, then could you please give spoilers for us anime-only viewers?

      • March 1, 2014 at 10:01 pmdaikama

        @jrj: O.O WOW!!! That’s hard to imagine. Not saying your wrong, but hard to believe she’d be gone like that. :<. If that is the case, then I'm pissed at Kojou for not telling her the truth. Sure it would be awkward, but she's been deeply involved in almost every incident. Plus, she already suspects something has been going on with Kojou.

        JMO, but I think Kojou owed it to Asagi to tell her the truth by now. Both from a respect stand point and the risks to her own safety. If he had, she might have run away the instant he told her warned her to do so rather than stick around and get badly hurt (or killed :<).

      • March 1, 2014 at 10:23 pmjrj

        well, I guess I went a bit too far this time, so I apologize for that and maybe the above comment should just be deleted for good? I guess the thing is that I hate that scene as much as anyone else. But for the story to progress, it had to be done.

        @daikama, I don’t remember where in the LN, but there was a monologue by Kojo on whether he should tell Asagi about his true identity… so he has given it some thoughts. But given I should refrain from more suggestive spoilers and potential wrong doings here, I am going to drop this and let you guys enjoy next episode.

        @zztop, I do intent to spill out all I know about that backstory arc (of course in spoilers)… of course it will wait till the end :) Thanks a lot! I feel bad for spoiling too much yet it is so hard knowing what happens and can’t really discuss with many people :(

      • March 1, 2014 at 11:20 pmdaikama

        @jrj: No worries on my end. Even if xyz happens in the LN, that doesn’t mean the adaptation will stick with that. Been surprised by some unexpected changes in other shows which for the most part stuck with the source.

        IIRC, there was a scene in the anime where Kojou thought about telling Asagi what was really going on, but thinking about it and doing it are two different things. Regardless of how it turns out, IMO he Kojou still should have told Asagi the truth. Granted pure conjecture on my part, but if he had, her being attacked might have been prevented. That’s my issue here. Asagi keeps getting caught up in dangerous events which are largely due to Kojou’s presence. It’s not directly his fault, but “people’ are targeting him because of who/what he is – and he realizes that. Thus, I think he owes it to Asagi to let her in on his secret so she understands the danger associated with him. Forewarned is forearmed.

    • March 1, 2014 at 8:33 pmhaseo0408

      In one of the novels Himegami was literally ripa apart in the chest like Asagi and with a combination of healing magic and advance medical science from the Heaven Chacelor he made it throught without even a scar left. Itogami Island has both of those stuff and besides look the preview, that scene of the girls going to the camp won´t happen if one their friends is dead or seriously injured.

  • March 1, 2014 at 7:55 pmHugh

    La Folia will come back, I can feel it! ;~~;

  • March 1, 2014 at 8:01 pmewok40k

    NOOOOO! Asagi!
    If they kill her off I’m setting off towards Japan with a definitely unfriendly intentiions towards the creators…

  • March 1, 2014 at 8:10 pmVaan

    Natsuki-chan sure loves to give Kojou supplementary lessons.

  • March 1, 2014 at 8:14 pmoliviaven

    Kaji Yuki everywhere!

    • March 1, 2014 at 8:36 pmBlackBriar

      His presence in anime is becoming as dominant as Kana Hanazawa.

      • March 1, 2014 at 9:04 pmCybersteel

        I hope he loses an arm but judging from this episode he could probably grow it back again D:

  • March 1, 2014 at 8:25 pmlol

    judging from the preview next episode it seems like the yuri virus has infected this anime as well
    Yukina x Nagisa anyone? lol

  • March 1, 2014 at 8:29 pmhaseo0408

    He does look like Cornelius Alba from Kara no kyoukai but the first that came to my mind when I saw him is: This guy is the Mad Hatter!. He has the hatt and the personality after all. XD

    • March 2, 2014 at 5:51 pmYou know, for kids!

      That was my first thought too. I thought it was Alba.

  • March 1, 2014 at 8:36 pmrukia

    Asagi went out like a champ. Love the cool last words she gave to Kojou.

  • March 1, 2014 at 8:47 pmWanderer

    WTF! Doing grievous bodily harm to cute girls is not acceptable. How dare anyone hurt my Asagi… >:O

    • March 2, 2014 at 7:25 amGiorno Giovanna

      “Your” Asagi? Get a load of this guy! Claiming someone I already called dibs on.

      • March 2, 2014 at 1:32 pmWanderer

        She’s mine. They’re all mine. ALL THE GIRLS ARE MINE! :P

  • March 1, 2014 at 8:57 pmVsAllGaming

    Someway somehow Asagi has to be saved!

  • March 1, 2014 at 9:51 pmzztop

    Notes on familiars:
    1)Yukari’s cat is called ‘tsukaima’(使い魔) lit. pet/errand demon. Used to refer to Western-type familiars used by witches/wizards on Western fantasy settings.

    2)Shikigami(式神) refer to spirits summoned and bound into paper charms, like Yukina’s paper butterflies to spy on Kojou. Used to refer to Japanese-type familiars used by shamans/onmyoji in Japanese fantasy settings.

    3)Kojou’s Familiars are called Kenjuu(眷獣), described as Summoned Beasts(shuukanjou,召喚獣). I heard in forums that Gakuto Mikumo, STB’s author, twittered his displeasure at how ‘Kenjuu’ was translated as ‘Familiar’,saying it was an inaccurate description of his terminology for the STB universe.

  • March 1, 2014 at 10:02 pmcookievalenzuela666

    - even though that wasn’t the real sayaka………. good times. where did she randomly go off to btw?

    - i highly doubt asagi dies, i don’t think this show is like that, there were plenty of other characters that looked like they were going to die but didn’t, why would asagi be the exception?

    - this stretch of la folia-less episodes needs to end asap!!!

    - that douche in the top hat is begging for an ass whoopin, handle it kojou!!!!

    -

    • March 1, 2014 at 10:35 pmjrj

      Sayaka was in detention because of her “involvement” in the last arc… her role was to protect La Folia and not messing with Itogami island affairs. I don’t recall exactly where from the LN, but I believe she also damaged her bow to a degree (hence the cat mentioned about using equipment and that maid punishment)

  • March 1, 2014 at 10:11 pmzztop

    Observations:
    1)Who was the man that Kou sacrificed to the Wiseman’s Blood? I’m guessing he was previously connected to Itogami admin higher-ups from his conversation, and must have been quite wealthy if he could afford 2 bodyguards.

    2)Either Kou wanted to kill Kojou for a certain reason, or Kou was just psychotic and wanted to kill someone nearby(which so happened to be Kojou).I’d like confirmation on this.

    3)Given that Avrora was ‘suffering’ as the 4th Progenitor, now I really want to know how the Kojou-Avrora backstory goes, and what sort of ‘suffering’ it was. Perhaps jrj can post spoilers if this is not answered at the end.

    • March 1, 2014 at 10:17 pmjrj

      well, I can’t really say anything about the last one since the anime has something in store for us anyway…

      as to 1. this guy is just some random guy who was disgraced from his office and stumped upon Kou… so don’t worry about him at all…

      and 2. all Kou really wanted was Kanon because she is a good sacrificial material. So in order to get to her, he must kill any and all obstacles along the way, which is why he approached Kojo in the first place. Of course he is twisted as well, so I won’t rule out that either.

      • March 1, 2014 at 10:52 pmzztop

        @jrj:Thanks so much for your explanations, and sorry for always asking for details.(*´・v・)

  • March 1, 2014 at 10:41 pmzztop

    More STB card and poster scans!! ^^
    http://forums.animesuki.com/showpost.php?p=5025827&postcount=1625

    Beach Kanon,& Valentine’s Astarte and Kanon:
    http://forums.animesuki.com/showpost.php?p=5026191&postcount=1629

    Changing room with Yukina and Sayaka:
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/t1/p350x350/1939706_595380667217197_1497526157_n.jpg

    Christmas STB, plus sexy Vatler:
    http://forums.animesuki.com/showpost.php?p=4952621&postcount=1162

    The card scans come from a Japan-only mobile card game,STB style:http://stb-social.com/

  • March 1, 2014 at 11:59 pmzztop

    Full lyrics for ALTIMA’s Fight 4 Real, with English translations:
    http://www.animelyrics.com/anime/stb/fight4real.htm

    • March 2, 2014 at 3:52 amc2710

      “Awaken libido, yeah”

      Wait…. WHAT????

  • March 2, 2014 at 12:04 amzztop

    For an alchemist, I imagined Kou to be shorter, blonder, less twisted, and extremely sensitive about his height, but that’s just me.

    • March 2, 2014 at 10:03 amNKNKN

      But the right side of his body was metallic, so that was perfectly within expectations.

  • March 2, 2014 at 12:20 amVaan

    http://randomc.net/image/Strike%20the%20Blood/Strike%20the%20Blood%20-%2020%20-%20Large%2026.jpg

    Is this Sayaka? I really don’t get that Black Cat’s explanation.

    • March 2, 2014 at 4:18 amOwaranai

      iirc she was explaining that the Sayaka we saw was a shikigami made in the image of Sayaka. In essence, both meido and neko were shikigamis.

  • March 2, 2014 at 1:00 amSmokex365

    Between this and Tokyo Ravens this week I’m raging. You don’t kill cute girls…it’s like a law! If it isn’t it should be!

  • March 2, 2014 at 1:02 amweird.d

    Some episodes have hinted that Asagi may not be completely human (glowing eyes and trance-like state when she was working). Also, at the end she’s touching some red thingy – I first thought it was her missing earring, but it doesn’t look like it. Or Kojou will pull out some familiar with healing powers…

    • March 2, 2014 at 6:17 amlol

      the red thingy? obviously it’s the philosopher stone, lol!

  • March 2, 2014 at 1:36 amnyanlol

    asagi has powers. i’ve been saying it since like the 3rd episode

  • March 2, 2014 at 3:53 amOwaranai

    LIES! Asagi isn’t dead. She can’t be. Like a couple of guys here, I don’t think any character will die until Kojou ‘has his way with them’. :p

    And that’s one reason I love this series. So much love for all the main characters and all feeling very much balanced. My favorite remains Sayaka (and yay for meido Sayaka! Even if it isn’t her, technically speaking), of course, but for me to react when I did when Asagi got attacked is proof of how balanced the show is.

    That aside, I’m also impressed with the lore the author is using. There isn’t too much detail to bore the viewers, but enough information to make it interesting.

    If there was one tiny complaint, it would be that the arc might feel a little repetitive in the scenario. Bad guys get powered up->Kojou and Harem get knocked down->Kojou and Harem finds a weakness->Bad guys go down. Despite that, though, I think the arcs have been handled very impressively.

    Can’t wait for the next episode with that juicy preview.

  • March 2, 2014 at 4:25 amechykr

    Whole episode has Yukina like a wife going away on a long trip worried her husband sempai might cheat on her, which she is absolutely correct to suspect might happen. XD

    Especially when there’s a Sayaka clone available right before him. :3
    And then with Asagi in critical condition, he may also mingle with her on the pretext of saving her life. ;)

  • March 2, 2014 at 4:58 ammagoiichi

    Asagi deserves to die for not having common sense, if she does die. I liken the situation to how people in horror movies just trip over nothing when running away. That shit is annoying.

  • March 2, 2014 at 6:50 amCroos

    Btw guys, always check for Pantsu/Bra consistence. They’re always consistant

  • March 2, 2014 at 4:38 pmleatherhead333

    I might have actually cared that Asagi got fatally wounded if i knew the show had the guts to actually kill off ANY of it’s main characters. But after the whole deal with Natsuki I’m convinced that pretty much every dangerous situation is just a cheap attempt at giving us “shock value” when it just gets resolved and everyone is fine later. Plus I think it would be pretty random just to kill her off now for absouletly no reason. I guess Kojou is going to get really mad next episode but if that’s the only purpose it’s going to serve i am disappoint.

    It’s also frustrating how Kojou is only putting Asagi in more danger having not told her about all these supernatural things earlier. It’s not like she’s suddenly going to hate him or something. And even if he doesn’t want to put her in danger you can’t deny that if she was on the up and up she would be a great asset to him. I mean you can only hide that stuff for so long and I’m certain by the end of this ordeal that she’s going to find out anyway so he could have saved himself a ton of melodrama.

  • March 2, 2014 at 10:10 pmMaxwell

    Just bite Asagi already!

  • March 3, 2014 at 1:11 amAzuma

    It kinda bothers me that these situations get used so often and it kinda always ends how you’d expect it to.
    Friend in dangerous area, bla bla bla, talking on phone with said friend, spends about 10-20 minutes or so explaining why they should get away from that place. Scene/event ends with an ongoing call with the other party repeating victim’s name over and over as if they don’t know whats going on.

    Given that Kojou probably could’ve used his powers to get there in like a minute or so. Keep in mind that the area is dangerous enough for him to be panicking over Asagi being there and all that.

  • March 3, 2014 at 9:12 pmPD

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 6, 2014 at 4:05 pmYanDaMan

    I’m pretty sure Asagi is alive. This is not the type of show that kills off fan-favorites and protagonists.

    And lol Natsuki-chan giving Kojou supplementary lessons. It’s just her excuse to be around Kojou more :3