Strike the Blood – 22
「錬金術師の帰還篇III」 (Renkinjutsu Shi no Kikan Hen III)
“Return of the Alchemist III”
What do you do when your friends are in trouble but even the Witch of the Void can’t get you to them? It’s simple! All you need to do is call in a some help from your princess friend (ALL HAIL LA FOLIA, even if it is only a hologram) and have her prep an armored airship for you! Did I forget to mention it’s also the one that comes with a
cruise missile prototype aircraft that can launch you there even faster than the airship can? Oh, you’re not friends with any royal princesses that own airships? Too bad. Maybe you can ask the great alchemist sitting over there with the fake breasts. Oh, you’re losing too much blood staring at her great figure? Well, I guess you better think fast, because there’s a crazy homunculus messing around with golden glowing skulls.
But yeah, the end of the Alchemist arc is here and it’s just par for the course—on the surface, anyway. Because while it’s easy to say it’s just another typical (exciting, climactic, you name it) ending to what’s been an entertaining arc, this episode does up the ante somewhat. After all, it’s not everyday you see Akatsuki summoning all his familiars in one go (while adding a new one on top of that). Of course, we still have the jokes—
But why does great alchemist of old look like Aiba with fake breasts?
Is this what you’re into Akatsuki Kojou?
—and Himeragi does end up assisting as per the usual, but the fact is that this week doesn’t end up so much about Wiseman as it is Akatsuki finally filling into his Fourth Primogenitor shoes.
Despite the obvious uptick in the enemy powers in this arc, our main pair actually takes care of the alchemists pretty easily—though Akatsuki almost dies permanently in the process—and it’s something that’s been gradually happening more and more often as the arcs have progressed. It’s quite obvious that Akatsuki doesn’t need the help he once needed previously, and it’s a notion that now solidifies him as a real power changer within the world structure.
In this way, it’s fitting that the next arc’s labeled “Akatsuki’s Kingdom,” because really, that’s the natural progression whether he likes it or not. He’s just too powerful (and too influential in terms of his friendships) not to be forced into a role of responsibility, and it reasons that at some point he’ll need to take up the mantle that everyone’s been trying to push onto him from the shadows. You can only avoid the inevitable so long, and we may start seeing some of the consequences of what happens when Akatsuki can no longer do so, as his powers—even though he protects his friends with them—are more likely than not to be a major reason why his friends made end up targets in the future.
Needless to say though, I’d reckon there wouldn’t be much in terms of complaints if he did start up his own small kingdom. There’s a whole line of people willing to support him—especially Himeragi, whose relationship with Akatsuki is gradually deepening as the series goes on. This may look like a harem on the surface, but it’s obvious who the true pairing is, and it’s definitely shaping up over time. That doesn’t change the fact he’s surrounding by some impressive people however, and it’s interesting to note that this week also adds Nina Adelard to the cast as well. Sure, she’s in her mini form right now, but it’s quite obvious how valuable of an asset she can be, and it’s likely Akatsuki may need her help sooner rather than later… even if the former seems more interested in certain other female assets at this time.
Looking forward, only two episodes remain, and it’ll be really sad seeing this series go. At least we’ll have a nice array of full lengths when it’s all said and done!