Strike the Blood: Valkyria no Oukoku-hen – OVA – 01, 02
OP: 「Little Charm Fang」 by Yuka Iguchi
「ヴァルキュリアの王国編」 (Valkyria no Oukoku-hen)
“The Kingdom of Valkyria”
When it’s thirty seconds in and La Folia comes busting into the scene asking for help, you know it’s going to be fun times. The fact that it’s actually La Folia’s father bringing up the rear only makes things better—how about that Viking helmet?—and this was an OVA that set the bar high from the get go. Thankfully, the OVA’s two episodes deliver in classic Strike the Blood fashion, and we all know what that means: new enemies, big trouble, and epic beat downs starting with the words “No, this is OUR fight, Senpai.”
And so here goes for another chapter in a series that drastically exceeded expectations on its initial run, and you know it’s good when it’s gotten me out of the woodwork to blog a series for the first time in months. Okay, so that’s only technically half true—having a brief winter break does wonders for free time—but I ain’t complaining.
Either way, things start off with an opening that highlights some of Akatsuki’s more… racy moments with our main cast, and it’s a fitting selection of scenes given the secondary motives of Rihavein’s visit. I’d say he got a lot more than he bargained for when it was all said and done though, and his priceless reactions generally ended up the comedic highlights of both episodes. His off-hand comment about “sinking teeth into women” was especially hilarious in this regard, and it was great to see both the reactions of all the women Akatsuki sank his teeth in, and Rihavein’s realization that everyone is already aware of Akatsuki’s tendency to take a bite out of those near him. The fact that every one seems generally fine with the current state of affairs made it even funnier, and it’s hard to imagine his feelings when La Folia ultimately lets loose the biggest of bomb shells:
“Even if she were (a mistress), I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Great men like to indulge.
It wouldn’t be unusual for a Progenitor to have multiple mistresses.”
Yup. It was that kind of ride.
The fun and games only go so far when it comes to Akatsuki and Co. however, and his triumphant rescue of a damsel in distress leaves him under the control of our new terrorist friend in Trine Halden. Her attempt to use Akatsuki as a tool to demolish Vatler and the peace accords between his nation and Aldegyr ultimately fails (cue Vatler’s disappointment at not having to do anything), but not before the mind controlled Akatsuki engages in a smooth-talking exhibition that almost results in a threesome. The insertion of a few gratuitous NSFW scenes highlights the OVA nature of these two episodes, and I’ll say that those shots speak for themselves, although the many great full-length shots that accompanied them weren’t too shabby either (you’ll find those at the end of the post).
Overall, there’s honestly not much else to say here. The fact that it’s an story from the series’ creator meant that the OVA included everything we loved about the original series, and the fact that it was focused on the best of the cast’s many characters (LA FOLIA!) was a welcome surprise. The use of explosives hidden in her hair extensions and the intentional elevation of the airship’s temperature to make Himeragi sweat so she can dispel Trine’s phermones were a demonstration of the appeal she had throughout the original series, and Asagi’s hacking of the Bifrost systems was a testament to the unique group of people that have now gathered under Akatsuki.
Like it or not, he’s certainly not the commoner he keeps playing himself as, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets dragged into other, more explosive events given his standing on the global stage. The question is if we’ll ever get to see those exploits, and here’s hoping that the OVA ultimately heralds the arrival of a sequel at some point in the future (assuming that there’s enough material to adapt). Until then, have at the multitude of full-lengths below, and I’ll catch you guys again in a few days for RC year end Best of Anime post.
ED: 「君はソレイユ」 (Kimi wa Soleil) by Kanon Wakeshima