「聖者の右腕編I」 (Seija No Uwan Hen I)
“The Right Arm of the Saint I”
“What do you mean you can’t wake up in the morning? What are you a vampire or something?” Oh, but he is. And not only that, but he’s also the Fourth Primogenitor—the strongest of all vampires, the herald of impending calamity, and something that should only exist in legends. All things considered, it only makes sense that the world’s watch dogs—the Lion King Organization—would send an observer to watch and kill him if needed, right? You know, seeing that he has a power equivalent to that of an entire nation’s army. It’s just too bad someone missed a few memos here and there, because not only does it end up that he has no plans of world domination, the girl sent to observe him is probably the person most incapable of doing so.
And well, that’s essentially what Strike the Blood’s first episode boils down to. It’s an introduction that both gives us the basics of what we’re dealing with in regards to the premise/setting and sets the foundation for future developments—all while doing so in a way that doesn’t end up being an info-dump or rushed at all. Indeed, I quite liked how Strike the Blood went about doing their first episode, and it’s something that’s highlighted by how they sneak tidbits of information throughout—the montage of chat rooms and conversations in the beginning is one good example—and how they manage to make the exchanges between our main characters both funny and light-hearted (while hinting at some more serious things).
Indeed, there’s just nothing quite like seeing your supposed, all powerful vampire MC end up too broke to ride the monorail AND get caught being turned on by the smell of a girl’s wallet to start off a series, and it’s something that’s just made even better when combined with our heroine’s equally hilarious failings. I mean, come on, you’re really telling me you fell for the I’m an Italian tourist joke!? But yeah, all the while, we get glimpses of the more serious nature of the series too—in regards to the demons (and other threats) that lie around Itogami City, the powers both our main characters possess, and the seemingly traumatic history Akatsuki Kojou has—and this introduction is just great in terms of all-around balance.
Ultimately however, despite the fairly good start, I’m still admittedly unsure as to how things will turn out with this series. This introduction was promising to be sure, but the fact remains that the rather infamous Yoshino Hiroyuki is doing the series composition, and it’s entirely possible that things could go bad in a hurry. At the moment though, I’m cautiously optimistic, and there just might be enough here to give us a pretty decent action/supernatural series while incorporating some nice romantic development too. Either way, it’s worth a continued watch for sure, and potentially some continued coverage too—though my schedule’s pretty loaded as is. We’ll see how it goes.
Full-length images: 20.
OP: 「ストライク・ザ・ブラッド」 (Sutoraiku Za Buraddo) by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets