「戦王の使者篇I」 (Sen o No Shisha Hen I)
“Messenger of the War King I”
In considering whether or not a series is worth watching, there are a variety of factors I tend to consider. The story, its characters, and the accompanying soundtrack are some such factors. As long as some of these are done well, I usually watch a series regardless of its flaws. As such, when I’m asked why I watch Strike the Blood despite its generic elements, I say “The reason’s simple. It’s because the series knows how to develop its characters.”
I’ve said it in my previous posts already, but I’ll say it again. The characters and their interactions are the reason why I come back every week. Strike the Blood might not have the most novel concept or the most complex story line, but it has quality dialogue and dynamic relationships that are a joy to watch. The characters fit each other like a glove and serious moments give way to light-hearted ones without feeling awkward or forced. We saw at the end of last episode already, but this week just makes this more apparent than ever before.
I’m sorry for peeking. I didn’t mean to.
No, it was my fault. I knew you were a pervert. I should’ve expected that you’d wander in like that and call it an accident.
Nearly a dozen such quality exchanges occurred in this week’s episode alone, and each of them either left me smiling or outright laughing out loud. The abuse that Akatsuki takes on a weekly basis is off the charts, and that’s only taking into account the abuse he receives from his school mates! We haven’t even gone into the abuse he receives from those outside the school, which continues this week as well.
You’d think the Combat Deacon’s decapitation from a few weeks ago was abuse enough already, but apparently not. Now he has a Lord—serving under the First Progenitor no less—testing his combat abilities, and it the poor guy just can’t get a break. Good thing he has Himeragi by his side, and she’s developing into quite the character in her own right. It’s not every day you see a heroine who can hold her own as well as she can—even if she does seem to pale in comparison to Akatsuki’s supposed “26 year old English teacher.” Apparently known as the Witch of the Void, Minamiya’s even got Astarte working with her now, and one wonders if she can’t just crush Akatsuki by herself if she wanted to. Talk about keeping company with some pretty scary people!
Ultimately, it’s an impressive start to the new arc. Great character interactions combine with plot development and new revelations about the Strike the Blood universe, and it’s arguably the series’ best episode yet—well, for full lengths anyway.