「戦王の使者篇II」 (Sen o No Shisha Hen II)
“Messenger of the War King II”
I’d like say that this week’s episode was full of surprises, but when you think about it, it’s par for Akatsuki’s course. Because like a certain other unfortunate character (insert reference to Toaru here), he just can’t get a break. True to Murphy’s Law, anything that can go wrong, does go wrong when Akatsuki’s involved—especially when it comes to his interactions with others, and it’s another treasure trove of examples this week on Strike the Blood.
Starting things off? The Messenger of the War King himself, who turns out not to be the threat he was expected to be. Au contraire! As it turns out, all he wanted to do was rekindle the love (by leaping over sofas) he had with the previous Kaleid Blood! It’s a pity Akatsuki doesn’t want any part of it, because Vatler does end up spouting some great lines:
“We were in love! So let us speak of love! I shall give you my love!”
I sense your blood within him! I see. That makes you my rival in love (Himeragi)!
Are you really here to form a questionable bond with the Fourth Progenitor? Of course!
One thing leads to another, and the newly introduced Kirasaka Sayaka ends up having some beef with Akatsuki too. Because Yukina’s former roommate seems to swing the other way too. Of course. To make things worse, she’s specializes in hexes and assassinations, and we got Motoki continuing his stirring of the hornets nest by trying to get Akagi to seduce him too!
Combine all of these with a boatload of hilarious misunderstandings and more passive aggressive reactions from Himeragi:
Even if you don’t feed on me, you might do some sexual to me anyway. Not that there’s anything I can do.
—and what we get is the continuation of the recipe that Strike the Blood has been using to great effect. Sayaka’s raging behind the scenes adds a cherry on top, and although I seem to say this every week, Kojou really has it tough.
It’s not all fun and games though, as all of the aforementioned ends up serving as a foundation for a few key revelations. For one, we find out more about Christoph Gardos and his Black Death Emperor Faction. Apparently terrorists, they’re after an ancient biological weapon known as the Nalakuvera, and Akagi seems to be the only one capable of deciphering the instructions necessary to use it. With Vatler intentionally announcing his presence on the island, Himeragi and Kojou end up being blackmailed into trying to take down Gardos—on threat of the island “accidentally” blowing up”—and need I say it again? I just feel bad for Akatsuki at this point, even though I do quite enjoy watching him squirm.
Ultimately, it’s just another solid episode, and Strike the Blood’s continuing to be a pleasant surprise in a season full of them. With nearly two full cours to work with—24 episodes—it makes you wonder just what heights the series could reach as we get deeper into the story. It remains to be seen whether or not it’ll continue being this consistent through its entire run, but it looks promising at the moment, especially considering how Akagi just found out the secret he’s been hiding from her. All they need now is to make a replica of Himeragi’s Schneewalzer so I can put it up in my room…