「蒼き魔女の迷宮篇II」 (Aoki Majo no Meikyu Hen III)
“Labyrinth of the Blue Witch III”
Long story short, the character reactions this week tell you everything you need to know about themselves and what Strike the Blood offers:
Basically, Vatler’s as crazy as usual, Sayaka’s constantly getting surprised, Kojou’s getting tossed to the curb in terms of impressions again, La Folia continues to win the best girl sweepstakes by a mile, and it all comes together to form one of the better series this season.
Switching over to the more serious side of things though, I have to say that I didn’t see the events of this episode coming. I had sensed there was something off about mid-way through the episode (it felt like our cast was fighting a final battle for some reason), but I never expected this to happen. After all, things were going pretty smoothly, and it looked like Kojou was about to expand his harem even further. Then it’s like, SURPRISE! WE GOT YOU! and suddenly we get both Natsuki and Yuuma taken out at the same time, and it’s like NO WAY. I had to rewind a few times just to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me, and you really have to give credit where credit’s due.
The show’s just done a superb job of luring you into believing that it’ll be all happy endings, fun and games, and harem expansions, and it capitalizes on this in style with multiple shockers in the span of a 30 seconds. At the same time, it continues Strike the Blood’s steady second half rise, and the series is starting to get better and better. The question remains though, whether or not both Natsuki and Yuuma are out of the picture permanently or not, and I’m not sure what to think. I want to believe they’ll both survive, but the fact that the OP foreshadowed darker developments and the fact that both of them were impaled seems to imply that at least one of them won’t make it. It also has to be noted that this episode broke the tradition of the series having four episode arcs, which doesn’t bode well at all considering how conclusive the chapter end’s have been so far. Gosh darn it, next week’s episode can’t come soon enough!