「観測者たちの宴篇I」 (Kansoku Sha Tachi no Utage Hen II)
“Fiesta for the Observers II”
It ain’t a fiesta without a bunch of people gathering around some kind of flame, and it’s an adage that held true in this week’s Strike the Blood. Indeed, there was quite the flame to start things off and a boatload of people ended up gathering before it was all said and done. Sadly the flame went out early—you can blame Astarte for that—but that didn’t keep the party from going on well into the night, since we had Vatler (the party master) in the house. And when Vatler’s rolling messing around with dungeons (see the prison barrier) and dragons, there ain’t no way the party beat’s going to stop. When he’s entertained, so are you—at least, you better be—and this was just another fun filled episode.
Terrible comedic commentary aside, this week was generally what we’ve come to expect from this series. We got Gigliola Ghirardi showing us how it really means to be whipped, Vatler giving quality humanitarian aid, the bad guys comically warping out when they’ve depleted their powers, Himeragi dressed up as a nurse, Sayaka making priceless faces like this, and Akatsuki stealing scooters. Amid all these action/comedy sequences, we get revelations around the Witch of Novaria’s plot regarding the Dark Oath Grimoire, and the pieces are starting to fall together one by one. This series knows how to combine its various elements, and it does a darn good job of being the kind of series it wants to be: a mixture of action, fantasy, supernatural that’s neither overly serious or comedic. It strikes (pun intended) a fine balance between all the aforementioned elements, which makes it impossible to ever consider this series bad in any respect. Just good stuff.
That said, this episode does make you wonder quite a bit as to who exactly Akagi is. It’s safe to say she probably isn’t hiding any secrets to the degree that Yuuma was—she seems human, at least—but she seems to more than a wizard class computer wiz too. She seems to have control of virtually everything on the island, has some influence over the Island Guard, and inevitably finds herself involved in the events on Itogami Island in one way or another. It definitely seems like there’s more than meets the eye there with her—like there was with Yuuma, who looks like she’ll return soon.
Sadly, it doesn’t look like La Folia’ll be returning quite so soon though, but I guess there’s only so much you can do with the way the story line has shaped up. It has to be noted also that there aren’t many reasons to involve her in what seems like a very Itogami Island-centered event, and her omission also gives other characters a chance to shine that they otherwise wouldn’t have been given. Indeed, it’s even in things like this where the series’ creators seem to be balancing things quite well, and it’s a pleasure sitting back and watching this series develop. Just don’t go forgetting to eat while you watch, cause you just might end up like a certain someone. Though I guess I could get treated to pizza like that and share a table with those two, it wouldn’t be a bad exchange…
Author’s Note: Apologies for the post coming out slightly later than usual. Bunch of random work popped up and I got distracted by WonFes news to boot. Sadly, there weren’t any StB figures announced though.
Full-length images: 20.