OP: 「Blood on the EDGE」by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets
OVA Episode 01
「黒の剣巫篇 I」 (Kuro no Ken Miko hen I)
“Sword Shaman of the Shadows I”
Episode Summary: Invited by Yaze to attend the trial opening of a new resort called Blue Elysium, Akatsuki finds himself involved in another incident as a girl named Eguchi Yume seeks him out. Recently freed from the laboratories of Kusuki Erize—a sponsor of Blue Elysium—Yume tells Akatsuki of Kirasaka’s attempts to free her and her older sister. As the group look for answers, Kirasaka is captured by someone calling herself a Rikujin (Sword Shaman of the Shadows).
OVA Episode 02
「黒の剣巫篇 II」 (Kuro no Ken Miko hen II)
“Sword Shaman of the Shadows II”
Episode Summary: Revealing herself as Kisaki Kiriha, Kirasaka’s captive confirms her true identity as a fellow government agent working for another organization: Taishikyoku. As Akatsuki awakens the next day, he finds himself face to face with “Riru,” Eguchi Yume’s alternate personality and a known succubus. Riru uses her abilities to temporarily control the cast, ultimately meeting up with Kisaki and willingly returning to Kusuki’s side. The two escape as a mind-controlled Kirasaka attacks Akatsuki, who frees her from Kisaki’s grasp. As it turns out, Yume is a descendant of Lilith, the strongest succubus in history. Using her abilities, Kusuki aims to control Leviathan, an ancient living weapon capable of laying waste to the entirety of Itogami Island.
OVA Episode 03
「黒の剣巫篇 III」 (Kuro no Ken Miko hen III)
“Sword Shaman of the Shadows III”
And so, the end of another arc arrives and it’s just like old times ain’t it? Strike the Blood ain’t what it is without Akatsuki in the house wrecking things while sucking the blood of everyone he meets, and for the most part, that’s what he does. It’s a formula that we’ve become accustomed to by now, and hey, if it works… I ain’t complaining. That said, I’m not quite sure how exactly Akatsuki manages to end up in yet another incident just by going to a trial run of a new resort, and it was very questionable bringing an under age girl back to his house instead of bringing her to the police, but I guess we’ll let him off the hook this time. I mean, it’s not everyday a government organization partners with an eco-terrorist to try and destroy an entire island, so I suppose something had to be done, though it was certainly a nice touch having Eguchi finish things off rather than Akatsuki himself.
That said, perhaps the most interesting thing about the arc wasn’t the new familiar, the new addition to the harem, or heck—anything related to Akatsuki or Eguchi at all. Rather, it’s the fact that we’ve come in direct contact with another government organization in an antagonistic fashion for the first time, and it turns out they were after Asagi all along. We don’t get much about what exactly it means to be the “cursed” Priestess of Cain, but the fact that she’s immortal while on Itogami Island because it was crafted specifically as an altar for her? That’s… quite something. In hindsight, it makes a lot of sense since she could’ve/should’ve died multiple times already, but given that many of us had already accepted the actual reasoning at the time, this was certainly an explanation that I didn’t see coming or really needed, but loved nonetheless because of how much it makes sense and how much additional story potential it generates. Suddenly, Asagi’s equivalent to Akatsuki as long as she’s on the island in terms of mortality and the fact that they’re supporting each other really puts into perspective how powerful their small “faction” has become. They’re certainly low in terms of overall numbers, but they’ve got a home field advantage better than everyone else.
Still, one has to question—if the Priestess of Cain was cursed and potentially a cause for war, then how exactly did Itogami Island get approval for construction in the first place? One would think the potential situation was thought out a while ago, though at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if a few other organizations intentionally colluded together to try and use the island, the Priestess, and subsequently Akatsuki to their advantage. The revelation that the Lion King Organization essentially allowed Taishoukyou to do what they wanted knowing they’d fail and owe them one certainly hints at another game being played in the bigger scheme of things, and why is it that I get the feeling the series could get even better from here?
All in all, it’s a great return for Strike the Blood as we get an arc filled with many of the things we’ve come to love about the series. The only thing missing at this point was a cameo of La Folia or Vatler, but I guess I’ll live with the fact that the former got a whole OVA to herself just before this. Looking forward, it’s a pity there’s only 5 episodes left in the OVA, but if there’s anything to go on from this arc—it’ll certainly be worth watching, even though we’ll inevitably be depressed at the thought of waiting “x” years for something more. Before you go, there’s a bunch of author’s notes listed below, so be sure to peek at them real quick.