OP: 「生命のアリア」 (Seimei no Aria) by (Wagakki Band)
「死が二人を分かつまで」 (Shi ga Futari o Wakatsu Made)
“Till Death Do Us Part”
Tragic love ran throughout this episode like the red thread of fate, red with the blood so precious to these vampires and so tragic to the ones who lost it. After the loss of the actress at the playhouse, Salome is replaced with Romeo and Juliet, foreshadowing the elements of ill-fated love. Aoi Shirase (her last name could be a play on the Japanese word shirase, which means news or notification), is determined to get the scoop on the rumored “elopement” of this actress.
Shirase seems to be using her job as a reporter to search for her friend. This friend went to fight in Siberia in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution when the Japanese military attempted to make Siberia independent from Russia, as a geo-political cushion against Russia. Shirase is not the only one who has a connection to Siberia. From the flashback at the beginning of the episode, both Kurusu and Yamagami fought and became vampires there. Could Kurusu be the childhood friend that Shirase is looking for?
Kurusu, now a secret agent unit with Code Zero, tries to come to terms with losing his humanity, learning that he must drink blood to retain his health and invincibility against bullets. We learn from Takeuchi that vampires are separated into classes: Rank A distinguished by their heightened senses, the mysterious Rank S, and the undistinguished Unranked.
Yamagami belongs to the Unranked and is unhappy that Maeda, his former peer at Ichigaya (the headquarters for the Imperial Army), is now his superior. This sets up a tension between Yamagami and Maeda that seems as if it will be a recurring theme. Kurusu, on the other hand, is distinguished as being Japan’s sole Rank A vampire. He appears to struggle the most with being a vampire and member of Code Zero, showing reluctance to drink blood (quite understandably), wishing for death, and hesitating to kill fellow vampires (Suwa ends up doing the job for him). Maeda, meanwhile, has a hidden sentimental side in him, mourning the loss of his love, going so far as to place flowers representing eternal memory in honor of her. Each of these men has their unique vulnerabilities that could influence how they carry out Code Zero missions. Kurusu might sympathize more with the vampires they are hunting, Maeda might seek revenge or sympathize with the vampires (depending on the backstory with how his love died), and Yamagami might take drastic actions to prove himself.
Team Code Zero is dispatched to investigate the series of combustions caused by vampires becoming exposed to sunlight. They meet the Tenmaya dealer who supplies blood to vampires. The dealer refuses to give out customer information but provides a sample of a blood product being distributed among the vampires.
Two customers for this blood product are a vampire couple. The man insists that they consume this product so they can stop hiding. The woman is worried about the changes in the man since taking the new product and wants them simply to be happy together. She compares them to Okaru and Kanpei, the ill-fated lovers in the Kabuki play, Chushingura. In Chushingura, Okaru dies upon killing the person who murdered Kanpei, her lover, foreshadowing the end that the vampire couple will meet.
The increase in vampire combustions happening concurrently with the distribution of the special blood product and what the vampire lover said about taking the product because he hated hiding points to a link between them. Perhaps whoever is developing the blood product is using it to experiment with vampires and sunlight, promising customers they can stop hiding if they take it-hence the recent explosion in numbers of combusting vampires.
ED: 「ON MY OWN」by (HYDE)
Bolsheviks were vampires! That explains it.
The slow pacing kinda bothered me this time.
That’s understandable-it did have a lot of dialogue and very little action, up until the end. It’s only the second episode, so it might just be because they are introducing the vampires and Code Zero. At some point they will have to get into vampire hunting, since that’s why Code Zero exists in the first place!
Didn’t expect that to happen to his aide. Guess the only other recurring human will be the reporter.
The poor guy. If you’re a human chasing vampires, unless you’re Van Helsing or Maeda who seems to be pretty tough, you’re unfortunately probably not going to live to retirement age. Hopefully Shirase, the reporter, meets a better end!