OP: 「生命のアリア」 (Seimei no Aria) by (Wagakki Band)
「夢枕」 (Yume Makura)
One of the hardest parts of waking up is the transition between the hazy dream world and the jolting alarm in the real world. Yamagami and Kurusu are making this transition between the dream of the human life they loved and the new reality of vampire life in the shadows. As Obon draws near (a celebration where families remember loved ones who passed on), this harsh reality hits home for Yamagami and Kurusu, who are informed that their families believe them to be dead.
It is difficult to start a new vampire life while encountering remnants of one’s old life. A religious festival reminds Yamagami of his wife and he and Kurusu concoct a plan for him to meet his wife again, pretending to be a ghost returning for Obon. Yamagami’s softer, sentimental side is a surprising reversal of his previous grouchiness, which may have been due to leaving his beloved wife with nagging regrets over being an imperfect husband. The couple’s romantic poetic exchange reassured him that she loved him in spite of his flaws, freeing him from lingering regrets.
One person for whom becoming a vampire was a dream come true is the research-obsessed Takeuchi. He turned into a vampire after an accident that occurred during a blood experiment. For Takeuchi, the longevity of vampires gives him all the time he could ever want to research. His off the clock dealings with Tenmaya in selling his creations through the underground network makes it clear that research is his first priority and Code Zero his second. I’m not sure how much Takeuchi can be trusted-if a conflict were to arise where Code Zero tries to interfere with or regulate his research, Takeuchi might defect to an underground group that offers more freedom.
While Takeuchi is the most enthusiastic, Suwa is both the oldest and youngest member. Within Code Zero, he was the only one bitten as a child and has lived as a vampire the longest. During one of his patrols, he stops to see a Western film, Covered Wagon (this was a real movie made in 1922-the theme of pioneers is appropriate for these vampires who are also staking out a new life for themselves). He observes Shirase, the reporter, meeting with the blonde boy she met previously at the playhouse. Suwa calls this boy Deffrot, later informing his colleagues that he is a dangerous Rank S vampire. What a Rank S vampire is and why he is dangerous, we are not told.
Someone who may know more about these vampires is Lt. Gen. Nakajima. Maeda accompanies him to a military meeting. During this meeting, the officials blame the combustions on Nakajima’s insufficient efforts. Conflict arises over how to use the vampires. The officials’ standards are quantity over quality- they insist upon more vampires to produce better results. This clashes with Nakajima’s standards of quality over quantity- the vampires’ skill levels, especially the Rank A Kurusu, is more valuable. Public opinion on the military pushes the officials to see the unit, not as individuals, but as a means to the end of satisfying those who influence their power. These officials have more experience appeasing the public than with actual fighting, conflicting with the battle-experienced Nakajima who cares about his men as individuals.
As a historical side note, there actually was a Lt. Gen. Nakajima during this period (although his first name was different from this character). I’m not sure if this is a coincidence or intentional. I hope he was not an inspiration for this seemingly kind character, because the real-life Nakajima was not a good person- he was reportedly involved in human rights violations that occurred when Japan invaded China in the 1930’s.
Initially, it seemed like the goal of Code Zero was simply to keep peace in dealing with rogue vampires. But now, from the officials’ discussion, the larger goal of Code Zero is to make Japan a world power by applying strategies from the English vampire unit. To this end, the military even brought over a Rank S vampire from England. Could this vampire be Deffrot? The goal of striving for greater power fits into the historical context, with the attitude during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that Japan needed to learn technology from the West to make Japan a dominant world power that would be taken seriously by the other countries. It looks like the vampires will have a more important role in world politics than what the history books will tell you.
ED: 「ON MY OWN」 by (HYDE)