「ギルティ†クロス」 (Giruti † Kurosu)
One thing I can say for this premiere is that it is very much like what I have seen in other shows before, but at the same time, unlike anything I have seen before. It has the been there and done that premise of cute boys singing and the familiar erotic vampires thing going on. Yet, this is the first time I have seen erotic vampires posing as cute boys battling it out on the rock scene. Heck, they even have microphone swords which are at the same time kind of cool and kind of extra.
It is not just for the audience, but also for Yuki Ange (Chiba Shouya) that this music scene is at once familiar and brand new. He admires the visual kei band ECLIPSE (whose tall hair reminds me a bit of classic X-Japan or BUCK-TICK), listening to their music non-stop. One day, when exploring the music scene, he is trapped in a cage of the red moon and learns that his favorite band (and the other visual kei bands) are vampires and that he is also a half vampire.
The whole thing with the red moon is random-they didn’t explain it well and it just seems to be there as a pretext for pretty boys to battle each other with erotic song lyrics. From what they do say, I gather that the red moon is somehow sentient enough to acknowledge the songs of the serenading vampires and grant the best one power.
Ange, as a dhampir, is also eligible to enter the contest for the red moon. Apparently dhampir is an actual word for mythological beings from the Balkans who are half vampires half humans- I had never heard it before until I saw Vanitas no Karte last season. It’s also a race category in D&D, which surprises me that I had never heard it until recently, as I used to play a lot of D&D.
Ange steps into this competition, right in the middle of a fierce sing-off between the white-clad, helicopter riding ECLIPSE and the dark clad LOS † EDEN. The ECLIPSE member Jayer Hyde (Aoi Shouta), makes me wonder with his first name, if he is a tip of the hat to the Japanese musician HYDE (who, in addition to singing with L’Arc-en-Ciel, also has a band called Vamps). I was wondering how long it would take before band members started biting into each other and sure enough, that’s just what members of LOS † EDEN do mid-song. It is unclear if this conveys special powers or if it is just for the visual effect. Either way, they are doing what vampires naturally do.
One thing I did like about this premiere were the characters’ costumes. I love fashion, so it is also one of the main draws for me to visual kei music. It was nice to see them bring the flamboyant fashions through in the animation (even if it was terrible CGI combined with flashing words on the middle of the screen during the singing). The song, Guilty Cross is also quite catchy. If the continue playing it throughout the coming episodes, I could see it being a song that becomes perpetually stuck in my head.
Overall, even if it wasn’t high-quality material, it was still a fun episode to watch. I would recommend any fans of music anime to stay tuned to see which team of singers will win the battle of the red moon!