「そりゃ困ったやつですね」 (Sorya komatta yatsudesu ne)
“Well, That’s a Problem”

Call of the Night is a really interesting mix of themes and styles. But I think a key element of why it works is that it’s pretty fearless. You don’t get the sense there’s a lot of self-censorship in the writing – that seems to go wherever it wants, with no third rails. I don’t get the feeling this is an exceptionally dark vampire story at all – as in the horror sense – or overtly graphic sexually. But it is quite messy, emotionally and otherwise. And it takes guts for a writer to go there without worrying about how it’ll be perceived.

While Nazuna has been the driving force of the narrative so far, there’s been a somewhat dark matter quality to her role until this week. We get a much deeper dive here into what makes Nazuna tick, and it’s quite a welcome turn. Yofukashi has gone out of its way to highlight a vampire trope that applies (no reflection) and one that doesn’t (sunlight). I think it’s been so obvious for a subtle reason, to get the message across not to make too many assumptions about the rules of the road. Nazuna is a vampire. She sucks blood to live. But the details of how she operates are still somewhat vague, even after this episode.

We know she likes animals (cats at least). And that she likes baths, and probably has a superhuman sense of smell. It also seems pretty obvious from her reaction to the transceiver going off that Kou has become a very important person in her life. But is that because she’s addicted to his sweet young blood, or is she falling for him while playing the role of making him fall for her? From his perspective, things are very messy indeed. He’s a 14 year-old boy, and he’s fallen into a world of stimulations far too intense than his adolescent mind to process. He’s introspective in the way kids his age often are, but that mostly just allows him to see how confused he is.

Naz straight out of the bath (well, the shower anyway) is one of those stimulations. Seeing her like this pushes his buttons in a big way, and this is also a chance for his first trip to a sento (not uncommon for this generation of Japanese young people). He notes both his own arousal and anxiety, intermixed to the point of being indistinct (just as you’d expect). And he’s also aware of how jealous he’s become at the idea Nazuna is feeding on other people. Of course she’s sampled other blood – that’s how she lives. But the experience of being fed upon is a quasi-sexual one for him (and probably her) – in fact I wondered if it had literally climaxed by the time she’d finished, though it seems not – and Kou is feeling very possessive.

The question of how Nazuna survives has suddenly become very important to Kou. She assures him that she’s sucked women too, not just men (though I don’t know if that makes him feel better). But what about financially? As it turns out she’s a “cuddle buddy” (I have no idea if this is actually a thing here, but it wouldn’t surprise me). After a quick and overstimulating “rest” at a love hotel (naive Kou had idea from the outside) they return to her apartment and she shares her professional mode with him. That includes a nurse’s outfit (“not cosplay” she insists), and a menu from which we pointedly do not see what the “add-ons” are. Though she’d “never” charge him, Nazuna offers Kou a sample – and he chooses the massage course.

Emotionally, this is as messy as it gets. Of course Kou finds this arousing – how could he not? Nazuna even offers him a demonstration of acupressure techniques, starting with the rokyu (lao gong) in the hand (for insomnia). What is her intention here? A lot of this comes back to the question of the nature of their relationship – is it predatory and if so, in what sense? He’s a child and emotionally vulnerable, she’s to some extent at least an adult – albeit alien in some sense, too. The fact that she’s clearly spent after this exercise hints at its significance, in the symbolic sense at the very least.

Gilding the lily, one of Nazuna’s regulars shows up – Hirakwa Kiyosumi (Hikasa Youko) – and Naz asks Kou to fill in for her. She tries to lure him in with the lewd angle, and even guilt him into it by noting that she’s neglected her means of financial support because she’s been exclusively spending time with him. Even assuming Kou was willing to give a massage to an adult woman, it’s hard to imagine Kiyosumi-san would be OK with that – though Nazuna has no qualms about it, that much is clear. Make no mistake, while she may be no rapacious killer in the horror film sense, Nazuna is not bound by the conventions of human normalcy. Whether this is because she’s a vampire of because she’s a creature of the night isn’t entirely clear, but that distinction may wind up being very crucial for Kou.


  1. As much as it might be the sweet taste of his blood, Nazuna might be actually herself falling in love with Kou. And that might be difficult for her for obvious reasons (mortals tend to age and die while immortal vampire is helplessly watching).
    One thing I liked this episode is that reality-grounded notion that vampires need to be able to earn money to pay rent and – in Nazuna’s case – for normal human food, and especially drinks…)
    Classical vampires of lore used to be aristocrats owning entire castles. Not impossible considering accumulation of capital over hundreds of years, but I find Nazuna’s nighttime part-time job actually very fitting. She gets to flaunt her sexy side (she likes it, it is obvious), and she is getting free blood after she cuddles her guests into sleep…
    Now the reasons why she has roped Kou into being her massage apprentice are mysterious,but she was definitely not tired enough to stop playing video games….
    This will be entertaining….

    1. > One thing I liked this episode is that reality-
      > grounded notion that vampires need to be able to
      > earn money to pay rent and – in Nazuna’s case –
      > for normal human food, and especially drinks…)

      Oh, oh, oh, I made mention to this in some way last post. About the night being no friendlier than the day. Without money one will face the same challenges during all hours and I was quickly shot down.

  2. Uh, yeah. I’d hold off on the notion that Call of the Night isn’t capable of getting darker. We’re still at the introduction phase, the tip of the iceberg, and this story has a number of tonal shifts. It’s when the remaining characters in the OP begin appearing that things start to turn up. You’ll find yourself wondering if you’re still watching the same series. And if the adaptation is going as far as I think it will, then this season will be going for a cliffhanger ending.

    As a vampire aficionado, it’s always intriguing to see different takes on vampirism from different series. Particularly the effects of it for both predator and prey. In Ko’s case, aside from being besieged by a combination of pain and arousal, it’s beneficial to him as a type of sedative since it cools his nerves down to allow clear thinking and better sleep capability. On Nazuna’s end, she gets a top quality meal (with various flavors depending on how she teases him) but can also get a peek at Ko’s emotional state. Meaning that even if he tried, he wouldn’t be able to hide anything from her. A bit one-sided since Ko doesn’t have that kind of advantage on her.

    With other vampire titles, vampirism is displayed in different and sometimes similar ways. In animes like Black Blood Brothers and The Case Study of Vanitas (Vanitas no Carte), a bitten human would be subjected to such an immoral rush of pleasure that they’d be behaving in a very unrefined manner. In the Underworld movie series, biting a target literally lets the vampire see into their target’s memories (Another ability adopted by Vanitas’ deuterogamist Noé Archiviste).

    However, if I were Ko, I’d be concerned. Nazuna feeds on him on a nightly basis. And whenever she does, she bites him at the same exact spot on his neck. Which leaves little time for his neck to heal. So, those bite wounds won’t be going anywhere.

    Nazuna’s “cuddle buddy” job answers the question on what’s her source of income and how she maintains her apartment. The revelation slightly blurs the line on the perception between human and vampire because traditional vampires are depicted as aristocratic and insanely wealthy who want for almost nothing. Personally, I think using her own home as her base of operations is a huge risk. If she were to make any enemies, they wouldn’t need to go far to find her.

    1. now the last bit is quite interesting
      if there will be rumors of vampire in neighbourhood, surely there will appear some wannabe hunters, after all not all folks are so tolerant as Ko and Akira

      1. That would be a predictable outcome because it would be a product of human nature. Animosity towards anything different from them. The “Us vs. them/You’re either with me or against me” mentality, to be exact. And the few tolerant humans would have to make a choice between submitting to the human mob, to save their own skin or have their entire lives uprooted by siding with the non-human they’ve befriended and be branded traitors with the risk of being killed on sight and on the spot by any human that recognizes them.

        1. This kind of prejudice from humans who become hunters/slayers are indicative of media, mis information, and bad seeds from both Vampires and Humans.

          Now that it’s 2022 I like to think (more like fantasize) that Vampires have evolved into functional cogs of society. And only a percentage of the human population hate Vamps.

          1. It wouldn’t be a percentage but a vast majority. As I previously mentioned, humanity is inherently antagonistic to anything different from it. Another way of saying “it’s human nature”. Evidenced by the animosity and tribalism within itself. For centuries to present day, humans have been at each other’s throat, most of the time ready to kill, for the slightest difference between them because each side does not tolerate it. This current day and age is the most relevant example.

            If humanity, to this day, is unable to get itself in order, then there’s no way a non-human species watching that chaos from the sidelines throughout the ages would expect any better treatment towards them. That’s why the idea of humanity openly co-existing with a non-human species comes off as a naïve, idealistic notion. To believe the human race is capable of that is like saying you can welcome and host a guest in your own home despite the glaring fact your home is in shambles from chaos and infighting with no end to it in sight. That’s why non-humans like vampires are better off hiding in anonymity.

          2. @BlackBriar no, we, humanity, are so F***ed. I just read about two 15 yr old killed a man because that man wouldn’t sell his PS5 for cheaper.

            Why kill someone over an expensive PS5? When everyone is looking forward to PS6?

            …Makes no sense.

      1. Nazuna feeds on Ko every time they meet, drinking enough blood to satisfy her hunger. And from what she said towards the end of the episode, they’ve already spent a month together. As for why he doesn’t show to be anemic, that would be thanks to the protagonist plot armor. Although there was one time in chapter 5 Ko said he felt lightheaded from Nazuna really draining him. That was supposed to be part of the first three episodes but never made it in.

      2. For all we know she may only be taking a few tablespoons of blood every time she drinks.

        We already know Nazuna eats and drinks human food. Maybe in this mythology vamps don’t drink blood for nutrition but because it’s an addiction, like a drug?

  3. This Anime is like Twilight but for Adults. The best part of Anime is how well Vamps Integrate with society. And not simply be a target for Blade, Van Helsing, Vampire Hunter D, and the Winchester’s in Super Natural.

    The real question that I wanna know is who’s really the lonely one is it Kou or Nazuna. I get that we were introduced to Kou being aloof roaming the town at night without a direction. But maybe it’s Nazuna who needs a compass and this compass is Kou’s company.


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