「楽しい方がいいよ」 (Tanoshī kata ga ī yo)
“Might as Well Have Fun”

Call of the Night continues to be a fascinating mess, and I use that word (both, actually) as a compliment. It’s messy on purpose, as I noted last week. Emotionally messy, morally messy, thematically messy. For me at least (perhaps it would be different if I’d read the manga) I’m still not totally sure what I’m watching. There are a lot of directions this story could go with these characters and yes, some are messier than others. I get the sense in watching it that most of what I’m seeing is not what it appears to be (one example most prominently).

What I do know is this – this episode had a more sinister feel to it than what came before. And that’s despite it being rather innocuous superficially but again – not as it seems. I think the first question we have to ask here is this: why is Nazuna having Kou give Shirakawa-san her massage? Is she simply being lazy (which wouldn’t be out of character)? Maybe, but – and I know this is a loaded term – the vibe here was that she’s grooming him. For what end? Well, fill in the blank as you see fit. Not knowing what Naz is apart from most obviously “vampire” makes the question hard to answer.

What is a vampire in this mythology? They suck blood, okay. They can go through solid walls, we now know. Based on this episode alone, one might make the case that being a vampire in Yofukashi no Uta is a stand-in for never having to grow up. That basically defines Naz as we know her, and it encompasses most of why Kou-kun wants to be one. He doesn’t want to go to school. He doesn’t want to fit it, to be a cog. And she’s certainly not one herself. He wants the joy of the night (and yes, I remember the thrill of it from my teenage days when it was fresh and new) to remain as exciting forever as it is right now.

Shirakawa has an interesting role in all this. She’s a very nice person, clearly – and thank goodness for that. Hopefully we can agree, it is not appropriate for a 14 year-old boy to be giving a 24 year-old salarywoman he’s just met a massage. She knows as soon as he tells her his age, and she’s worried for him – you can tell. But Kou, being an innocent child, is completely open and honest with Shirakawa-san – and she finds it disarming. He reminds her of what it was like before the weight of the world fell on her, and of how heavy that weight feels now. Kou offering to make her a vampire was so sweet, honestly – and it really freaked Nazuna out a little. Shirakawa also marks another human who responds to Nazuna’s true nature in rather blasé fashion, in the end.

All this serves as a firm reminder of just how much a kid Kou-kun still is, though how Nazuna feels about that is unclear (and crucial). The next night she urges him to come up with some fun suggestions to spice up their night, and after some very classic 14 year-old notions – arcade, karaoke, movie – he comes up with “night pool“. This is something obviously very adult, very different from the world he knows. It’s highly sybaritic, the sort of place one imagines vampires hanging out in a more traditional modern vampire story. And it’s sensory overload for Kou, who remains very much a human teenager.

Why does Kou dislike this experience so much? The obvious reason we’ll get to shortly, but I think also because it shatters his illusion of the night. This is not the world of perpetual adolescence he loves so much – this is adulthood, thrown in his face and flaunted. Both are forbidden fruits, but this is not the fantasy he”s cultivating for himself. And then, there’s Nazuna being hit on – natural enough – and responding in kind (not so much). She dismisses it as “teasing” but this was a moment where I thought Nazuna’s treatment of Kou crossed over into mean-spiritedness. She showed a cruel streak here, enjoyed it a little too much. There’s nothing inhuman about that of course, but it is rather unsettling as one looks forward in the story.

Akira-san worries about Kou, and Shirakwa too. And well one should worry about him – more than ever, this episode makes us feel as if he’s in way over his head. He’s putting himself in Nazuna’s hands completely, and even if she weren’t a vampire she’s not done nearly enough to prove those hands are trustworthy. Kou wanting to remain true to himself is understandable, even admirable, especially in a society like Japan with so much pressure to conform. But wanting to remain frozen in time as an adolescent isn’t healthy, and putting his fate in Nazuna’s hands is a leap of faith whose stakes are far higher than he’s capable of understanding at this point.


  1. Thank goodness there’s somewhere I can get to read decent reviews of YnU, especially written by someone who hasn’t read the manga.

    The chapters have been animated a little out of order recently, but without being too spoilerific, after this week’s slightly chill episode (well, sort of), there may be a distinct change of pace now.

    1. The first, second, fifth and sixth episodes all have had chapter rearrangements. Yet despite that, I think the adaptation is flowing pretty well. After seeing it myself in this episode, I think it was good idea to take the pool party chapter out of its respective place and put aside until later.

      Now, seeing that you’ve pretty much announced yourself as a manga reader, you know what’s coming in the next episode. It’s going to be interesting observing everyone’s reaction to the upcoming tonal shift.

      Aside from that, with the adaptation apparently covering three chapters per episode, I can more or less guess which chapter this season will end on. And if it does, it will make for a good cliffhanger.

  2. Just adding my 3 cents: those two guys trying to pick up nazuna? They are creepy nuts, doing one of best cameo ever. Also, laughed myself off when nazuna asked to stop poor owerworked girl from going to work resolved the problem with defenestration

  3. I’ve seen it numerous times, but it still comes so out of left field that Nazuna would just, without warning, throw someone out the window of the high section of an apartment building. And that person being a regular customer, at that. Taken from a different perspective, that’s deliberately attempting to simultaneously destroy one of her food sources and source of income.

    It’s been said that the Japanese work conditions are borderline tyrannical but unless it’s the night shift of a job, calling in employees at unreasonable hours, at 2 AM in this case, is absurdly pushing it and should be considered grounds for a lawsuit. Kiyosumi’s story hasn’t been expanded upon. So, I’m guessing the reason she still unwillingly has her job and hasn’t considered shifting to another is because she’s in an unpleasant financial situation.

    Also, it’s hilarious. Ko has yet to meet his own vampire ambitions. Yet with his declaration of turning Kiyosumi, he’s already prematurely made his own offspring creation list.

    The next episode is when the REAL fun begins. I can’t wait!

    1. The 2am phone call isn’t unusual in any part of the world where computer production runs, things like printing bills or statements, happen overnight – I’ve had a few myself when I was working for a big company. Where it shades into abuse is if it becomes a regular thing.

  4. What did we learn from this episode that we didn’t know already. Being a COG in a well oiled machine doesn’t always benefit the employee like Kiyosumi Shirakawa.

  5. Finally was able to watch this week’s episode and I’m enjoying this “mess” as the writer describes it. I mainly agree with that I have no idea where the plot is going or what kind of story is being told, but I’m here for the ride!

    One thing that has been bothering me is what does Kou during the daytime? Does he just sleep in all day? Do his parents know he hasn’t been going to school? Maybe I need to rewatch the first ep.

    1. I don’t think that’s been made clear. It’s implied that his parents are pretty disinterested in him, but I don’t know if that extends to not caring if he blows off school.

      Don’t forget that Kou’s insomnia is the catalyst for all this, and that would imply he can’t sleep during the day either.

  6. I got the vibe this episode that talk about becoming a vampire is like committing suicide. It certainly accomplishes the same thing, but you aren’t alive to enjoy it.

  7. Ok, now that I’m finally watching this series, something that caught my attention…

    In the last scene of the episode, at the pool, we have a very cool picture of Kou’s neck reflected on the water as Nazuna bites him. Of course, it’s just Kou being reflected, not Nazuna. But next shot we see both Nazuna and Kou reflected on the water.

    Was it done just for aesthetically purposes or is there more into it? Just like Humans can turn into Vampires… could a Vampire turn back into Human? Is Nazuna turning back to being human because she’s falling for Kou?


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