「よふかしのうた」 (Yofukashi no Uta)
“Call of the Night”

Made in Abyss was certainly the best series of the fall (and maybe the year, we’ll see) for me. But Yofukashi no Uta was the most personal. It connected with me in a very direct way, to the point where I felt as if it were speaking directly to me. Not literally of course, but when that feeling hits you it’s a telltale sign that your life experience and the writer’s have a lot of overlap. That’s why Hatsuka’s conversation with Kou (the key scene of the episode to be sure) was so ironically relevant for me.

Hatsuka was the last of the introduced cast to get a meaningful part in the narrative, but it certainly turned out to be a critical one. While the “Boku” at the end of last week’s episode was effectively the reveal, there were a few hints dropped from the start that he was different from the other vampires we’d met. Through Hatsuka we see yet another side to the vampire experience, and it’s perhaps one that’s closer to the preconceived idea of vampires. His apartment (where he takes Kou to hide from the cops) is full of “followers” (two women and a man) he’s turned. They seem to be in love with him, true – but in an obsessive way that speaks of something more than conventional romantic love.

Hatsuka does more than shelter Kou from the rozzers – he takes on a sort of vampire mentor role, though Kou is pretty hesitant about the situation when he sees Hatsuka get out of the shower and has his expectations (and only those) blown. This conversation begins with a gorgeous transition shot of Hatsuka having no reflection in the picture window (this may have been more than directorial grandstanding) and never lets up. When Kou tells him he’s reconsidering his future, Hatsuka reminds him of what might happen if he does – not just to him, but to Nazuna.

Hatsuka offers Kou a deal – since he’ll likely never fall for Naz, why not be turned by Hatsuka and save her from Niko’s wrath? He reveals that he’s not “nice” like the others, and can “fool Kou’s mind” into thinking he’s in love with him. His argument is a fascinating one – as a fellow bro, he’s the only one of the group that can understand how Kou feels. Kou resists – not because Hatsu is a guy (“you have a cute face”) but because he remains true to Nazuna, whether in love with her or not. Kou’s rejoinder to Hatsu’s argument is equally fascinating – it’s not a gender thing, he just doesn’t understand anybody. And neither does anyone else.

This question of whether Kou is capable of falling for anyone – and whether not being able to would mean he’s broken – cuts to the heart of Call of the Night as much as any single theme. I would argue that the series is arguing it doesn’t matter – romantic love is overrated, and friendship and loyalty are more than powerful enough to get a person through life. I’m not sure what was happening with Kou here – if you look closely his reflection in the window seems fainter at the end of his conversation with Hatsuka, and being able to jump off an overpass and escape unharmed is pretty extraordinary. I’ve argued all along that Kou accepting who he is would be a more novel approach than his learning how to be in love – but if we’re going in the latter direction, the sales job is looking pretty convincing.

From the other perspective, we do learn at least that Nazuna is loyal to Kou. She may be hooked on the taste of his sweet young blood, but this goes deeper than that. She volunteers to be the one to take whatever punishment Niko plans to dish out if it means saving Kou, though in truth Niko is all bluster (in this instance at least). Nazuna is just a lonely and bored eternal teenager, and in Kou she finds something like a kindred spirit. I think it’s fair to say at this point that she’s closer to falling in love with him than the other way around.

It was probably unavoidable that this episode would be concerned mostly with plot – it’s the finale, after all. But it manages to stay connected to what the series has been for most of its run, and in that I have to call it a successful conclusion. I think what people like Kou and Nazuna are really looking for, in the end, is someone who accepts them as they are. If that means “love”, great – but it doesn’t have to. Society is like a box that not everyone fits inside – so what of the ones who don’t? You keep looking, because somewhere that box is out there – you just have to keep searching till you find it. And when you do, it’s likely there will be others waiting for you who got there first.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – vampires are always metaphorical. It’s pretty clear what they represent here, and it’s actually a rather welcoming sort of message to send out. Yofakushi no Uta has a lot to offer anybody who loves good anime, but I think if you’re one of those people it’s speaking to, it’s especially resonant. I give a lot of credit to director Itamura Tomoyuki (who seems to have become something of a vampire specialist). Time after time he knocked it out of the park with arresting imagery, and the series did a marvelous job of making the world of the night come alive. For me Itamura’s highly stylized approach meshed better with this series than Vanitas no Carte (which was in itself more good than bad on that score).

What next? Well. we’ve certainly been down this road before. I have less sense of disappointment here than with Ao Ashi, because it always seemed unlikely we’d get an immediate sequel announcement. It still may happen – Yofukashi has seen a meaningful manga sales bump and generally been well-received by fans – but I’m hopeful rather than optimistic (especially with Urusei Yatsura and Rurouni Kenshin likely to monopolize NoitaminA for at least a year, unless it reverts to an hour-long format at some point). If this is the end of the anime, it goes out on a strong note – a declaration of what’s still to come that also manages to leave the protagonists at what feels like the end of a fully realized story, all the while staying true to itself.


  1. There is a very strong chance that this series will get a second season. It is to9 good to end with S1. Out if all the vamps, Hatsuka is the most likeable. I do hope we learn more about him in the future.

    Zemo x2
    1. Hopefully another season is greenlit soon. Because adapting a story that has advanced to the point that an antagonist (Anko) has appeared, and not continuing to adapt that story until that antagonist’s arc has been dealt with is bad for optics.

      1. It is interesting point, raised by Hatsuka, is thta even vampires themselves dont know much about vampirism per se. There have never been vampire scientists it seems, researching how and why of the condition, and for obvious reasons no human researchers are allowed. And then you have Anko, who has seemingly deep knowledge, and even ability to kill vampire, something other vampires are apparently not always able to do, due to insane regeneration abilities (remember certain lost hand…)

        1. Hatsuka has no idea how right he is about vampires not knowing about themselves. The vampire society, for the most part in this story, apparently have a serious and dangerous lack of self-awareness. What Anko did to kill the vampire from the school is one of many things our vampiric cast know nothing about. Personally, that is a very careless state to find yourself in.

  2. Well, I think it is safe to say, that while Kou being in love is up to happen yet, Nazuna has fallen for him. Hard. To the point she was willing to risk fight with presumably most violent of her fellow vampires, to protect him. Also, notice how Hatsuka hypnosis just dont works on Kou. Either he is so utterly incapable of loving that even forced love is beyond him, or he already loves Nazuna. Which could explain that overpass jump at the end…

  3. Niko’s temper is justified but I wish she was so violent about it. Nazuna’s nonchalant reaction about Kou calling quits with being a Vampire is reckless. Humans knowing who’s a Vamp puts a target on Niko and her girl friends + Nazuna.

    Then to my surprise Niko recovers her composure and acts with a passive aggressive attitude. Looking ahead towards Kou and Nazuna’s relationship.

    Why couldn’t Niko stay completely composed all the way through the conversation with Nazuna? It shouldn’t be the first time Nazuna irritated Niko.

    If there should be a season 2 I wish for Kou to consult Hatsuka more often. Hatsuka is not simply a stark contrast to Niko, but also Wiser. Well, being well spoken goes a long way.

    1. I wouldn’t be composed if I heard someone trying to get me to agree to let a possible serious threat to my existence and that of anyone else I know to roam freely and unchecked.

      1. Dude Kou isn’t going to tell. Besides as we learn Vamps are all pretty careless to begin with so even if Kou didnt know sooner or later they run into trouble such as the vamp hunter.
        She clearly knows how to kill vamps and her blood is toxic to them. Nico wasn’t even THAT angry.

        Zemo x2
        1. I know full well Ko wouldn’t tell. I’m up to date with the manga to the most recent chapter. So, I already know what happens. But Niko can’t be blamed for her skepticism and reluctance, either. Regardless of whether she was extremely livid or not. Anyone else in her position wouldn’t take any chances, or at least would take pause because the possible consequences would be overwhelming and devastating.

      2. Consider that Kou has been in contact with a hunter (Anko) already, and she will definitely use him to try to get to our little vampire coven. He might not want to divulge information, but, being as he is, not very socially competent means he is awful at hiding information.
        Problem is, even without Kou being a lead to latch on, Anko can eventually find one of those vampires, and considering her determination level, someone will die.
        In fact, Kou already has served advanced warning about Anko running around and killing vamps, So killing him doesnt solve anything, and might even be counterproductive, depending on how vamps want to solve it.

      3. I get what you’re saying, but that temper reminds me of a parent scolding their child, a child scolding a parent, a sibling scolding another sibling. Perhaps I am reading too much into that scene because the ending to any Anime makes me emo.

        Now that I think about it, what’s Niko’s relationship with Nazuna, is it Senpai and Kohai or more like Kazoku.

        1. You’re not going to get an answer on Niko’s relationship with Nazuna because that’s spoiler territory. My advice to you is to read the manga from where the anime left off. And this final episode to the season covered the end of chapter 46, which is part of the manga’s 5th volume.

  4. It’s anime like this that keep me watching as an adult. I’m so glad I’m able to watch this anime as an adult and not as my younger self who might not have fully understood or appreciated what this anime was doing. While I would love a 2nd season, I’m content if another one doesn’t come because season 1 ended with a strong impression. Also glad I’m able to go to websites like Random Curiosity to read reviews that open my mind to things I missed in these episodes. For me the ending for Kou and Naz wasn’t that they have to fall in love. The ending was them realizing and vocalizing the bond they have with it other that they define themselves.

    Kou and Naz are both young ( eternal teenage Vampire) and don’t really know how to navigate their feelings. People are telling them how they should and shouldn’t act. We should all be so lucky to find someone where you just enjoying being in each others presence. Whose to say that isn’t love already? It’s ok not to know. It’s ok to be scared. It’s ok to have fun. Just be true to yourself.

  5. Verdict: By 90%, this was a nicely done adaptation for Call of the Night (Yofukashi no Uta) after anticipating it since its announcement. And by huge bias, it was favorite series of the season. The downside to its finale is that now my Thursdays are shot. Hopefully, another season comes along soon because there’s so much more to tell.

    Front and center, obviously, are Ko and Nazuna, who are fun to watch onscreen every time. Being outcasts defying any kind of social norm and going their own way was what made them all the more appealing. Kudos to Gen Sato and Sora Amamiya for their voice acting prowess.

    If anyone’s interested in picking up the manga and want to know where to continue, this final episode covered the end of chapter 46. Which is part of volume 5.

    I was particularly waiting for the anime-onlies’ reaction to Hatsuka and wasn’t disappointed. On a more serious note, Hatsuka’s explanation to Ko on becoming a vampire further emphasizes just how one-sided the offspring creation process is. In a nutshell, all a vampire has to do is feign affection. That said, if Kabura wasn’t enough back in the 7th episode, Hatsuka drives home the fact that these vampires in particular are serial homewreckers or “thieving cats (dorobo neko)” lacking in shame when they try to steal people from others. Even from one of their own species.

    However, the fact these night walkers haven’t ever taken the time to explore their strengths and weaknesses that a random human detective with a vendetta has information on their anatomy that they aren’t even aware of should be a cause for concern about how lax their standards are. If I had to guess, that never happened because of arrogance fueled from their invulnerability to most things.


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