Strike the Blood is an animated series based on the light novel of the same name written by Gakuto Mikumo. This is not his first work as he has previously been involved with series such as Dantalian no Shoka, the Zettai Karen novels, and Asura Cryin’. What he brings into Strike the Blood has a little taste of all of those elements in his previous works but transform it into a meat package – a series with the main protagonist that feeds off of others to control its users’ familiars.
An anime series involving with vampires. That’s hardly original in any sense either with its generics. There’s plenty of anime that followed similar ideas such as Vampire Knight, Karin, or Blood+. Strike the Blood takes our main male protagonist Akatsuki Kojo and makes him into a big name in a big city. For instance, most people who know about his origins and status as the Fourth Progenitor, the world’s strongest vampire. As the title strikes both a bit of fear and respect, it’s no surprise that he is a man to take notice of especially for his observer, Yukina Himeragi.
For the duo, their relationship begins kicks off with a rocky start loaded with misunderstandings, confusion, and animosity. Given the fact that Yukina’s job is to observe Akatsuki makes their relationship seem even more awkward as the former would be labelled as a stalker in some ways. At the same time, Akatsuki becomes annoyed by her presence. It’s also not exactly the best combination with Yukina’s anti-progenitor spear always on hand. It seems to serve as a warning sign should Akatsuki goes out of control. Over time, however, the duo gets along better with Yukina even developing a seemingly crush on the young man. Outcomes like this should not be taken as a surprise, however. While the duo lacks strong chemistry, they share a similar feeling towards those they encounter and the city they live in. It’s through their willingness to help others that tie them together to make the duo stronger.
We have Yukina, the girl who observes Kojo 24/7 as her role. There’s the typical classmate Asagi Aiba with an obvious crush on Kojo. Nagisa Akatsuki plays the role of the little sister with her chatty mouth but lack of understanding of the supernatural world. Then, there’s the tsundere Sayaka Kirasaka whom often says things that means the opposite way around. Each arc also features a prominent character that is the focus of its story. Most of them are always female and shouldn’t be a surprise with a show like Strike the Blood. It’s predictable with most endings of each arc with Akatsuki doing the striking and blood spilled for authentic reasons.
The action of Strike the Blood can be described as thrilling but not anything that blows itself out of the water. If I had to describe it, it would fall under the line of dangerous but also hectic. Each arc features a different conflict so the action tends to diverse itself a bit in terms of presentation. However, one key factor always strikes at heart with Akatsuki’s bloodlust. The earlier stages play it off as a necessity but later on ventures into a more erotic allurement. It shouldn’t be surprising at all with hints given already featuring its fanservice moments. There’s the pantsu, honey trap, and misunderstandings all over the place that brings out Strike the Blood’s generics to its core. Surprisingly enough, the show omits the traditional onsen/beach episode.
Perhaps it was too busy focusing on its conflicts in each arc to given our characters a vacation or it wanted to go beyond its setting. Who knows? What it’s known is the fact that Akatsuki always gets his fun (not the way he sees it though) in each and every single arc. Fun itself can also give the audience a different impression. The show sometimes likes to make fun of itself with little gags. Even the organization Yukina belongs to is hard to take seriously at first with a name like “Lion King”. We also can’t forget about some of the dialogues that come out in the wrong way with most coming out as cheesy. Finally, there’s also bits of romance. Unfortunately, that territory is something Akatsuki seems to have the least interest in. Despite obvious advances, Akatsuki doesn’t seem to show actual interest in any of the girls that approach him besides satisfying his bloodlust. Every meal means he gets a little satisfaction but not in a romantic sense. If you’re looking for a developing romantic story, Strike the Blood is the wrong place to be. Akatsuki is just not a bachelor for his candidates.
Silver Link animated Strike the Blood. On a technical level, the style of the series fits well with its supernatural themes. The Demon District, Itogami City also gives off an impression of aspects with its advancing arts. Most otherworldly beings are depicted accurately with credibility. Unfortunately, some of the character designs lack a bit with any unique features. The school uniforms look generic and hardly stands out. Akatsuki’s design makes him look like a loner with his hood covering his head that viewers will feel less attached to. Other characters such as Nagisa Minamiya has appearances that contrast their age. Supporting main characters are also hardly noticeable despite some of their statuses. On the other hand, the background art of its city gives an impression of a luxurious display with its aquatic-like attributes.
The soundtrack can come off as a mixed bag. On the surface, it is consistent to match its style. But at the same time, it can come off as just being there with nothing to focus directly on. The OP and ED songs offer a montage of the main characters as well as possible foreshadowing. With a show like Strike the Blood though, the arcs can be predictable already anyways. But for what’s worth, most of the characters’ voice acting is remarkable. The only sting is the dialogues themselves that come off as cheesy and lacks distinguishing moments. However, I do give praise to their voice mannerism especially for Yukina (Risa Taneda). Even though she just began recently with animated voice acting, there’s promising potential for her with the role of the main character.
In the end, Strike the Blood is another typical series with nothing stellar that strikes hard at home.
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