Series Recap: Strike the Blood

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It’s been a long time since we even talked about this one. If you’ll recall I dropped the weekly covers of Strike the Blood at the halfway point, but did want to give the show a fair chance to finish on its own terms.  (If you were curious, Space Dandy didn’t get the same courtesy because it did not aspire to arc stories, so there was little room for things to change). If you are new here, I’ll be digging into the pieces of Strike the Blood that will stick out to me whenever anyone asks me about the series. These are all subjective and completely revolve around my personal tastes.  So you will find no rhyme or reason between elements.

Well the second season is over and here we are.  What is the ultimate verdict on the second half, looking back as a whole?

…Eh.  It mostly went where expected, sticking to those Strike the Blood themes we came to know.  That of the fact that there are “two” series being played on different reels and overlapped.

Imagine the writing room, if you will. We have one guy writing the story about vampires.  He adds in the stuff about mages, about vampire culture, and has a nice cute story and a boatload of unique characters to fit into that story, which is done fairly well.

There is also a second writer, who is writing out a bunch of short, cliche ecchi scenes with harems and fanservice.  He puts all of his ideas in a hat and moves it up the chain.

These two works come to meet in a film doctor’s office, and she….she just has zero fucks to give about this project. So she reaches into her hat of ecchi and picks out a joke, sighing to herself and wondering why she didn’t listen to her parents and become a prostitute as at least that way she’d have her dignity, and looks at the first script and says “Okay where is a space the protagonist is alone with a female…there. Okay, insert foot fetish joke. Next!”

It’s one of those things you don’t notice until its missing, but, Strike the Blood lacked the “character-driven” harem gags. You know, how there will be one character who exists to appeal to the loli shippers, one who exists to go with the submissive guys who want a woman to beat them before kiss them, one who plays the mothering type of lover.  That dynamic.

Strike the Blood lacked that, they just threw sexual innuendo at the screen and that was good enough. The closest to consistent stuff was Himeragi, who constantly berated Kojo for his antics, and would then absolve him of responsibility by explaining how it wasn’t his fault. So you know, she was a petty bitch. I’m not exactly complaining, it just just strikes me as rather odd, but I’ll get to that at the appropriate section.

And then there were the action elements, that first script. The ones that frustrated me because, well…I liked them. I was eager to learn about the characters and the universe.

This dual-nature sticks out most to me. Let’s hit these points one by one. Continue reading

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Strike the Blood: Season 2 Summary

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Contrary to my overly elaborate summations and jackassery, this is just going to hit the major points of season 2 so as to make sure we’re all caught up.  Yes, the Strike the Blood recap is just around the corner.  And after that, yes, yes, KILL la KILL.

This is a very serious endeavor, and my readers deserve only the best. So I will be presenting the facts, and just the peer-reviewed facts as they appear in the episode. What? Stop laughing. This is serious. Completely. Continue reading

Strike the Blood: Episode 12

Still don’t get points for holding back.

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Well, give them a modicum of praise and Strike the Blood delivers on its total stupidity.

I will levy this praise: At least they didn’t make overtly hard nipples in the freezing weather.  Congratulations, Strike the Blood! You didn’t sink as low as I expected.

This whole opening sequence was absolutely painful.  If you guys just want to make hentai, do that.  If you want to make ecchi, do that.  But don’t give us this nonsense about having story when there are LITERALLY hentai better written than your poor excuses at skin flashing.  Oh don’t worry. I’m going to get into why this is so awful.

Side by side this, of course, was the excellent fight sequences Strike the Blood has given us. Even if I am very confused what Kojo was doing throughout the girls battle with the evil Maguscraft people.  But the action was great this week.

Which makes it ALL THE MORE FRUSTRATING that this show chooses to focus on its poorly crafted harem bullshit. Continue reading

Strike the Blood: Episode 11

Not lying, am kind of loving it.

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After two weeks of slow motion plot doctoring, this week Strike the Blood felt like a real action series.  There were fights, even if they weren’t the best realized ones, and most of the dialogue was restricted to shit you might actually give a damn about.

I do really like the Aldegyr’s looks, both Kanase and La Folia have very striking features.  Sure it’s played up for the ecchi, but at least I am entertained visually.  Just something about the ice blue eyes, I think, with the white hair that makes them ethereal looking.  Perhaps it is empathy as someone who also cannot be in flash photography because I glow…

Really this week blew by, there was motion and story and character development and all that wonderful stuff that makes an actual series.  Mind, meeting La Folia is a little forced. Really, Himeragi, you’re going to take a bath without even telling Kojo you’re going out? No excuse about patrol? On a deserted island that you don’t even have the least bit charted.  I will say this, and it’s a strength of this series, even though Yukina is stuck up on harem nonsense, that is, obviously loving the hero but not once admitting to it because that might force us to write something interesting, Yukina’s expressions, dialogue, and acting are exceptional at conveying a teenage girl who, for the life of her, can’t figure out why she has feelings for this guy. I suppose it’s too late to warn her that it’s some lazy script gods.

But really this should have been part 2.  Nothing would have been lost if you compressed the previous two weeks into one to set up for this episode.  Continue reading

Double Feature: Strike the Blood: Episodes 9 + 10

Hrragggnah…

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I don’t mean to forget Strike the Blood. Really, I don’t. But it is neither as bad as Galilei Donna was, nor as interesting as KILL la KILL has been. It is, in a word, average.  It isn’t so bad that I consider it train-wreck worthy, but it isn’t good enough to make me interested. And so, I forget… (For those wondering, yes, Unbreakable Machine Doll has the same problem).  Highlight of this problem? I had to look up what day Strike the Blood airs. I’ve forgotten. That is how little I care about this series. It is mediocrity that I would have just abandoned long ago if left to my own devices. But I promised, so here it is.

I will say one thing for Akatsuki Kojo’s character, his sense of humility is excellently crafted. It is rare that I truly feel that a protagonist doubts themselves, despite the fact that they are brimming with power, and here it is done expertly. There were scenes in both episodes that displayed this perfectly, such as on the island in Episode 10 when Kojo is thinking about other people. It seems to stem not from just compassion, though he certainly has that, but from a lack of sense of his own self worth. I appreciate that.  And episode 9 was full of harem nonsense, and it was on full display there.

But that was a big problem with episode 9. Harem nonsense. Episode 10 was more restrained. It wasn’t as bad, at least.

So we have a blonde haired, big busted lady with red eyes beating the hell out of everything with a spear.  Oh, and she’s divine somehow.  Yeah I think I’m gonna like her. Too bad this amazing, eye catching introduction had no bearing on the rest of the episode. Strike the Blood is odd. It has very well executed action elements, but only mediocre, at best, harem elements. And it chooses to focus on the harem nonsense. Continue reading

Strike the Blood: Episode 8

“So, McGilla Gorilla is a terrorist?”

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Our blurb this week comes courtesy of my girlfriend watching over my shoulder. But, demons aside, this Strike the Blood was a satisfying conclusion and interesting combat.  Curious villains and a chance for our heroes to act heroic. This episode was satisfactory in its delivery of the elements, on the whole quite solid.

At least so far as the good half of Strike the Blood goes.

Yes, our harem antics were in full swing. Including the character established to have homosexual feelings for Yukina getting wrapped up in the blushing over Kojo. Because why the hell not.

I know, I know, schoolgirl romances and all that.  Still this show can crawl up its own ass and die already.  Am I too bipolar this week? Maybe that’s because the episode was bipolar.

The action stuff works so well.  Way better than Machine Doll this season and (most of) Galilei Donna.  But, throughout it all, we have harem nonsense.  But this is the same point I’ve belabored throughout the season.  I only continue to keep bringing it up because this week strayed from “Not my cup of tea, I’ll suffer through it” and went full on “Why can’t I drop this show?”  It was that annoying. Continue reading

Strike the Blood: Episode 7

That…uh…de-escalated quickly…

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Strike the Blood maintains its pattern of rather safe action with a couple unique twists.

First, props to the terrorists’ plans.  Send the activation code out to any codebreaker who would listen, and once someone deciphers it, activate the super weapon, THEN tell them to get you the control portion of the codes if they don’t want millions to die. It really removes most of the “how did you know they would do such and such?” questions from the equation. This of course all presumes they sent out to all the…um…scores of mercenary codebreakers…yeah….beforehand.  Still, it’s a solid plan, not perfect but simple, the kind of stuff any terrorist would employ because sometimes the simple ideas work best. Continue reading

Strike the Blood: Episode 5

Incoming ignoramus moment in 3…2…

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So neither Kojo or Yukina knows what the blood partner is? Well then…I’m glad our heroes are so well informed of something that sounds pretty basic.

Oh Natsuki, marry me! We got to see our cute, arrogant gothic lolita in full bloom. And apparently she’s a monster.  Now we have suspicions about her purpose here with Kojo, too.

And um, ugh…are we going to keep this “comedic” misunderstanding thing going ALL 24 episodes? I…I don’t know if I can do it.  Sometimes they hit a mark, but usually it’s just distracting. Yes, Yukina says awkward things in front of people to be taken out of context. But, this is just terrible. On purpose, even. And some of this is REALLY forced, like the supermarket. God damn, woman, they just told you they aren’t a couple! Continue reading