Strike the Blood: Episode 1 – “The Right Arm of the Saint I”

Strike the Blood is an anime series based on a light novel written by Gakuto Mikumo and illustrated by Manyako. The anime is produced by Silver Link and Connect and is directed by Hideyo Yamamoto. As of this writing, Strike the Blood is being simulcast on Crunchyroll on Fridays.

The series is set on Itogami Island, which is located in the Pacific Ocean 300 kilometers south of Tokyo; it’s also known as the Demon District. This manmade island is home to therianthropes, spirits, half-demons, manmade life-forms, vampires, and all manner of magical beings. These magical beings are on the brink of extinction due to the destruction of natural habitat and battles with humans, and are authorized by the government to live there for protection and research purposes.

Kojou Akatsuki is the main character of Strike the Blood. Three months prior to the beginning of the series, he became the Fourth Progenitor and has to try to suppress his vampiric urges if he becomes aroused by smells or other senses. Even though his own blood takes over to take away the urge, he still gets a nosebleed and coughs. However, he has no memory of how he became the Fourth Progenitor.

One day, Kojou notices he’s being followed by a female middle school student. It turns out she is Yukina Himeragi, a Sword Shaman from the Lion King Organization, a secret service agency established by the National Public Safety Commission to prevent large-scale magic disasters and magic terrorism. Her mission is to observe Kojou, because his very existence is treated the same as an act of terror or war. After Yukina learns that Kojou truly has no idea what he is, she realizes that this is why the Lion King Organization has sent her and that he’s in a very precarious position. The first episode ends with Yukina saying that she’ll be sticking by Kojou, since she’s there to observe him.

This episode was definitely an establishing episode for the series in order to establish the characters and the world they inhabit. For the most part, the episode focuses a lot more on exposition than on action. I have to admit that I was getting a little bored by the end of the episode, but I’m willing to cut it some slack since it’s an establishing episode. Hopefully the second episode will see the story really get going. One of the scenes in this episode also had some “fan service” in the way of a couple of panty shots of Yukina. However, I don’t know if this is an isolated thing, or if there will be more fan service in future episodes of Strike the Blood.

At the beginning of the episode, the animation looked like it was supposed to look like 3D if someone wasn’t wearing 3D glasses, and there were spots in the audio in the first scene where it sounded distorted. It turns out this was only done for effect, and the remainder of the episode has normal animation. While I understand what the director was going for with that first scene, the animation during that portion bothered my eyes.

At this point, I’m going to watch the second episode to see if Strike the Lad can become more interesting. And it could become the episode that decides whether I continue on with the series or not.

Additional posts about Strike the Blood:

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