Strike the Blood: Episode 3 – “The Right Arm of the Saint III”

Strike the Blood is set on Itogami Island, and it’s known as the Demon District because it’s the home of various magical beings who have been authorized by the government to live there for protection and research purposes. The main character of the series is Kojou Akatsuki; three months prior to the start of the series, he became the Fourth Progenitor, which has given him vampiric powers. A girl named Yukina Himeragi has been given a mission by the Lion King Organization to observe Kojou, and if she deems him to be dangerous, she has been ordered to kill him.

The beginning of episode three is a slight recap of the end of episode two, when Kojou jumps into Yukina’s battle with the Combat Deacon of the West European Church and his Familiar, Astarte. Kojou is struck by the Familiar, and light begins emanating from him; it also looks like his vampiric tendencies are trying to come out.

Then it’s the next day, and the news reports that damage in the area where their fight took place appears to have been caused by lightning; it’s also estimated that the damage is worth about 50 million yen. When Yukina and Kojou walk to school that morning, she scolds him for all of the damage he caused.

During their conversation we learn three important pieces of information: that the Lion King Organization isn’t on good terms with the police, Kojou can only control his Familiars under normal circumstances, and that the Familiars won’t accept Kojou as the Fourth Progenitor. While this information may not seem important when you first hear it, these are things you need to keep in mind as you watch this episode.

When Kojou gets to school, he talks with Asagi, the girl he was studying with at the beginning of episode one. We learn that she does some volunteer work for the Manmade Island Management Corporation, and that she had to put together a backup for the disaster prevention mainframe from scratch. Asagi suddenly asks him if he went out last night and about the girl he was with. Just then, Minayami enters the room and tells Kojou she wants to see him and Yukina in the guidance office at lunch to talk about what the two of them did after they ran out of the arcade in the middle of the night. Asagi becomes jealous and destroys Kojou’s World History report. Now knowing that Asagi is interested in Kojou, the stage could be getting set here for some kind of a love triangle between Kojou, Asagi, and Yukina.

When Kojou and Yukina meet with Minayami at lunch, she asks if they’re aware of the explosion that took place in Island East last night. After Kojou says yes, Minayami points out that six similar incidents have taken place over the past two months. She shows them pictures of the two demons who had hit on Yukina back in episode one, and Minayami explains they were the victims in the sixth attack. Minayami believes that whoever is doing this will be coming after Kojou, so he should refrain from further cavorting at night. The cat toy that Kojou won for Yukina in the previous episode plays an important role in this scene.

Afterward, Kojou and Yukina realize that they’re the only ones who know about the Combat Deacon of Lotharingia and his homunculus Familiar. After comparing some notes and discussing things, they realize the Combat Deacon must be hiding somewhere on the island with ties to Lotharingia. They need information that the Manmade Island Management Corporation would have but isn’t going to release to the public. Kojou begs Asagi to help him find the information he needs.

Using the information they get from Asagi, Kojou and Yukina go to find the Combat Deacon. When they find him and his Familiar, a new battle begins. And the episode ends with something rather drastic happening to one of the major characters.

The end of the episode almost literally made me do a double take. I was like, “Wait… what?!? How can something this drastic happen to such a major character at the end of the third episode?!?” I’m really hoping that this particular cliffhanger ends up being something to psyche out the audience; if it turns out it isn’t, then I’m not entirely sure how the series is going to continue.

Admittedly, a lot of the episode focuses more on exposition than on action; however, the action that takes place during the last five to 10 minutes of the episode more than makes up for all the exposition earlier in the episode. And the exposition that the audience receives earlier in the episode is crucial for what happens in the episode’s climax.

If I already hadn’t been interested in continuing on with Strike the Blood by the end of episode two, then the cliffhanger for episode three would definitely have made me want to come back. I’m curious to see if this cliffhanger really is going to be a game changer for the series, or if there will end up being a way to undo what happened to this particular character. Unfortunately, I have to wait a week in order to learn the answer.

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