Strike the Blood: Episode 21 – “Return of the Alchemist II”

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.

Kojou and Yukina find Asagi lying on the ground near the monastery, and it appears that she’s dead. Kojou’s power suddenly explodes, but Yukina is able to get him to calm down before anything can happen. They are approached by Kou Amatsuka, and he tries to attack Kojou; however, Yukina is able to intercept. Kou starts turning into a liquid metal form, and Kojou summons a familiar to deal with him. It appears that Kojou defeats Kou, and Asagi suddenly wakes up.

When Kojou takes Asagi home so she can clean up, she discovers something red on her chest and collapses. Shortly after, she introduces herself to Kojou as Nina Adelard. The red circle on Asagi’s chest is the Hard Core, and is Nina’s actual body. Nina basically transferred herself to Asagi’s body and healed her wound. Nina also reveals that Kou isn’t actually dead.

Kou first makes his move to try to get to Kanon, but Natsuki and Astarte find him. Natsuki tries to detain him, but Kou changes his form and escapes from the chains that bind him. Later, he turns up elsewhere, and causes a ruckus. Unfortunately, everything plays right into his hands, and helps him to awaken the Wiseman.

Yukina, Nagisa, and Kanon leave for their training camp. While they’re on the deck of the ship they’re taking to reach their destination, Yukina senses something dangerous in the water…

I’m glad to see that Asagi didn’t die, but I feel bad for her that she’s become a host body for the Hard Core. And it turns out that there are times where she’ll be Nina, and then other times where she’s Asagi. There’s a scene where Asagi’s consciousness awakens at a point where it causes an awkward situation for Kojou. Unfortunately, he can’t tell her about what’s going on, because he’s had to keep so much of the supernatural part of his life secret from her. Meanwhile, he’s keeping the fact that Nina is in Asagi a secret from Yukina. Poor Kojou just can’t seem to catch a break.

We learn that Kou is after Kanon in order to finish what he started at the monastery five years earlier. Kanon’s another character who just can’t seem to catch a break, either.

Since there’s only three episodes remaining, I’m wondering if this story arc will be the one to finish off the series, or if there might be one more short arc. Another thing I’m interested in seeing is whether all the loose ends are wrapped up at the end or not. I’ll keep watching over the next few weeks in order to find out how Strike the Blood will ultimately conclude.

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