Strike the Blood: Episode 23 – “Empire of the Dawn I”

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 episode opens with Yukina having a dream of Kojou leaving, and her starting to call something out. Before she says what she wants to say in the dream, Yukina wakes up and discovers that she’s crying. She wonders what she had wanted to say in the dream.

After gym class, Yukina is asked to see the teacher. It turns out the teacher had neglected to hand out future plans questionnaires earlier in the day, so she asks Yukina to hand them out. Later in the locker room, Yukina realizes that she’s never really thought about her future, because growing up in High God Forest, all she knew was that she had to hurry and become a full-fledged Sword Shaman. Suddenly a girl who looks like Yukina mysteriously appears in the locker room and knocks Yukina out.

Meanwhile, Sayaka finds Dimitri looking around a place on Itogami Island that’s in ruins. He believes he sensed the dragon that’s directly below where they are, which supports the island, is writhing. Not too long after, the dragon suddenly makes an appearance in front of them.

At the school, Kojou and Motoki see Yukina, and she walks right into a glass door. When Kojou comes up and asks if she’s okay, she starts acting in ways and saying things that Yukina wouldn’t. As she starts encountering others, such as Nagisa and Asagi, she starts saying things that sound like she is someone from the future. “Yukina” gets excited, then suddenly covers her nose and mouth and runs off.

Kojou runs after “Yukina” and catches up to her. He guesses that she also has vampiric urges. Before their conversation can get too far, the real Yukina arrives and starts arguing with the other Yukina. At one point, the fake Yukina says, “I’ll tell you this now. The harder you are, the more easily you break, and the more easily you break those around you.”

Then, the dragon we saw earlier suddenly appears in front of Kojou and the two Yukinas. Natsuki uses dimension controlling magic to help keep things contained from the rest of the school. At first, the dragon attacks the other Yukina, then takes a bite on Kojou’s shoulder. When Yukina tries to attack the dragon with the Schneesturm Wolfin, it shatters. The other Yukina is able to get back up and help drive the dragon away. But Yukina’s broken weapon leads to other things happening right at the end of the episode…

I haven’t figured out what the deal with the dragon is yet, but I expect that this will be answered in episode 24, since that’s the final episode of the series. However, from the clues that were given over the course of episode 23 in regards to the fake Yukina, I suspect that she’s Yukina and Kojou’s daughter who has come from the future. But why exactly she has come to future hasn’t been answered yet.

With how episode 23 ends, I’m very curious to see episode 24 in the hopes of finding out the answers to some questions that are raised in episode 23, as well as to see how Strike the Blood will be brought to an end.

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