Crunchyroll to Stream the STRIKE THE BLOOD SECOND Anime

Crunchyroll has announced that it will begin streaming the STRIKE THE BLOOD SECOND anime on September 10, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

The anime will be available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland), Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Central and South America.

STRIKE THE BLOOD SECOND is an OVA series that was released in Japan between November 23, 2016 and May 24, 2017.

Source: Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll Adds the Strike the Blood OVAs and the Hakubo Anime Film to Its Catalog

Crunchyroll has announced that it will stream three Strike The Blood original video anime (OVA) series and the Hakubo anime film.

The site will began streaming the first original video anime (OVA) for Strike The Blood at 6:00 p.m. EDT on August 4, 2020 in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Scandinavian countries, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Central America, and South America. The company will stream the Strike The Blood Second (Strike the Blood II) and Strike The Blood Third (Strike The Blood III) OVAs at a later date.

Crunchyroll began streaming the Hakubo (Twilight) anime film on August 4, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EDT in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Source: ANN

Strike the Blood Getting an Original Video Anime in 2015

It was announced at the Dengeki Game Festival 2015 & Dengeki Bunko Spring Festival 2015 & Dengeki Comic Festival 2015 event that an original video anime adaptation of Gakuto Mikumo’s Strike the Blood light novel series has been green-lit. The two-part project will debut at the end of 2015 with an original story from Mikumo.

The light novel series already inspired the Strike the Blood television anime series. The television anime premiered in 2013, and Crunchyroll simulcast the series as it aired in Japan. Discotek Media licensed the television anime for North American home video.

Source: ANN

Discotek Media Announces More Licenses

In addition to acquiring the license for the first season of Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club, Discotek Media has also licensed:

  • Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Will be available subtitled on DVD later in 2015.
  • Earl and Fairy Complete Series: Will be released with Japanese language and English subtitles.
  • Galilei Donna: Will be available subtitled on DVD later in 2015.
  • Night on the Galactic Railroad: The company plans to release this in 2015 on DVD and later on Blu-ray. The release will include Japanese with English subtitles and the English version.
  • Night Warriors (Darkstalkers) Complete OVA Series: It will include the Japanese language with English subtitles and the English version.
  • Recently My Sister is Unusual: Will be available subtitled on DVD later in 2015.
  • Robot Carnival: It will include the Japanese language with English subtitles and the English version.
  • Sega Hard Girls: No further information is currently available.
  • Shining Tears X Wind Complete Series: Will be released with Japanese language and English subtitles.
  • Street Fighter II theatrical film: To be released on DVD and Blu-ray, with details to be announced later.
  • Strike the Blood: Will be available subtitled on DVD later in 2015.
  • Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust: To be released on DVD and Blu-ray, hopefully releasing in both formats in 2015. Full details will be released later.

Source: Discotek Media

2014 In Review: Winter 2014 Season

Over the next few days, I’ll be publishing posts looking back at 2014. This first post takes a look back at the shows that I started watching during the Winter 2014 season. This post will also include series that I started watching in the Fall 2013 season that were still running with Winter 2014 started.

Log Horizon: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. This was a series that I admit to not being sure about when it first started in October 2013, but fortunately, I stuck with it and was rewarded with a series that made itself stand out from other anime series about characters who get stuck in a video game. I fell in love with this series by the time it finished airing in March 2014, and was overjoyed when the end of the final episode announced that there would be a second season that would begin airing in Fall 2014. I spent a lot of the year eagerly anticipating the second season because the first season had built such a strong foundation for the characters and their story.

Noragami: Noragami ended up being a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the first four episodes, but then with Episode Five, I started feeling like the series wasn’t as strong as it was when it first started. My opinion improved a bit with Episode Six, and it kept improving through Episode 11. However, I was never entirely sure how I felt about Episode 12, because I couldn’t tell if it was meant to be a series finale or a season finale. As of this writing, there has been no word about a second season for Noragami, so I have to believe this was meant as a series finale. Unfortunately, there were enough loose ends that were left hanging which made it an unsatisfying note to end a series on. The manga for Noragami started being published during 2014, so I may need to start reading it at some point  and see if it might improve my opinion of the series.

Tokyo Ravens: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. When I first watched this series, I thought it had a slow start; however, enough elements were established in the first episode to interest me enough to come back to see more. With the second episode, I felt it was a little heavy on the “info dumping” side, but I was still willing to come back because the story that was developing showed a lot of promise. By the time I hit episode five, I found myself genuinely interested in Tokyo Ravens and decided that I’d see it through until the end. I ended up being interested in Tokyo Ravens for most of its 24 episode run; unfortunately, I started becoming a little disappointed in the series after a particular plot twist in Episode 23. I also ended up feeling rather let down and disappointed with how the final episode ended. FUNimation Entertainment, who had streamed the series as a simulcast, has recently announced that it has acquired the home video rights for Tokyo Ravens; unfortunately, I have no plans to purchase their release to add it to my anime home video library because of my disappointment with the final two episodes of the series.

D-Frag!: This is an anime I watched because the previews made it look like it’d be really hilarious. While there was humor in the first episode, there wasn’t as much as I had expected. And from humor I did see in the episode, I saw the potential for the series to rely on the same gags every week; unfortunately, I ended up being right with that assumption. And the gags that the series relied so heavily upon weren’t terribly funny the first time they showed up, and they wore out their welcome rather quickly. With episode two, I saw that maybe D-Frag! had potential with its story, but sadly, that potential never materialized. It also didn’t help that the series already started feeling stagnant by Episode Four. When I reached the halfway point, I decided I’d stick it out, but that the second half of the series really couldn’t go fast enough for my taste. The final episode didn’t feel like an episode to end a series on. Nothing has been resolved at all, and little to no progress had been made on the loose threads that were out there. I found this to be an unsatisfying ending for a series that had worn out its welcome for me several episodes earlier. And the final episode was the worst of the drudgery that I saw for that show. After that episode ended, all I could think was, “Thank God D-Frag! is over!”

Yowamushi Pedal: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. After watching the first episode, I thought I could see some potential in the series. Even though I’m not a fan of cycling, I found myself getting hooked on Yowamushi Pedal the more I watched of it. I especially found myself being riveted to the action that takes place during the racing scenes. I also liked how the characters developed over the course of the series. The main focus of the first half was on developing the members of the Sohoku team, with occasional development on members of the other two teams. However, the development for the other two teams tended to take place during the Inter-High race. The main selling point of this series to me ended up being the characters and the development they go through. While the pacing of Yowamushi Pedal was pretty typical for a shonen sports anime, it’s something I got used to with each race that appeared in the series. I was happy to hear that there would be a second season for the series in Fall 2014, especially since this season ended before the winner of the second day of the Inter-High was determined.

Hamatora: After watching the first episode of Hamatora, I felt that the series showed a bit of promise; however, I was little turned off by the character of Hajime, because it appeared her gluttony was going to be a major source of humor for the series. It turns out we learn later on why Hajime is such a glutton, and it also turned out that there was more in the way of humor than just Hajime’s gluttony. It was ultimately the second episode that sold me on Hamatora. I enjoyed seeing the various mysteries that came Hamatora’s way, and how several of the episodes were able to take what appeared to be two unrelated plots and find a way to weave the two together rather successfully by the end. Overall, I enjoyed the series except for Episode Five and Episode Eight. But when I saw that there was a cliffhanger ending and that there would be another season of Hamatora coming in the future, I was looking forward to seeing more episodes in order to find out how the story continued from the cliffhanger.

Nagi no Asukara: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. I have to admit that after watching the first episode, I had some mixed feelings. On the one hand, I kind of liked the story, although I was finding Hikari to be a bit on the annoying side. However, I was having problems with using my willing suspension of disbelief about people being able to live underwater; it turns out that the concept of Ena, which allows them to breathe underwater, hadn’t been properly introduced by the end of the first episode. I decided to continue watching the series, and went into the second episode using my willing suspension of disbelief and focusing on the storytelling. It’s a decision I’m glad I made, because I found myself being more impressed with the series and becoming genuinely interested in the characters and their stories. I’d become so riveted with the series that when the first half reached its climax with the Ofunehiki, I was a little frustrated that I had to wait two weeks in order to find out what happened. When the second half of the series started, I have to admit that it was a bit of an adjustment to get used to the fact that a five-year timeskip had happened between the two episodes and that some of the cast members were noticeably older. I appreciated how there was a focus on the confusion for both those who returned from the surface after a five-year hibernation and those who stayed on the surface and aged five years. There’s a lot of raw emotion that’s prevalent in the second half of the series, but I found these emotions and reactions to be believable. I have to admit that for the most part, I had basically predicted what directions the various relationships would go in. However, I still found the conclusion of the series to be satisfying and enjoyable.

Samurai Flamenco: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. At the end of the first episode, I thought that between the animation and the storytelling, there seemed to be enough there to keep my interest and make me want to come back week after week to watch more of Samurai Flamenco. I have to admit that when the King Torture arc was introduced and caused the major tonal shift for the series, I wasn’t entirely sure that I liked it. It didn’t help that it was also at that point that the animation quality went down noticeably, and that “off model” shots started becoming more prevalent and noticeable. By the end of the King Torture, arc, though, I had become so accustomed to the change in tone that I started enjoying the series a bit more again. Overall, though, I did enjoy Samurai Flamenco when all was said and done.

Magical Warfare: After watching the first episode, I thought the series had some potential. After the second episode, I thought it plodded a bit due all of the exposition included, but I still thought that the overall concept still showed promise. At the end of episode three, I said that while Magical Warfare wasn’t one of my favorite series of Winter 2014, I couldn’t say that it was the worst one I was watching, either. By the end of episode four, I was already at a point where I wasn’t looking forward to watching the series week after week. As the series continued to progress, I became frustrated with how the series was paced, the fact that the villains weren’t very well defined by the halfway point of the series, and how the character development wasn’t where it needed to be for me to truly care about these characters. The final episode was a major letdown, due to how little was explained for what was happening throughout it. The ending of the final episode was so vague that the viewer was left having to make a lot of assumptions just to figure out what the heck was going on. Honestly, the way Magical Warfare ended was just so vague and bizarre that it makes the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion seem like it makes sense. And considering the reputation the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion has, it’s really saying something. All in all, I have to say that Magical Warfare ended up being a steaming pile of poo and I think it was easily one of the worst series I watched during 2014.

Strike the Blood: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure about Strike the Blood after watching the first episode, but I decided to give it a chance and continue watching it. After watching the second episode, though, I was more impressed with the series than I thought I’d be. The cliffhanger ending for episode three ultimately sold me on the series. As the series progressed through the various story arcs, more characters were introduced. Most of them seemed to have an importance to the series, although there were a couple of characters who were only truly important for one or two story arcs, and then basically all but vanished from the series. After making it through all 24 episodes of Strike the Blood, I have to say that overall, I was satisfied with how the series progressed and ultimately came to its conclusion. It was a series I came to look forward to watching.

Wizard Barristers: At the end of the first episode, I thought that Wizard Barristers showed a lot of promise. As the series went on, the story kept me interested in what was going on and made me want to come back and watch week after week. My least favorite part of the series was the animal familiars, because for the most part, they didn’t seem to truly add anything to the series. By the time I reached the final episode, I was overall rather satisfied with how the series progressed. My biggest disappointment with the series was the fact that we don’t learn what happened to Cecil’s mother. The viewer was left with the responsibility of assuming what happens.

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha: I have to admit that at the end of the first episode, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to like Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. However, I decided to keep watching to see if the story would improve. After finishing episode two, my opinion of the series started becoming more favorable. As the episodes went on, I continued to enjoy the series more and more; I’m so glad I didn’t let my initial unsure impression keep me away from this series. Overall, I thought the series was good, although the last couple of episodes felt a bit rushed compared to the other episodes; I have to say that Episode 10 had more issues with being rushed than Episode Nine did.  The action in the first half of Episode 10 felt stretched out, and then the story in the second half ended up feeling rushed. In the final episode, I appreciated the fact that it demonstrated just how much Inari has grown as a character over the course of the series. In a lot of ways, when Inari returned Uka’s divine power at the end of Episode 10, it symbolizes that Inari had grown up and no longer needs the “crutch” that she thought the power was giving her. In a lot of respects, though, there is some vagueness at the end of the final episode. Do Inari and Koji ever end up together? Is Touka still able to see Uka even though Inari no longer can? It appears that the manga series is still ongoing in Japan, so that might explain why the ending of the anime is a bit ambiguous.

Additional 2014 In Review posts:

Anime Spotlight: Strike the Blood

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. The series aired on Japanese television from October 4, 2013-March 28, 2014. As of this writing, Discotek Media holds the North American home video license for Strike the Blood.

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 has Familiars that don’t acknowledge him at first, but Yukina allows him to take her blood so he can utilize them. As the series goes on, Yukina develops feelings for Kojou.

Kojou has a younger sister named Nagisa, and she has no idea that her brother is the Fourth Progenitor. He has a female friend named Asagi who likes him but is also unaware that Kojou is the Fourth Progenitor.

Kojou ends up acquiring a little more of a harem over the course of the series. In addition to Yukina and Asagi, there’s Sayaka Kirasaka from the Lion King Organization, La Folia Rihavein (the princess of Aldegyr), and Kojou’s childhood friend Yuuma Tokoyogi.

The series focuses on the various perils that Kojou must endure due to his being the Fourth Progenitor, and how Yukina and some of the other characters help him out of predicaments.

I admit that I wasn’t entirely sure about Strike the Blood after watching the first episode, but I decided to give it a chance and continue watching it. After watching the second episode, though, I was more impressed with the series than I thought I’d be. The cliffhanger ending for episode three ultimately sold me on the series.

As the series progressed through the various story arcs, more characters were introduced. Most of them seemed to have an importance to the series, although there were a couple of characters who were only truly important for a couple of story arcs, and then basically all but vanished from the series.

After making it through all 24 episodes of Strike the Blood, I have to say that overall, I was satisfied with how the series progressed and ultimately came to its conclusion. It was a series I came to look forward to watching on Fridays.

Additional Anime Spotlights:

Strike the Blood: Episode 24 – “Empire of the Dawn 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.

Episode 24 opens with an explanation as to why the other “Yukina” has come to Itogami Island. Right after this, the magical beast starts attacking the island, and is causing it to become disassembled. Asagi tries her hardest to minimize the damage, but the island will still sink in 30 hours’ time.

Meanwhile, Kojou, Sayaka, and Yukina are meeting in a park. Sayaka fills them in on what Dimitri told her about the creature. Yukina then tells them that the Lion King Organization has ordered her to return, and a tearful Yukina tells Kojou goodbye. After she leaves, Sayaka asks Kojou what he plans to do. When he says he isn’t going to go after her, Sayaka slaps him and makes it clear that he needs to rethink his position. He changes his mind and starts going after Yukina, but the magical creature attacks nearby. The people of the island are told to evacuate, and Asagi calls Kojou and tells him to get away. Just as Asagi is about to confess her feelings to Kojou, the phone company’s system goes out.

Yukina is at the airport, and the other “Yukina” approaches her. Yukina admits that she wants to go back but thinks she can’t because Schneesturm Wolfin is destroyed and no longer there to hold her and Kojou together. “Yukina” scolds her, and asks Yukina what she wants, not as a member of the Lion King Organization, but asa girl. Yukina admits that she wants to stay with Kojou, and the other “Yukina” is able to do something that will not only allow her to return by Kojou’s side, but to fight alongside him in the battle against the magical creature…

Ultimately, I have to say that the episode and series end on a note that I would have expected it to. And the ending of the episode proved my assumption from Episode 23 correct: that the other “Yukina” is the daughter of Kojou and Yukina that has come from the future. It turns out that she came to chase down in pursuit of the magical beast, which is a manmade mechanical beast created in an experiment that crosses time, distorts space, and consumes dragon veins to destroy the land they support.

Overall, I’m rather satisfied with how Strike the Blood came to an end. I may have been a little unsure about the series after the first episode, but I’m glad I stuck it out and watched more of the series. It’s one I came to look forward to watching on Fridays.

Strike the Blood is a series that I wouldn’t mind adding to my anime home video collection, but as of this writing, it appears that no one has licensed the series for a North American home video release. Such a shame, too, as it’s one I would definitely put on my “to buy” list.

Additional posts about Strike the Blood:

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.

Additional posts about Strike the Blood:

Strike the Blood: Episode 22 – “The Return of the Alchemist 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.

While on the boat, Yukina and Kanon both sense an overwhelming presence. They both encounter Kou Amatsuka, and Kanon recognizes him as the man who attacked the monastery five years earlier. Both Kanon and Yukina try to flee from Kou.

Meanwhile, Nina and Kojou are at the remains of the monastery. Nina takes the Hard Core out of Asagi and begins gathering the fragments that are nearby to reform her body. She forms herself into Asagi’s likeness, but with one major difference. Natsuki finds them and tells them about Kou going after the boat to look for a spirit medium he can use as an offering. Kojou is concerned, since Yukina doesn’t have Schneesturm Wolfin with her. Natsuki says she has arranged for transportation.

Natsuki teleports Kojou, Nina, and herself to a location where an airship is waiting. It turns out to be a prototype airship of the kingdom of Aldeigia that La Folia is letting them use. Before they go, Yukina’s teacher’s familiar and Sayaka appear to give Kojou the Schneesturm Wolfin so he can take it to Yukina.

When Kou corners Kanon, she ends up getting clues out to him that he isn’t human. Just as Kou is about to attack in frustration, Yukina is able to intervene. However, when it seems like Yukina has no way to defeat Kou, Kojou arrives to help out. Unfortunately, the Wiseman ends up being resurrected, and Kojou tries to do something in order to protect the others. When a mist clears, Yukina sees that Kojou is encased in liquid metal. All hope seems lost, but then something happens to help Kojou be able to save the day…

During this episode, Kojou is able to awaken and control another Familiar, and so far, this one appears to be the strongest one that he has in his arsenal. It ended up being a pretty good match for the big yellow blob that was the resurrection of the Wiseman. And I can’t forget to mention that the big yellow blob can also shoot a laser out of its mouth.

I also noticed a couple of things in the animation for this episode. For one thing, there were several shots on the deck of the boat where they were obviously a little out of focus and had a blurry look to them. Also, there were at least two shots that I saw that were “off model.” There was even one close up shot of Yukina where it not only looked a little blurry, but it was also obviously off model. I really had the feeling as I watched this episode that more of a rush job was being done for this episode than usual.

Well, it turns out that the story arc concludes in this episode. I thought the conclusion of the arc was rather satisfactory. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see Asagi’s reaction to waking up in the middle of the rubble of the monastery.

The preview for the next episode shows that it’s going to have more than one part, so it appears that the final two episodes will comprise a short story arc to conclude the series. Strike the Blood has been an interesting ride, and I’m curious to see how the series will come to an end.

Additional posts about Strike the Blood: