Strike the Blood
Three powerful vampires known as proginitors, carved up the world. Monsters freely exist under their domains, and power is currently balanced between them. Off the coast of Japan exists an artificial city which is dedicated to a monster populace although humans live there too. Kojou was among the average people attending high school and otherwise an unremarkable guy. Until he inherits the power of the fourth proginitor. While three rule their parts of the world, the fourth is seen as a dangerous wild card who could shift the balance at any time.
Kojou however isn't interested in any of that, nor can he even control his powers. Yukina is a sword shaman sent to keep an eye on Kojou, to ensure he doesn't become a danger, although as she spends time with him she becomes more concerned about his hormones.
Strike the Blood has a seemingly solid setup with characters the show could work with. I felt confident this anime could get good fairly fast. Yet by the end it still hadn't. Strike the Blood isn't bad, however I was left wondering how it hadn't faired better within 24 episodes (and still isn't concluded).
Strike the Blood looks great. It has top notch artwork, hinting at merits within the show to dump this kind of budget on it. Oddly enough, the animation doesn't measure up in comparison, however the overall production is good enough that it took a while to figure out how mediocre it is underneath it all.
The characters seem okay at first, but fail to grow much after introduction. Kojou is a typical unremarkable protagonist, his main love interest is rather bland when not in titillating situations. My favorite character was the "genius" hacker girl. Although she mysteriously can't figure out many fairly obvious things going on around her despite being so smart. To it's credit Strike the Blood has good variety in the other characters (embodying tropes aside), helping to keep things mixed up. It never forgets about them either, as characters introduced become reoccurring. But even when the characters are new, their situation is usually a variation on something done before. Every girl introduced has a romantic interest in Kojou for absolutely no reason. Then he predictably sucks the blood of many of them. In a similar ongoing problem, Strike the Blood cheapens itself with such detours (like pandering) for little gain; particularly dressing girls up in cosplay for the dumbest reasons.
The setup initially has potential, but the show gets surprisingly little mileage out of it. Strike the Blood has piled on complexities / intrigues which happen off-stage and don't especially enhance what your watching. Like some crazy weird excuse explaining why the group needs to fight some monster. But in the end it comes down to "blah blah blah" and that's why we're fighting this monster. The plot you actually watch isn't that complicated. Unlike many shows that botch this side context, Strike the Blood ties enough of it back in to the story, with enough sanity to make it watchable, while waiting for the next cute girl to get her blood sucked. The story is divided into chapters spanning multiple episodes, but each one basically resolves by Kojou summoning a new spirit monster never hinted at before. "How will we ever get out of this situation? Oh look I just summoned a monster perfect for getting us out if it!"
It's not an awesome show, but it's watchable to pass the time. It's not concluded at 24 episodes, and surprisingly little progress is made in any form of story, so I'm not convinced long term it will yield much of a payoff either. This experience is much like nearly every anime with vampires made after the year 2000. But, as is the case of Strike the Blood; they're never quite bad enough to stop watching them.
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