Japanese Title: Strike the Blood
Similar: Blood Lad
A Certain Magical Index
Watched in: Japanese
Length: 24 episodes
- Slick visuals and decent music.
- Bland, forgettable characters.
- The generic ecchi gets worse the later the episode.
- The same as every other high school action harem anime.
In recent years, each anime season seems to have its obligatory high school action harem that’s always a pile of old nonsense, the same tired ecchi jokes and lazy characters. Is Strike the Blood another one such dud? Yes. Review done.
For those still interested, let’s continue. High school student Kojou is the rumoured Fourth Progenitor, an originating entity of the vampire species, and does his best to hide his power and go unnoticed. Charged with keeping him in check, Yukina, a Sword Shaman (who fights with a spear), acts as a guard of sorts to Kojou. They reside in the Demon District manmade island off the coast of Japan where monsters, sorry, “monsters” roam free. When a renegade attacks Yukina one evening, Kojou has no choice but to use his power and they set on the trail of a homunculus.
Over the course of the narrative, several girls join the cast, each personality forgettable, barely given any effort before the next girl is forced onto stage. Even Kojou and Yukina aren’t what I would call developed or structured. Interestingly, nothing interesting happens until the end of the third episode, so why didn’t the writers use that time to establish the protagonists, make us care for them and see glimpses of the greatness they could develop into. How about, instead of giving us Kojou’s rubbish schoolteacher, who is supposed to be 26-years-old but looks like a middle school girl, you put some effort into the damn protagonists, you know, the most important characters of the show. Oh yes, there is also a villain, if you can call a guy whose job extends to wearing a suit and going ‘Hur hur hur, I am evil’ a villain.
Rather than add more conflict and development as the story progresses, the screen time goes to ecchi, the predictable panty shots, breast grabs, compromising situations, etc. You know the drill. Strike the Blood is so desperate to titillate, it resorts to having a lesbian throw herself at Kojou. Don’t worry, implied pedocest isn’t far behind. The ecchi gets worse the longer you watch.
Strike the Blood’s greatest problem is how generic the whole affair is. Everything is standard for the action harem genre. We know how the relationships will go with each girl. We know every twist in the action. We know each character’s personality for the rest of the series within an episode of meeting them, and this never changes.
Strike the Blood feels created to fill a slot for the season, sticking to a safe and easy formula to bang it out the door as easily as possible. This anime clearly had a budget, judging by the visual and audio quality, so why waste it on this? Are any of these high school action harems going to try anything different?
Art – Medium
Strike the Blood boasts nice visuals on a technical level; however, the character design lacks creativity (two unrelated girls look remarkably similar) and their powers aren’t interesting.
Sound – Medium
The acting is fine and the music decent, but there is nothing special to be had here. Still, the audio department doesn’t interfere with the experience.
Story – Low
Like all high school action harems, Strike the Blood follows a standard formula where a guy is special for some reason and a gaggle of girls join the narrative one at a time, ecchi in tow. Forgettable, dime-a-dozen story.
Overall Quality – Low
Recommendation: Don’t bother unless you love the genre. Strike the Blood is one of those anime that won’t be remembered in a few years, if it hasn’t already slipped from consciousness, that is. A single original thought would have gone a long way.
Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)