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Nov 27

Anime Retrospective – Strike the Blood

So I went back to Strike the Blood … I have a good reason for this I swear.

To those who have been following these reviews (and my subsequent reactions to what I’ve watched), you can tell that I not only disliked this show, but it bored me to the point of it preventing me from reviewing it on a weekly basis. But fear not, there is some logic to my madness.

You see when I start watching a new anime (or any show for that matter), I feel like watching the first episode and making a snap decision whether I like it or not, will never do the show justice as episode 1’s often consist of the pilot and will never portray the potential it has accurately. It is for this reason I stick to a simple practice; if the show has some semblance of potential that I might possibly enjoy, then I will continue to watch until episode 5. This way I can get a good idea as to what the show can do with a story arc and therefore how it will perform in the long run. It is this practice that brings me to the predicament I am in today.

I thoroughly disliked Strike the Blood around the episode 3 mark, but because I deemed the show to have some potential enjoyment for me in episode 1, I saw it through until the end of the process. That way I can look at it in a much calmer and unbiased (and fair) light, leading to a proper conclusion to my viewing experience.

“And what …” I hear you screaming through your monitors with bated breath “… do you conclude about Strike the Blood?!”… I don’t like it. Shocking, I know, but it’s actually for slightly different reasons I gave in the previous review. Before, I had slated this show as being boring and was fairly angry about that fact because it had showed some potential and I was just disappointed by its lack of delivery. However looking back, I distinctly remember that stuff happened, there was a definitive story arc and yes, there WERE some interesting ideas at play here.

The anger I had toward this show was entirely based on the fact that it didn’t meet my expectations based on the setup, but now that I’ve cooled off and had time to think, I am now able to accept that I may have expected too much of it. That’s not to say that I think some shows are just allowed to be crap, but when your opening episode (the thing that is supposed to hook your audience in) is at LEAST 50% fanservice, I start to believe that maybe this show isn’t actually meant for me. However when you consider the direction the show took, you could also make the argument that the show may add inconsistent to it’s already sizable list of flaws, because there was a definite reduction in fanservice as the show progressed.

In the additional two episodes I watched (which I elected not to review), we did see a conclusion to the arc which actually had a relatively satisfactory and exciting, if incredibly predictable climax. It’s just all the ancillary stuff within those episodes that I have a problem with. Looking back on it with a fresh head, I can tell you that the show and 99% of the characters in it are just bland, bland, bland. This problem goes so far as to say that the genuinely action-packed scenes are seen as less exciting as a result and this still remains a shame to me. I absolutely do not think that the show should be 100% action all the time, but when the only thing I like about it is the action, the side stories are clearly uninteresting to a point of me not caring about the characters and therefore feel no real stakes in the action scenes that they have to overcome.

I will maintain that this show is not all bad and does have its moments, but it has so much wrong with it that it simply leaves me feeling drained. In spite of the audio and visuals really getting the blood flowing at times, the side characters have no real bite to them and do not save the situation as a whole. I can say that it will have an audience out there for the people willing to look past these flaws and it is my hope that these people can get to love the things that I found annoying and really sink their teeth into it.