Strike the Blood, Vol. 9

By Gakuto Mikumo and Manyako. Released in Japan by ASCII Mediaworks. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jeremiah Bourque.

After a couple of volumes that were deeper and more complicated than usual, we’re back to business as usual at Strike the Blood, Inc. That means we get a new girl for Kojou to save, lots of cool battles that do a tremendous amount of property damage, a number of blatant flirting attempts that Kojou completely misses because this simply isn’t one of whose kind of harem titles, and lots of jealous rages that allows Kojou to get snubbed for “humorous” effect, although as always Mikumo’s attempts at being funny are funny only in a 90s anime “hey, what if the girl is a tsundere!” sort of way. And yes, you know things are back to normal when Yukina says her catchphrase, though it’s slightly less of a proclamation than usual. That said, this is, as always, a solid, average volume of Strike the Blood, and those who’ve been following along will be pleased by it – while also grumbling that Yukina is on the cover again, no doubt.

The girl being saved this time around, is Yume, who seems to be a standard “child who’s lost her parents” at first but ends up being a succubus. Fortunately, given that Yume looks to be about 12, she doesn’t do any seducing herself, but instead slips into the minds of the girls and brings out their inner desires. Unfortunately, the fact that she is about 12 means we get a lot of “lol Kojou is a lolicon” jokes, though mercifully there aren’t as many as I expected once I gleaned the plot. She’s a sympathetic character, and the way that she tries to get past her trauma reminds me a bit of Beatrice from Umineko, but unfortunately the author has too much fighting going on to really give her tragic backstory much of a look-in – a flashback to her abusive parents and classmates might have helped. The other new character here is Kiriha, who looks like she’s Yukina’s dark mirror, and I strongly suspect we haven’t seen the last of her.

Speaking of Yukina, the more we delve into her agency and the various other agencies connected to or in competition with it, the more suspicious they become. Indeed, at times it feels like Yukina is the only one who doesn’t know what’s going on. After seeing Kojou’s actual secrets in the last book, here we get someone finding out the truth about Asagi – but tellingly, it’s Sayaka, rather than Asagi herself, Kojou, or Yukina, those who would be most impacted by knowing that secret. It’s unclear if Sayaka will ever reveal this secret to anyone else, but I’m going to guess probably not. On the bright side, the action sequences are always the best part of Strike the Blood, and tehre are a lot of them this time around (to the point where, as I noted before, I felt some could have been replaced with better backstory). When your “villain” is a 4km-long sea monster, you’ve certainly hit the big time. And we get a new Beast Vassal, meaning of course more sexy vampire biting.

I feel somewhat sad that after the highs of the previous two books we’re back to business as usual with Strike the Blood. But it’s still a decent title, and reads very quickly and easily. And as always, it reads like it was meant to be animated – which it has, as there are now OAVs with this volume’s story. I’ll be back next time to see where the series goes.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind