Strike the Blood, Vol. 17

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

This is the first of two books that will be adapting stories that originally came out back around the time of the first anime, from 2014-2015. This one was also originally a 7-page short story, but, needless to say, has a lot more going on now that it’s around 250 pages. (Remember when Strike the Blood books were short?) It’s not too much of a spoiler, really, so I will note that this is a ‘daughter from the future’ sort of plot, and honestly I am a sucker for those sorts of things. That said, there’s also a lot more added here to tie in to the rest of the series and to set up events going forward. Shizuri is now officially a main cast member, getting quite a bit to do, and we also see Yuiri and Shio showing up again. As for the enemy, well, it’s fairly light as Strike the Blood enemies go – it’s a rampaging demon beast. Still enough to cause massive amounts of property damage, of course.

After beating up Kojou and Shizuri’s two allies from the previous book, the demon beast has to be taken down – and Kojou can’t do it, as the beast basically feeds on magical and demonic energy. Yukina is able to temporarily defeat it, but – as the subtitle of the book suggests – this causes her main weapon to be destroyed. This is bad news all around, as she’s now being summoned back to Lion King Agency Headquarters and Yuiri is going to take her place watching Kojou. Both Yukina and Kojou hate this, but are still both in the “what do you mean we’re not in love with each other?” stage of things, so there’s mostly a lot of moping. To Yukina’s additional consternation, there’s a fake Yukina running around as well. Looks just like her… except Reina is a vampire, knows a lot more about everything than she should, and sometimes calls Yukina “mom” by accident.

Reina is the most fun part of the book. As you can probably guess, she doesn’t seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she’s certainly got powers out the wazoo, and is here to make sure that Yukina is NOT recalled from the island… which would lead to her fading out of existence. I also liked Asagi trying to be a bit more proactive and creating a school club that’s on the lookout for demonic activities – if nothing else, hopefully this will help Kojou have fewer days absent. There’s also a lot of politics behind the scenes – there are those who want Yukina gone because, since she has no family to threaten, she could easily turn against them, not to mention her status as a Blood Bride. And, of course, this being Strike the Blood, half the book is fights, which are well-written as usual, and I’m sure look very good animated. Oh yes, and there’s evil twins.

So, overall, given I’m not making fun of it, I’d say this was on the high side of Strike the Blood volumes. Next time we see Kojou going to a party of La Folia’s, and hopefully get Sayaka, who has been absent from the story for I don’t know how many books, back in the equation.

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