From Magic Capsule comes the third installation of the series that no one liked: Strike the Blood.
Generally speaking, you watch shounen to get hyped and shoujo to catch feels. Similarly, you watch ecchi when you're in the mood for some eye candy. Not to say that these are the only reasons, but just what you would expect a person to look for in these genres.
My problem with Strike the Blood is that, despite all its tags - Action, Ecchi, Fantasy, Supernatural, and Vampire - it never thoroughly explores any of them, and instead tries to be decent
in all fronts.
As for action, most of it is limited to our favorite immortal vampire throwing one or more of his familiars at the opponent, and maybe Himeragi and possibly a few other members of the harem pitching in with their signature moves. Especially in this season, it feels like Akatsuki is a child playing Pokemon, but he's just spamming all of his cards as fast as he can. It's stale and dull and not the best. But hey, at least they tried.
The ecchi parts were never really great, but they've gotten even worse this time. Fantasy is basically what the story is built on, but the story isn't really exceptional either. Supernatural and Vampire pretty much drive the plot by introducing another baddie that Akatsuki will inevitably beat up and/or add to his harem. It gets dull, just like Himeragi's catchphrase quote every time Akatsuki says something along the lines of, "This is my fight!"
I don't like the story because every arc is always going to end up being another way for Akatsuki to bond with one or more girls, usually Himeragi and sometimes Asagi, because these are the two he eventually marries in the future. Also, every time they overhype a villain, they have to rush to finish the arc in time, and the final fight ends up having little to no buildup and the conclusion is extremely unsatisfying. There are plot holes literally everywhere you look, which makes it a little more difficult to focus on the measly sliver of a plot that exists. The show's mediocrity even shows in the art style; you'll notice that they often animate just the mouth of a character, not their expression, which gives them a robotic feel.
Soundtrack is mediocre, and there's nothing more to say about it. Voice acting isn't half bad. I had to take an extra point off of characters because my personal favorite, headphones guy, didn't get as much screentime. You could base the entire series off of him and this anime would be a lot more interesting. The maid is also pretty badass, but a little too one-dimensional to be a good character. In fact, you could say that for every other side character in the series.
All the characters have plot armor. To be more specific, Akatsuki Kojou and his friends have plot armor, and the villains have the opposite: they always lose. This makes for almost no character development, meaning that all the girls in the show who have no personality are stuck that way. They're so hard to tell apart that I keep forgetting who they are and what stereotype they're supposed to represent. The main female lead herself can't even break out of the cardboard cutout of a character she is. Not to mention her cringy lines, which are corny as hell and recycled more than the jokes.
Speaking of the humor, most of it stems from the harem (just like everything else). It's usually one or more of the girls slapping or blaming Akatsuki for an awkward situation or misunderstanding that he has no control over. Asagi and Kirisaka are extremely prone to this, but Himeragi usually uses her staff-thing instead. It gets really repetitive and it's predictable.
In fact, everything in this anime is predictable. Either a current or future harem member is going to have some kind of problem, and our progenitor mc, being the selfless vampire that he is, decides to intervene without even questioning it. Characters who aren't in the spotlight barely get animated, but they're stuffed in somewhere. Abilities are left unexplained, the plot just keeps rolling around while ignoring the clear problems in the way, characters are introduced then forgotten, and the resolution to the problem is so simple and obvious that there is no sense of accomplishment after the baddies are actually defeated.
Strike the Blood was the first anime series I watched and finished, so I feel like I have this strange urge to see it through. If you've made it this far, you probably have similar reasons. But if you don't, I suggest you drop this show immediately, because it is just bad. And if you do, be warned that the third season is the worst of the three.
A/N - Thank you to everyone who voted "Helpful" on my preliminary version of this review.
Another season, another way for Itogami Island to be destroyed...
Strike the Blood III is back and well it does what it always does, the "no senpai it's our fight", Itogami Island under threat AGAIN that gives Academy City a run for it's money and what the foundation the previous seasons gave, builds on the core cast and having them have a stake in the plot and for a battle harem, Strike the Blood III likes to shakes things up with it's core cast and develop them even further, be it the harem elements or the more supernatural elements and bring escalation to it's plot.
arc has Asagi, Koujou and Himeragi in the scene and well Itogami Island is under a terrorist attack. Though this arc drives Nagisa's stake in the plot due to December and her condition of holding a piece of Avrora, while the terrorist leader Sega Takehito shows us the true nature of Itogami Island with the purpose of reviving Cain and quite obviously he wants to stop this, where does Asagi come into this?, Cain. As for Koujou and Himeragi of course it's to save Asagi and the larger terrorist threat also on the agenda with this arc. Ultimately this is a build up arc and a bit of world building of Itogami island and it's not just a hub where humans and demons live together.
The Time of My Life's arc is centered around Himeragi and once again a rogue magician by the name of Meigo is trying to "cleanse" Itogami Island. Himeragi's character development is both linked with this arc's plot as well as a relational upgrade in the vise of "not really like that" but it is. Asagi once again is helping in the background while Himeragi and Koujou are on the field in defeating the rogue magician but unlike Tartarus rose's arc, The Time of My Life is more a character-centric arc while having the threat both being in the background but also linked to the plot as well. Really this arc was kinda great if only for the drunk Kirasaka moment and the misunderstanding with Himeragi was yeah OBVIOUS but funny how the dealt with it.
The War of Original Vampires arc is the culmination to the previous two arcs as well as the lingering plotline about Nagisa and Avrora, another words, the endgame. The War of Original Vampires deals with the entire reasoning of Itogami Island, Asagi and her stake in this through all the previous stakes she played in, Koujou's development as the Fourth Progenitor and it all starts with a Warlord going after the dragon girl Glenda, another person linked with Avrora and Koujou. This arc essentially gives us the mastermind of this entire season and is quite obvious who he is and his goals of destroying Itogami Island...as he just wants to watch the island burn. Asagi oddly enough got great development as a character, sure she's still tsundere but what she did to shake up the plot at the expense of what she wanted for Koujou...ehhhh yes partly jealously but LA would had wanted Asagi to go a bit more in depth however with all the subplotlines and the mastermind being in this arc, Asagi just needed a bit more umph but nonetheless Asagi developed quite well for being the tsundere friend of Koujou status and everything. This arc plot-wise was great in terms of escalation, characters developing be it through power or relationships or plot and again the culmination of this entire season due to this, which is what LA likes about Strike the Blood much like the second and first season.
The animation done this time ONLY by Connect, well they are still on their game as much as Silver Link has left for this season, but from the always polished and crisp character designs, decent battles sequence though it like the second season falls under the almost typical "beam spam" or Koujou using his Persona Familiars and deals HUGE amount of damage etc. but the battle animations were decent all the same. One more thing LA likes about Strike the Blood is it's great character designs and for a fanservicey battle harem...yeah it's a given they put some detail or polish to the character designs and sure there are some rare derps here and there but Connect still did great and was mostly consistent in terms of animation.
Strike the Blood III due to it being an OVA has uncensored nudity much like the second season and all the more for it though oddly it felt like III had less of it in comparison to the second season and as a result did try to be more focused on it's plot and characters as a result instead of being all fanservice. But oddly enough due to the gore factor gone up this season, having this season much like the second season being uncensored was great and gave this season much more freedom.
The voice cast is back and LA really doesn't have much to say, they all did great from Risa Taneda as Himeragi, Yoshimasa Hosoya as Koujou, Ikumi Hayama as Kirasaka, Hisako Kanemoto as Natsuki, Rina Hidaka as Nagisa and Asami Seto as Asagi and this is mostly thanks to how this season though focused on certain characters, this season does tend to move them to get them more involved in the plot one way or another thus more screentime for the majority of the voice cast.
Sure Strike the Blood as a whole has the typical anime harem cliches and even this season does have a repetitive format of "threat appears", "Koujou gets some time with one of his harem members and gets with the typical harem cliches but also intimate with them and in turn stronger", "Himeragi says this is our fight and maybe one more member helps with the final fight" and ends the threat but as much as it's repetitive, heck even this third season has almost the same plot progression format as it's second season did! The next flaw to note is that Strike the Blood does like ALOT of exposition for the audience to keep things in order, but oddly enough it does the exact opposite at times (mainly due to all the terminology, as well as the characters switching sides all over the place thus hard to keep track sometimes) and finally the last flaw, well nitpick is due to Koujou's harem being rather big now, the majority of them didn't really get screentime and mostly regulated to support, the biggest victim being Yume (as she only appears at the end of the The War of Original Vampires arc) but nitpick. Due to Strike the Blood having it's ever steadfast nature to it that doesn't dull the senses while watching it (well for LA anyways) and pretty much, keeping it's "don't fix what ain't broke" mentality. But yea, that doesn't mean LA ignores these flaws, they are there but doesn't outright make Strike the Blood horrible per say.
Yeah much like LA's second season review, LA REALLY likes Strike the Blood as a battle harem and an unabrasive fanservice anime and sure it has it's problems with it's cliches, expositionary moments and repetitive nature but LA still even now is a fan of Strike the Blood all due to the harem aka. Kirisaka having moderate amount of screentime and is still LA's waifu for the series, though The Time of My Life's arc felt like it was nudging LA to like Himeragi (which LA does, but Kirisaka is pure tsundere soooo...) and with The War of Original Vampires arc giving us more potential for new seasons what with the large harem Koujou has gathered and especially with Himeragi what with the conclusion.
A fourth season had been announced so LA is plenty happy where Strike the Blood is going and where it will go later on, flaws and all. For LA watching Strike the Blood is like eating a cake every 3 days, getting to eat the the cake is decadent and filling and a treat but you'll soon see the repetition and flavour over time but still have that cake to have that fanservicey battle harem sugar fillin- LA thinks LA has a problem with Strike the Blood. Guilty Pleasure, guilty pleasure. But with the second season was like it got upgraded to an ice cream cake, then this season upgraded even further to a bloody wedding cake! (pun not intended but became it oddly enough)
Himeragi is "heavenly" but Kirisaka is still best waifu...
I'm not going to lie but, I truly enjoy this anime. It's interesting, fun, full of action, and really something I look forward to watching.
The characters are great the plot is interesting and there is so much action! I also love this anime cause it has a slight hint of romance in it as well.
My only concern is that the Subtitled versions take a while to come out and, the most recent Sub to come out was not okay or meh it was AWFUL. I love this anime and I hope the subs are not the reason I have to leave it. Other
than that its a great watch!
Are you tired of short story arcs with expectable endings?
Are you tired of comrade Yukina saying: "Nyet, senpai, this is our fight!"?
Are you tired of teenage boy biting schoolgirls‘ necks?
Are you tired of Strike the Blood?
If you answered "no" or "nah" until now, then congrats, please proceed to enjoy more pantyshots (and more) of our cute sword shaman, war dancer and the rest of the fourth primogenitor’s harem.
Strike the Blood III is exactly the same as its prequels, expect nothing less, nothing more. My guess is, that if you‘re considering to watch STB III you‘re already familiar with the
franchise and know the way things go.
Just like previous "seasons" it brings us supernatural story balancing among harem,ecchi,action and vampires. Some people like it that way, some people don’t.
In terms of plot, there are no changes, Kojou and his comrades must save the island (sometimes even the world – to make it more dramatic) from villains who just want to destroy everything and kill everybody, because they have nothing better to do. As always, the battle is decided within a few eps and then the new arc begins. Sometimes they also add a bit of a drama into the arc, like when a certain character is about to die or disappear or something (not gonna spoil who), but then something "unexpected" and *cough * *cough* "totally not plot armor related" happens and the person is saved.
What to say about the characters? We can expect old friends and bunch of new villains. We will also reveal several secrets of some already known characters that might be surprising.What comes as no surprise, though, is the fact, that Yukina won’t miss a single opportunity to utter her indispensable quote of a appropriating her senpai’s fight.
In conclusion, if you are not a fan, this season won’t make you one, but if you like the series, STB III won’t disappoint you. It’s not meant to be rewached 7 times in a row, but it’s fine for a single run. Its ballance of action/comedy/ecchi in rather simple and straightforward show will make you forget about your daily struggle for those 24 mins each episode has.