Flash Review – Strike the Blood (Vol. 1)

Nothing sounds better to Kojou Akatsuki than living an uneventful and lazy life, but he’s got one teensy-weensy problem: he’s the Fourth Primogenitor, meaning that he’s got government eyes on him, and they’re prepared to kill him with a cute girl should the need arise. It’s a huge pain, but it’s expected when you’re the world’s most powerful vampire.

The Slightly Clever Bit of Worldbuilding:

This series takes place on the unique setting of an artificially constructed island several hundred kilometers south of the Japanese mainland, and Kojou and the antagonists clash over a construction element to the megastructure. It’s a neat detail, and it’s just as neat how the plot hinges on its design, but the announcement of its importance isn’t made until the architectural linchpin appears, which robs it of the impact it might’ve had. All the volume had to do was early on state, “This megastructure should be impossible, yet here it is,” and then for the reveal: “Voila! Mind-blowing explanation!”

The Powerful(?) Ally:

It’s devastating and nail-biting when a newcoming antagonist curbstomps an ally known to be strong, and this volume makes an attempt at duplicating that devastation and bitten nails, but the ally in question is some nobody introduced for the specific purpose of sticking his head beneath the antagonist’s boot. It’s impactful as a blind duckling walking into a cement wall.

The Protagonist’s Struggles:

Something small I liked was when Kojou opened up about his stint on his junior high basketball team and what he took away from his last tournament. Like with the urban design, it didn’t make me go, “Aha! That explains that!” but learning this one vulnerability did go a fair way at humanizing him.

The Verdict:

This volume had some good tidbits, but none of them made it to great, and anything which wasn’t good was only passable. It sort of feels like this volume couldn’t come up with a better way to introduce the series, so it went with its first idea, which was to have some monocle-wearing giant and his loli homunculus commit terrorism.

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