Flash Review – Strike the Blood (Vol. 2)

It’s the sincerest wish of Kojou Akatsuki that he isekai into a more normal world because then he wouldn’t have to put up with with all the trouble which has recently befallen him. He’s got a junior high girl who’s watching his every move 24/7, wooden stake in hand in case he goes rogue, but now there’s another girl who wants to kill him, a terrorist cell which wants to blow him up, and a dude vampire who wants to French-kiss him.

The Action:

Something this volume does well is action. The climax starts off tame enough but ups the thrill until it’s practically a kaiju battle, and some of the magic performed is just plain dope. One girl wields a sword capable of slicing voids in three-dimensional space. Half the fun of the vs. terrorist battle was just seeing what wild trick either side pulled off next.

The Relationships:

Something this volume struggles with is relationships. I would specify non-romantic relationships, except that this series doesn’t seem to view male-female (or even male-male) relationships in terms other than romantic. I normally wouldn’t mind, being the romance aficionado I am, but it’s mildly annoying when the majority of Kojou’s interactions with his female associates end with them huffing at him in a fit of lover’s jealousy. One relationship was unconvincing with its development when one girl starts off hating him but later falls in love with him because…I don’t know. He didn’t punch her in the face?

The Sighs and Shrugs:

Something this volume irks me with is how its characters sigh and shrug constantly. If Kojou goes up to someone and proclaims his fondness for apples, there’s a 90% rough chance his conversation partner will respond with a sigh or a shoulder shrug. For a series which demonstrates a fair range of imagination in terms of its action or worldbuilding, it has no creativity for the number of possible gestures a person’s capable of.

The Verdict:

It’s got some strong action holding it up, but its character writing holds it back. I don’t dislike the characters, but they do grind my nerves fairly often, which makes the book’s spans of down-time an ache to sit through. I wish this series would introduce magic which would make its characters likable.

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