That’s a nice magic trick.
Blood Lad keeps it up with its absurd comedy. But this time, we get a bonus helping of melodrama. Let’s see how it turned out.
Aww yeahhhh. Suck out those body fluidsss.
After travelling to the human world, Staz quickly goes to work brainwashing people. Wait, what? Yes, that’s right. As a vampire, Staz possesses their ability to control humans. Normally, this is done by way of biting the victim, thus introducing the vampire’s saliva into the bloodstream or something. But Staz, being a resourceful guy, has distilled his spit into a little spray bottle. So now he can go around pretty much controlling anyone on a whim with just a quick spritz from the ‘ol spitting pot. A little gross when you think about it, but hey, it works. But that’s not where the utility of the vampire’s body ends. With a little vamp blood infusion, it turns out even a lowly demon can survive in the normally inhospitable human world! So when Fuyumi starts disappearing ominously, Staz cuts his thumb and sticks it in her mouth in typical suggestive fashion. Oh yeah, look at that hot finger sucking action. Slurrrrrrrp. Anyway, in some works of fiction, vampire blood is actually what turns a human into a vampire as well, while merely having their blood sucked by a vampire just leaves them near death.1 But I guess that’s not the case in Blood Lad. Which is fine, because Fuyumi doesn’t need to be a vampire on top of a ghost. She’s already removed enough from humanity as it is. Last but not least, we also see that Staz possesses some sort of magical death stare, capable of freezing lower demons in their tracks. Only appropriate enough for a purportedly high-ranking demon to wield such power over lowly beings, I suppose. And here I thought Staz was already powerful enough with his telekinetic heart-crushing move. This guy sure has quite the repertoire.
Need a hand? Get it? Hahaha. Ok, I’m sorry. That was just awful.
So upon returning home, Fuyumi faces the problem of explaining her disappearance to her friends and family. Of course, this is easily taken care of by Staz as mentioned above. But the interesting bit is how Fuyumi responds. I would think typically something like a magical mind-controlling spray would be treated comically. Which, it technically was in Blood Lad for a while. But then when Fuyumi realizes the implications of Staz’s power, she actually reacts adversely to his well-meaning intervention. I personally find this little interlude in comedy very well-done and engaging. We get to see that deep down, she does feel vulnerable about being dead, in spite of her earlier apparent unconcerned acceptance. Well, she has been bugging Staz to prioritize bringing her back, but that’s nowhere near the brief mental breakdown she has here. And the thought goes, if Staz can make it so that no one even notices her absence, what value does she, as the (almost) real deal, have? She could be completely gone, body and spirit, and Staz could still make it as if nothing had happened. Now, I would think that there has to be some limit to Staz’s power, and that manipulating the entire existence of a person in the minds of every one she knows would be a little harder than some casual spritzing, but that’s a whole different story. I just thought it was very nice of Blood Lad to throw in this little detail instead of brushing it off for easy laughs. The show may have its fair share of goofy comedy, but it sure knows when to turn the tables and make things serious for a change. Bravo.
That Other Girl in The ED
I swear she does this pose half the time she’s on screen.
As a final point, I should mention the important new character we meet this episode. And yes, she’s obviously important because she’s featured heavily in the ED. Your mileage may vary when inferring importance from OPs and EDs, but I’d hazard a guess that there’s more to her than meets the eye. And what meets the eye right now is she’s a wandering magician who goes by “Hydra-Bell”. Apparently she specializes in spatial magic, and her ability to turn any “frame” into a portal or window more than adequately demonstrates her proficiency. That bit where she’s playing with Staz by popping in and out of the windows? Yeah, she’s thinking with portals. Jokes aside, it would be too easy for everything to be resolved by simply meeting Bell, so an additional wrinkle is added in that she’s not the one responsible for the Black Curtain in Fuyumi’s room. Instead, whoever put the frame there stole it from Bell, a rather impressive feat consider her mastery of spatial magic. Oh wait. Couldn’t he have simply nabbed the frame while she was on the other side? I guess maybe she’d leave some sort of safeguards around it, but I find it a bit of a stretch for her to conclude that whoever stole her frame is ridiculously powerful. I mean, heck, he didn’t even bother to put safeguards of his own around the Black Curtain after plonking it down in Fuyumi’s room. Doesn’t seem too impressive to me. But no matter, because now Bell is set on making our mysterious mastermind her husband. That’s one way to meet your soulmate, I guess. We’ll just have to see how well it goes for her. *snicker*
Blood Lad is just as strong in this second episode, which is very pleasing. I did think that it would be all laughs, but it’s good to see some serious developments thrown into the mix. And this, of course, was done very smoothly. Fuyumi’s breakdown felt very natural to me, and there was absolutely nothing jarring about how it was slipped in between the comedy. Moreover, the feminists will be happy to know she emerges as strong as ever, though I’m sure they’ll still throw a fit about her having to have Staz’s blood to help her along the way. You gotta give the guy some credit though. He’s trying very hard to make up for Fuyumi’s untimely demise, and there’s nothing wrong with that. More importantly, we also see some tantalizing hints of possible romance growing between the two. Being in the human world, Staz realizes that he’s not felt the same attraction from when he first met Fuyumi towards any of the other humans. It’s already evident to us that she’s something special to him, but now the guy is starting to realize it himself. Good job, Staz. You’re now one step ahead of Maou. Next up is realizing the girl isn’t just a snack.
1This enables the work to bring in the drama of deciding whether or not to make the victim a vampire. See: Interview with the Vampire.