Meet the demon world police.
Battles galore! This week’s Blood Lad brings us an action-packed experience with tag team battles and brutal smackdowns for days! There’s so much you can practically taste the shounen! Mmmm…
Looking pretty badass there.
The action kicks off with some appetizers from Wolf. Apparently the whole deal with sealing his magic in the pipe is to enable him to transform into a werewolf. As we might expect, a regular werewolf can turn into his “werewolf form” any time he likes for as long as he wants. Wolf, being a mutt however, is unable to do so on a whim. Rather, he can only transform when he is surrounded by his magic. And as the magic is reabsorbed into his body, he reverts to human form. This gives him a time limit of three minutes during which he can fight at his fullest, a constant reminder of his mixed-breed heritage. Unfortunately this isn’t quite enough to defeat the freakish Akim, so Staz shows up in a timely manner and tags in.
Staz himself has, of course, experienced a power-up as well. Last episode we saw him regain full control of his powers courtesy of Braz. And he immediately puts them to good use as he wipes the floor with Akim’s sorry bottom. Yes, the battle was extremely spectacular and just brimming with the very essence of the shounen genre. From the cheesy dialog with both parties playing a verbal “who’s stronger” game of poker to the over-the-top “finishing moves”, it’s all there. Truly, a crowning moment of awesome for Blood Lad in terms of its shounen roots.1 In the end, I guess even a monster-eating new breed like Akim isn’t able to best a noble demon. Which certainly puts their position in the demon world society in perspective; they deserve every bit of fear and respect they get.
Pure, unadulterated action aside, this episode also had its fill of comedy; a welcome addition any time. We start with Staz’s stylish entrance to the party a la falling from the sky. I dunno about you, but I don’t think many people “forget” that they can’t fly. Much less survive smashing into a building. But the latter is just due to Staz’s usual durability, I suppose. Moving on we have Staz’s “signature move” which most of us will probably recognize. Then there’s also the token character freaking out about so blatently referencing an old show, which we’ve seen plenty of from Nyaruko. But that doesn’t make it any less amusing as Bell and Mamejirou look on confused by Fuyumi’s consternations. Not to mention the attack itself ends in a failure when Staz is rudely interrupted by a roundhouse kick. Unfazed, he proceeds to vehemently defend the name of the move and its originator when Akim mocks his inability to deliver it.
More doki doki haato time with Bell.
With all that said and done, and Akim securely stored in a collection of tanks thanks to Bell, the threat is mitigated and the story moves on. Braz and Liz show up as a sort of cleanup crew to “arrest” Frankenstein and his monster for the troubles they have caused the demon world. In the process, we see some unexpected meekness from the usually spunky Bell. I’d have thought she’d be her usual haughty self, but perhaps even she recognizes when she’s facing truly superior beings? She had acted pretty disrespectfully towards Staz before, but his powers were still sealed back then, which might have emboldened the crafty mage. And speaking of Staz, it’s more apparent than ever that Bell really has a thing for the vampire with her not-so-subtle madly blushing. Though she might be just a little bit mistaken in thinking Staz got his powers back because of their “promise”.
There’s also some more backstory about our favorite vampire and werewolf and how they first met. Similar to his entrance to this episode’s showdown, Staz again very literally fell from the sky into Wolf’s lair. I guess the only way off the Acropolis is down, after all. Anyway, the two have a standard “friends disguised as rivals” relationship, which to be honest might not be interpreted the same way by both parties. Wolf seems more concerned with the difference in strength between a lowly mongrel like him and a full-blown noble demon. He’s the underdog, so to speak.2 On the other hand, Staz is more indifferent about strength (he dismisses his own gifts as a burden) and values Wolf’s friendship more than anything else. Looks like these bros are just perfect for each other in more ways than one.
Service shot of the week.
Finally, we come again to the topic of Fuyumi’s resurrection. I keep joking about how it will never happen but lo and behold instead of slipping it off the radar, Braz actually shows an active interest in reviving the human. I’m not sure if it’s merely to satisfy his “scientific curiosity” again or if he’s at least a man of his word, but I’m not believing it will be as simple as him doing some hocus pocus. Surely there must be some catch or more complications.
I know there have been complaints about Fuyumi being demoted to fan-service material and a typical damsel in distress, which I agree is an unfortunate development for her. But perhaps she might take a more active role come next episode? Big bro Braz is going to meet her, and people he “works on” tend to end up with a power boost for better or for worse. Just ask Staz; he’ll tell you all about it. Also it’s good to see him let Liz into his room and spectate Staz’s battle with Akim. At least he’s not completely ignoring her now, even if the purpose of watching the match was probably to gloat over how strong he made Staz instead of bonding as a family. Not that watching your brother in a death-match against a monstrous freak is quality family bonding anyhow. But in any case it looks like next episode will focus on Liz.