What vampire anime series first comes to your mind? Vampire Knight? Okay, how about something less dark and dramatic? Vampire Hunter D? Okay, how about something without killing vampires? Dance In The Vampire Bund then? Alright, let’s cut out werewolves from the picture shall we? Rosario To Vampire? Hmm…. Think again, no mind-numbing fanservice. Plus, can we leave out the word ‘vampire’ in the title? Trinity Blood, you say? Well, think of something more high school-like and nothing close to the future or apocalypse. Have you guessed it already? Seeing that there are tons of vampire series, old and new, and with the runaway hit of a certain Hollywood teen vampire movie, I guess it’s either you know or do not know about Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku. Yes, this is another show with vampires. But nothing very heavy and it’s your typical high school comedy-cum-drama-cum-romance. Nothing extraordinary. Just add vampires, that’s all.

Based on the adult visual novel of the same name, this kind of simulation games and TV anime genres have recently been so ubiquitous and invading the anime scene each season so much so fans of this kind of genre (like yours truly) really hope that there will be something different and overwhelming. If not, at least something memorable. Unfortunately sad to say, this series isn’t anywhere close to that as I had hoped to be. Sometimes it felt like my brain cells wanted to commit suicide halfway through the series but I persevered in hopes that some super twist will take place. Didn’t happen. Sometimes it felt like I wanted to give up 3/4 of the way but I persevered in hopes that they may have some shocker ending. Didn’t happen. Sometimes it felt like I wanted to scream for the series to give me back 12 episodes and 1 OVA of my life after finished watching the entire series. But that didn’t happen. Okay, so I was partly to blame since I was so eager to watch it before it all even started. So with already 1 foot in the grave, what else more to do? Just sit and ‘enjoy’ the ride. Oh, I wished that ‘enjoy’ word was true…

Okay, here is the story. Your typical male protagonist ‘hero’, Kouhei Hasekura. He is like a frog, rabbit and kangaroo because due to his parents’ work nature, he has been changing schools more than those animals have been hopping their entire lives to keep count. Really. Not kidding. He even said if he were to remember all the schools he has attended, his head will explode. I hope it would so that it will end the story. Didn’t happen. Because of that, he is rather apathetic to life. Anyway, his new transfer school is Shuuchikan Academy, a huge school on the Tamatsu Island that is only accessible via bridge connecting to the mainland. You see, he’s no stranger to this island as he has been here before 7 years ago before this school-hopping craze began.

Episode 1
On his first step into Shuuchikan, he meets the blonde Erika Sendou who is also the school’s student council vice president. She extends her hand to welcome him but upon contact, her heart skips like a thunderous thud. She flusters and obviously denies anything wrong with her and rushes off. Oh, she also leaves the touring of the campus to a guy who happened to pass by: Tsukasa Hachimandaira. How convenient. So Erika is cowering in cold sweat somewhere thinking there must be something odd about this Kouhei guy. Yeah, from viewers’ point of view, it’s called love. Tsukasa takes Kouhei to the Hakuho Dorm where he will be living, also imparting several rules like girls live on a higher floor than the guys and if the boys even think of taking a single step to the girls’ level, Sister Shizuko Amaike will come whacking your head with a frying pan. No kidding. He also meets the pair of sisters, Kanade and Haruna Yuuki. Guess what? They’re childhood friends and though his memories are a little fuzzy, he still remembers them like they remember him. Yeah, they’re so over the moon that their first love, oops I mean, childhood friend is back. Guess what too? His room is directly underneath the sisters’ so it’ll be pretty convenient for them to come down via a convenient trap door anytime if they want to spend some quality time with him.

Kouhei is then handed a handbook of Shuuchikan’s 108 mysterious spots. He has to take photos of them as part of the school’s ritual for newcomers. Like the obedient newbie he is, he goes about snapping shots of the places and on his way, meets a cutie loli, Shiro Tougi chasing her white little bunny, Yukimaru. He helps her catch the bunny so being the grateful little girl, she helps him to his next destination, which is the student council’s building, where he meets Shiro’s serious imouto-con brother Seiichirou “Sei” Tougi and the carefree but popular student council president Iori Sendou. Yes, he is Erika’s brother and she’s not too happy that he’s inviting him in. Since Kouhei is a little dense, Iori tells him straight that Erika likes him. And he claims that he’s just fulfilling his brotherly role for her sister’s happiness. You sure he’s not just enjoying this? Well maybe. Iori’s prank on Kouhei continues when he switches the male and female bath signs. Kouhei enters the female section by mistake and sees Erika in the shower. You know what’s going to happen right? Though his friends know this is part of Iori’s prank, Kouhei isn’t amused and wants to apologize to Erika. When he gets a chance to meet her, she just tells him to meet her at Hosaka Zelkova at 5pm tomorrow. Hosaka what? According to Tsukasa, it’s a hundred year old tree believed to have a spirit of a girl dwell in it, who can cure any diseases or grant wishes. Now it’s a popular confession spot. I see… Kouhei continues to finish the task Kanade gave him and this time round his next spot is the church. Upon entering, he is shocked to see Iori sucking blood from a girl’s neck. Now that’s a scene you don’t see every day. And poor Erika, she waited at the tree but Kouhei was no show. Another embarrassing moment in her life.

Episode 2
By the time Kouhei arrives, Erika is gone and a note which has something rather unpleasant. I’m sure Kouhei is going to find out what it is pretty soon. Next day is the opening ceremony. Iori charms all the fan girls with his charisma, turning them into hopelessly squealing girls in love. Then it’s Erika’s turn. Her speech seems to indicate a certain culprit barging into the women’s bath area. Yeah, even the spotlight is focused on him. Kouhei tries to explain the misunderstanding but I think all the girls already closed their minds to it. In class, all the guys want to know his sinful secret when emotionless and unfriendly Kiriha Kuze walks in late unperturbed by everything that is happening. Before Kouhei’s reputation as the King of Women’s Bath gets out of hand, he goes around finding Erika to clear things up but couldn’t find her. Along the way, he crashes into Kiriha who is carrying a box of student handbooks. He helps her pick up and delivery the box. Back in the dorm, Kouhei finds Kanade running some ‘illegal’ auction selling stuff of ex-Shuuchikan popular students’ items. The auction is called off when Shizuko comes in armed with a frying pan and ladle. That night, Kanade and Haruna have their first tea party in Kouhei’s room. Next day, the mock exam results are out. As expected, Erika takes top place in every one of them except maths, in which she plays second fiddle to Kiriha. However they feel Kiriha is purposely passes the other subjects right at the borderline. Then Yukimaru goes missing so Kouhei offers to help frantic Shiro find her pet. He even gets help from his pals. When he asks Kiriha, she just warns him that nothing good comes out from helping others. When Kouhei finally finds Yukimaru, the bunny is in the danger path of a football. Before it could become a football victim, Kouhei dives to take it out from harm’s way, avoiding Erika from using and exposing her vampire powers to save it. The odd part was how Yukimaru stared ‘happily’ at the football coming right at its face. Iori offers to clean up his bruise but thoughts of him sucking his blood prevent Kouhei from letting him clean his wound. Later Kouhei laments he didn’t get a chance to apologize to Erika but speaking of her, she shows up and they both simultaneously apologize for going too far whether it’s at the opening ceremony, standing up on her or the bath folly. She extends her hand and welcomes him to this school and hopes they will get along. When Kouhei asks if she believes in love at first sight, she seems pretty clueless so he realizes this is yet another one of Iori’s pranks. Meanwhile, Sei gives Iori Kouhei’s data and he seems to know that Kouhei isn’t just an ordinary kid, thus the reason why Erika is ‘attracted’ to him.

Episode 3
Erika and Shiro pay their first time visit to Kouhei’s room. With that, Kanade announces that everyone will go shopping to spruce up his room (another excuse to have a tea party, I guess). So they head to town and do all those shopping and errands. Kouhei feels glad that he has returned to this island but Erika cautions him to be wary of her brother. Back at the school, Iori invites Kouhei to the student council room and wants him to play a game with him to get to know each other better. According to this game, the rules of the card are absolute. One of the cards has Iori needing to stab his own hand. Kouhei thinks he’s joking but Iori really stabs it till it bleeds! But the wound soon heals like as though nothing happened. Kouhei’s mind starts to go crazy as he sees horrifying vision of Iori biting his neck. Iori tells him that they are vampires and now that he knows their secrets, he can’t just leave this place. Sei and Shiro aren’t vampires but their families have been serving the Sendous for generations so they do know about their well-kept secret. Iori wants Kouhei to be part of the student council or else risk having his memories erased. Due to his past, he didn’t hesitate to have his memories erased but is caught in a dilemma when he thinks back about the good times he recently spent with his new friends on this school. Iori leaves it to Erika to handle the rest and advises him that only those with will can enjoy their time here. Kouhei learns that Erika is a vampire as she prepares to erase his memories while placing her palm over his forehead. However she starts crying and couldn’t understand why there’s a person who would easily let his memories get erased. Are the days spent in this school something he can easily let go? Then why did he come here in the first place? Seeing how hurt Erika is, Kouhei vows not to repeat the same mistake again and reverses his decision to have his memories erased. Erika is relieved as he apologizes. But she’d rather have him say that they don’t want to lose more bonds instead. With that, Kouhei joins the student council and the first task Iori gave him is to polish the floors. A school tradition? I just thought he didn’t want to do it and needed somebody to boss around.

Episode 4
Iori tells Kouhei in episode 4 that they are not the kind of stereotypical vampires you see in Hollywood shows. They’re not afraid of sunlight or garlic but they have superhuman abilities, high resistance to illness and immortality. Plus, they have this blood transfusion thingy so they don’t have to sink their teeth in humans if they ever crave for blood. As for Iori, he only goes after people on rare occasions. Is that supposed to be a good answer? To add to Kouhei’s burden, Iori makes him the lead organizer for the upcoming sports festival. At first the committee don’t seem to put their trust in him but after finding that he is the honest to goodness type, they start to be more open. Kouhei works hard and burns the midnight oil to do research so that this will be the best sports festival ever. Like who wouldn’t want to? In the archives, a little intimate moment between Kouhei and Erika but nothing alerting. They see old pictures of previous sports festival events and spot Iori in one of them. Looks like he didn’t change much. After all vampires don’t age and die, right? Kouhei continues to work hard and earning the trust of the committee members. Then he gets an idea after another one of those chat with Haruna and Kanade. He thinks of getting prize sponsors from the shopping district. Shiro helps out as they go to each shop requesting for support. I guess having a cute loli helps. Okay, maybe they are nice people so they didn’t think twice about helping them out. Kouhei learns everyone knows about Shiro and respects her since her family has been running a prominent local shrine for generations. Plus, she has been strictly raised by Sei to befitting of the Tougi family name. Everyone works hard to beat the deadline and put the finishing touches for the festival. Finally everyone chips in to raise the huge welcoming entrance arch. Everybody starts celebrating their success when the arch crumbles and breaks. Oh dear. Looks like celebrations are put on hold.

Episode 5
The sports festival begins in episode 5. Kanade becomes the commentator and makes Kouhei to be her partner-in-crime, I mean co-commentator. So when Kouhei accidentally mentions Erika as a racehorse in a 400m race, once she crosses the finish line, she didn’t stop but ran straight towards Kouhei and gives him a beating. During lunch break, Kouhei notices Kiriha still as distant as ever. He goes talk to her. Seems she is still skipping class though she mentions her reasons of doing so aren’t out of entertainment. But all he wants for her is to enjoy this festival as much as possible. Kouhei is being called by the committee that they don’t have enough prizes to give. Apparently some of the members didn’t do a thorough check and gave away prizes. Can’t ask them to give back, right? That would be like buruk siku. Can’t go and buy them since they are short of time. Kouhei thinks back and remembers about some IOU coupon he and Kanade gave to Haruna for her birthday when they didn’t have enough money to buy her a present. Using the same concept, Kouhei pleads to the sponsors to supply the prizes later. They are okay with it. The festival continues and we see Sei’s over-protectionism for Shiro, shielding her from every mean water balloon tossed at her. For the three-legged obstacle race, Haruna sprains her ankle so Kouhei has to find his replacement. Kiriha comes to his mind. Part of this odd race is that one of the participants has to enter and change into a random costume inside a changing room. Kiriha came out in a cat maid outfit, mesmerizing the guys while their closest competitor Erika comes out in a clumsy duck mascot outfit. She curses that this must be her brother’s doing. With that, Kouhei takes Kiriha’s hand and dashes to the finish line. At the end of the day, Iori is impressed with Kouhei’s hard work that he gives him a key. To his room. NO WAY! Just kidding. It’s to the student council building so he has 24/7 access to it anytime.

Episode 6
Kouhei sees Haruna putting up posters of the student council’s activity of ‘Keep Tidy Month’ in episode 6. This episode also sees flashback of Kouhei and Haruna’s younger days. When Kouhei left, they promised to write letters to each other. Kanade spies on the duo and tries to get them close to each other. On a day Iori unveils a maid uniform for the cleaning committee, Haruna becomes upset when Kanade continues to do good for her but neglects herself and runs away. Haruna and Kanade’s relationship is at its lowest point with the former avoiding her at all cost. Kanade tells Kouhei that Haruna had a weak body so the hospital was like her second home. Kanade became her big sister and promised to look after her. But Haruna got involved in an accident which causes her to lose a year’s worth of memories with Kouhei. She blames herself for this and the reason why the letters stop trickling in. That’s why she did all this in hopes she will be happy. Later Kouhei goes to talk to Haruna. It’s not about not forgiving her but rather she didn’t like the fact she started to care and prioritized her. She thinks Kanade likes him and don’t want to cause any more trouble for her. So the best solution is that they both need to talk and let out their true feelings or else nothing will be solved. The sisters meet at the Hosaka tree. Each letting out what they feel and always wanted to say all the time. All they wanted was for each other’s happiness. In the end, they both made up and are back on good terms once more. Kouhei mentions that memories are important. Haruna tried to take a step forward by accepting the past. There’s no point of being held back by it now since it’s best to make new memories as she is now with an honest and truthful heart. The trio are grateful that the tree granted their wish of seeing each other again so they make another wish that they will continue to make many more fun memories on this island. Back in the student council room, Erika is swamped with girls wanting to join the cleaning committee. Just find the outfit too cute to resist, eh?

Episode 7
Erika rejects the confession of a guy in episode 7. The reason is about a rule. A rule which she can’t say. Something about humans and vampires. Summer is here as Iori comes up with another pool event scheme. Then he purposely tells Kouhei of Erika’s birthday, which happens to be today. How can Iori be so calm when it’s his sister’s birthday? Well, being immortals, I’m sure you’re tired of celebrating it year in year out. The cleaning committee cleans the pool with Kanade in charge. Sei didn’t really want to do it till Shiro requests him to help out. Imouto-con… Kouhei comes back with a surprise basket of flowers for Erika’s birthday, reducing her to tears of joy. But back in her room, her heart starts to throb in pain. A pain she could barely stand up to. The day of the pool event arrives. Shizuko is the commentator and they have lots of weird water games. One of them being the inter-class water tag game whereby the last girl standing will win free lunch vouchers. All they have to do is protect their head band for 5 minutes. Kiriha is slipper as an eel, avoiding all those raging judo guys. The funniest has got to be Shiro. Sei is going to faint seeing his hapless sister getting cornered! However upon seeing how cute Shiro is weakly splashing the water to shoo them away, the guys just gave up! Who would seriously want to own this cutie? With these 2 as winners, the pool event comes to a close and the guys throw Shizuko into the water! Of course sensing this is part of Iori’s plan, Erika kicks him right in too. Kouhei and Erika clean up the pool at the end of the day. Kiriha doesn’t have a happy look on her face when she sees them like a couple. Kouhei and Erika have a personal swimming challenge with the latter beating him to the other end but just a hair’s width. As she pulls him out of the water, they nearly tripped and ended up too close to each other. If Erika’s heart didn’t throb in pain, they would’ve probably kissed. She runs back to her room and the pain is still there. This is more than your average love pang from the way she is squirming in pain. Looks like she needs blood.

Episode 8
Erika wakes up from a horrible nightmare that she is sucking Kouhei’s blood. She accidentally breaks the flower pot from Kouhei. There are rumours in school that a cloaked figure is seen flying in the sky at night. This has to mean vampires, right? Iori suggests that they need to do a night patrol to see if this is true and to partly protect their identity as vampires. Shizuko doesn’t approve their midnight patrol but leave it to Iori to do the smooth talking. So far nothing suspicious has appeared. Hopes of leaving it as a rumour disintegrate when they really see a cloaked figure on the rooftop. Erika jumps up to confront it and to their surprise, it is Kiriha. She is here to find her master and since she isn’t among them, she flees but Erika is close on her tail. Haruna thinks she’s seeing things through her window so she goes out to check. Kiriha loses her pursuer by jumping towards the Moon (she can jump that far?) so Erika couldn’t match it and falls back down. Unfortunately it had to be right in front of Haruna. She starts to remember about seeing something similar in the past and passes out. With her identity busted, there is only 1 thing she has to do. The only way that they have been doing if they ever want to live amongst humans. As Kouhei finds out, that will be erasing her memories. But this won’t be the first time she’ll be erasing Haruna’s memories, but her second. As explained in the flashback, Erika and Haruna used to play together. One day when Haruna got involved in an accident, Erika used her vampire powers to bring her to safety. So whose pool of blood was that on the road? Since Haruna saw her true form, she had no choice but to erase her memories. So that’s the real reason why she lost her memories. Kouhei is upset that she did that just to protect her identity and lectures her about that prep talk she gave him when he wanted his memories erased. He pleads her not to do it but it seems to fall on deaf ears. But don’t jump to conclusions yet buddy. That’s because what Erika had really done was to unseal her memories. Wait a minute? So she didn’t erase but seal? Is this even possible? And I thought once a memory is wiped out, it’ll be gone forever. So it wasn’t erased, just sealed. How disappointing because it feels like a convenient method so that Haruna could remember every bit of her past and make up her friendship with Erika. And since she’s not the kind who would harbour a deep grudge, I guess everything is fine, eh? Oh yeah, what a nice happy ending too.

Episode 9
So will this ruin their relationship with Kanade? Apparently not too. Kanade emotionally hugs Erika for returning Haruna’s memories as she has learned the whole truth from her. See, she won’t even hate Erika because she considers her friend. So how did Erika ever come up with the conclusion that she will lose bonds if her identity is revealed? Anyway Iori realizes that Kiriha is a Dependent of a certain person. To be ascertain, he thinks Erika should ask that person personally but don’t think it’s a good idea since the topic is about Dependents. Shiro is intrigued to know more but her brother’s serious face tells her to butt out of this for her own good. And with Kouhei coming into the picture, Iori makes him and Erika the lead organizers for Shuuchikan’s major event: The cultural festival. Sei sees Kiriha and tells her that he has someone for her to meet. Kouhei and the gang go out to town shopping. He and Erika take a break at the beach. Sooner or later this has to come. Erika tells him about Dependents, those who have made contracts with their vampire master. They are born from drinking a vampire’s blood and share their traits like superhuman abilities and immortality. Only difference is that Dependents must obey every word of their master and cannot go against it. So as deduced, Kiriha’s master is no other than Kaya, who is Iori and Erika’s mom. By the way, that is who Sei brought her to see. Say, Kaya looks like a splitting image of Erika. I guess that’s a plus point of being a vampire. You don’t age and you could look as young as your daughter so much so everyone thinks you could be sisters. Erika continues that she made a deal with her mom that she has to find a Dependent by the time she graduates (thus the reason why she was admitted into Shuuchikan) or else return to the house and get locked up for eternity. However Erika is confident she is able to find a way without getting a Dependent before the deadline. Kouhei offers himself to be her Dependent but she refuses it since he will no longer be human and will force him to obey her every word. This is against her goal of wanting to live as a human and is afraid she would no longer be herself. Even so, she refuses to take on a Dependent even if it is unvampiric and doesn’t want to lose those previous bonds. Meanwhile Iori is at the church. Shizuko sees him and he tells her that the vampire rumour case is closed. When Iori notes that what a vampire needs is the blood of the person they love, it seems like as though he is gunning for her neck. It also indicates that he may have feelings for her. But he backs down like as though it was just part of our imagination. When Erika returns to her room, she’s got that same heart throbbing problem and craves for blood. Looks like those blood transfusions won’t do anymore. And Kaya is certainly enjoying her time with her plaything Kiriha.

Episode 10
Kouhei and Erika continue to work hard for the cultural festival, taking in suggestions and requests from the students. Later Erika is taken to see Kaya. The latter is puzzled why she hasn’t made a certain guy her Dependent yet and reminds her of their deal. She sticks to her guns and is confident she’ll find other alternatives and not listen to her orders. As part of Iori and Kanade’s plan to give the organizing committee a break, they plan to head to the beach tomorrow and later to Tougi Shrine to watch the fireworks. So the usual fun in the sun and sand. But each time Kouhei comes nearer to Erika, her heart beats harder. This prompts Iori to confront Kouhei that she needs blood. Explaining further, if vampires keep themselves from blood too long, they will have strong craving impulses. And that is a very hellish experience if you’re trying to resist it. Since Erika is trying her best to live as a human, she doesn’t bring her blood transfusion around everywhere. That night as the girls change into their yukata and watch the fireworks, in the middle of it Erika’s chest pains start to become unbearable (because cheeky Iori pushed everyone closer to each other so Erika and Kouhei contacted). She runs away and trips but Kouhei close behind. I guess the rest are too captivated by the fireworks to notice a pair of members missing. Seeing her deep red eyes and tears, he hugs her and offers his neck to relieve her pain. She couldn’t resist any longer and sinks her teeth into.

Episode 11
Erika thinks she is cured or at least managed to endure the craving and goes back to her happy mood. However when she sees Kouhei the next day, her impulses are still there. She realizes what he did was real. Dense Kouhei continues to work hard for the festival while Erika suffers in silent. Kiriha pays her a visit in her room and brings a message from Kaya. Nothing new, just a question of why she is hesitating for a person who willingly gave his blood to her. If not, return to the mansion immediately. However Erika remains stubborn of not giving in and questions back Kiriha of becoming Kaya’s toy. She spent centuries searching for her only for her to have her memories taken away again. Erika is afraid the tiny darkness in her heart of what she’ll ask of Kouhei if she makes him her Dependent. Kouhei gets another great idea from Haruna and Kanade for the cultural festival (something about parachutes for the fireworks). He decides to go tell Erika about it but was being told she’s not around. Shiro feels bad that they have to keep him in the dark about Erika (she’s just behind one of the doors). After Kouhei leaves, Erika comes out. But her spasm gets worse. She goes into pain even with the thought of him. Shiro is concern if there is another way round this but as Iori mentions, Kouhei’s blood is special. Because of this, Shiro offers herself to be Erika’s Dependent in Kouhei’s place. For the first time, I don’t think we’ve seen Sei putting so much shock expression on his place. “WHAT?!”. I’m sure he wants to protect his sister but Shiro is big enough to even know about the responsibilities their family have for the Sendous. Sei gets so upset that he grabs Iori by the collar, thinking all this is part of his scheme. Well, just like Sei, he too cares for his sister and wants the best for her. Things indicate that Sei may be Iori’s Dependent because when he tells him to let go, Sei immediately does so even putting on a regretful face. Erika realizes it is all part of her brother’s plan when he brought Kouhei to join the student council. It’s like as though he saw this coming. Erika assures Shiro that she will walk her path in life. While Kouhei is oblivious to what is happening, Erika in pain leaves a goodbye message (a parachute) outside his door. She then meets Kiriha in the rain. So I guess this is her answer, eh?

Episode 12
Yup, she has returned to the mansion in episode 12, whereby she’s been reduced to such a miserable state, locked in a cell. Kouhei finds the parachute outside his room and asks his fellow student council members about Erika. Because he is still so dumb even if Iori tells him she won’t ever be around anymore, he made Shiro cry (okay, maybe she will even if it wasn’t his fault) and spill the beans how she offered to be her Dependent. Isn’t that shocking news, boy? Iori continues to explain the effects of his actions by offering his blood that night. Whenever a vampire drinks a blood directly from a human, their urge for blood becomes stronger so much so blood transfusion won’t help anymore. It’s like taking a higher level drug. Well, Erika did assure them that she’s fine, right? Apparently dumb boy, she obviously said it so that nobody would worry about her. You can even see her body language that she is in pain! You had several times witness it yourself! Dummy! Iori says that there is 1 way she can return to school and will await his wise decision because he has high hopes of him. Oh sure, so do we. Kouhei’s mind become so heavy in thought that even his pals can tell that something is obviously bugging him. They plan a tea party to cheer him up and bring Erika with him but he couldn’t and gave some lame excuse that she’s busy or being transferred to another school. However they don’t buy his story because they know Erika loves this school so much and even if she’s going, at least she’ll finish the cultural festival first. Even if they don’t know what Erika’s real issue is, they ask Kouhei will he be fine with this. Kouhei realizes that there is no point in thinking further about this and promises that he is going to bring Erika back. Well, duh. Finally.

With Iori and Sei’s help, he is guided to see Kaya. She is pleased that he is here voluntarily to be Erika’s Dependent but he that’s not it. He’s here to bring Erika back. Kaya becomes angry that this brat thinks he knows about their kind more than her so she flexes her authoritative power by sending him flying to the next room and then choking his neck. Sei thinks this is Iori’s doing again but he maintains his neutral stand as he is interested to see the result of Erika’s wish and if she could walk her new path in life. Kaya rejects this new path thingy and is going to kill Kouhei when Erika comes in (freed by Kiriha as ordered by Kaya earlier). She still doesn’t want to take a Dependent but wants Kouhei to return. Now it’s Kouhei’s turn to offer his words of wisdom. Among them are, if she’s suffering in both ways, might as well be back at the school she loves; Don’t suffer yourself, share it with us; You can drink my blood anytime; And the finishing quote: I may or may not become her Dependent but that’s for us to decide! Wow. Such terror words. Enough to shock everybody and even the mighty Kaya herself. And here I’m thinking it was something else, but it sounded so ordinary. Oh yeah. How noble indeed, those words are. This time when Kouhei extends his hand to her, she doesn’t experience any chest pains when she grasps it. And funny though, I still can’t believe Kouhei’s words were not only enough to stop a mother vampire from killing him, but she lets them both go as they reunite with their other friends waiting at the school gate. For Kaya, she isn’t giving up yet. Since she can’t depend on Iori, she wants Kiriha to return to school and spy on their progress. The cultural festival gets along and is a success. Kouhei and Erika promise to spend time with everyone with as much fun as possible because what’s important is what they do from here on. Gee, I thought it’s because you only live once or life is too short? At least for Kouhei’s case. If he doesn’t turn into a vampire, that is.

Though there is an OVA released subsequently, unfortunately it doesn’t advance the plot and felt more like a filler. Besides, how much can 1 OVA do to the plot anyway? So in the aftermath of the successful cultural festival, the whole jin-jang gang (including Kiriha) retreat to Iori and Erika’s cabin in the woods as a reward for a good job well done. In the big spacious cabin, the girls decide to take the top floor since they could have an awesome view of the scenery. Plus, Shiro wanted it so badly so siscon Sei had to approve of it. At the river stream, Yukimaru strayed a little but they find him interacting with another female bunny. This prompts a heart-to-heart chat with Shiro and Kouhei about the latter’s promise to show her around the island. Guess what? Siscon Sei’s aura is so dark you could swear he is having the wrong impressions that this Kouhei bastard is going to take his beloved sister away. This doesn’t help when Shiro explained it in an ambiguous way. He’s not going to see tomorrow, says Sei? During the girl’s night time pyjamas party, Kanade tries to make it interesting by wanting the girls to say which guy they think the most. Of course we know who that lucky guy is. While the rest are hesitating. Kiriha is bold to say upfront that she is interested in Kouhei. Rival increased by one. Iori isn’t happy that the guys’ part is so boring and forces Kouhei to deliver a basket up to the girls. Since that guy refuses, the ever sister complex Sei quietly did so. On his way up, he overhears how Shiro is proud of her brother and thinks a lot about him. He must be the happiest guy in the world now, right? And soon the other guys come crashing in and continue the big tea party.

Next day, Iori organizes a doubles tennis match with the winner getting a super nice reward. The pair of Kouhei-Erika wins (as usual, the siscon was taking all the shots, not letting his sis having any fun) against Kiriha-Tsukasa. The reward turns out to be a dip in the natural hotspring. Since Kouhei didn’t score a point, Iori makes him clean up while the rest went ahead. Hey, doesn’t it feel like a penalty him. And why is he singling him out? Once the guys and the girls get into their respective bath section, Iori has that naughty sparkle in his eyes on the gender signs. Oh no. I hope everyone learned their lesson. Apparently not Iori. Hopefully Kouhei. But the girls clearly remembered this incident and though they took precaution, they joked about the same thing happening. And then it really did happen! Kouhei just waltz into the place and this time he not only has a nice view of Erika’s body but all the other girls’ young curvaceous hot bods as well. Wow! Is this the reward Iori is talking about? Lucky or cursed? So which one will he choose to marry now? We’ll save that for another time. On their way home in the train, you can see one big slap across Kouhei’s face. But he’s not alone. Iori’s face is swollen too. Erika notes how ever since Kouhei’s arrival, everything around them changed and is grateful. Kouhei accidentally cuts his finger while opening a can drink. Though Erika doesn’t have that heart throbbing pain, she can’t resist sucking it. And everybody’s watching, you know. Trying to get ahead of everyone? Outside the school gate, Erika holds Kouhei’s hand and causes him to blush. But I guess Kouhei has finally found a place to settle and call home, right? I mean, this has got to be the longest time and record he has not transferred to another school. Already a year, that is.

Bore-tune Arterial
Even if the TV series didn’t end in a bad way nor did it have any suspenseful ending that leaves much to be desired so much so hints of a sequel may be produced if the need ever arises, somehow I felt dissatisfied with how everything went. Let’s look at it this way. The entire series felt like a bunch of everyday activities done by any regular high school student. Only difference is that there are a couple of vampires in the midst. Speaking of vampires, it doesn’t feel that the subject or issue which I thought was supposed to be one of the main themes, stand out very much. About their existence in this world and such if not their role in this series. The act of Erika leaving Shuuchikan for her mother’s mansion didn’t have that kind of ‘threatening’ or tense impression because after all that has happened, you’d get a feeling that this Kouhei guy will do something about it and have a happy ending. It boggles my mind to see that a powerful vampire lord like Kaya could eventually give in to a mortal kid like him. Even if she gave reasons about keeping a close eye on her daughter, but you can’t deny the fact that she lost, didn’t she? To a kid. That’s because Kouhei gets to go back to his pals with the girl in the end. And they didn’t even have to get really physical. Well, aside Kaya’s strangulation. Otherwise, Kouhei’s normal words were just enough to pierce their heart. Okay, so it’s a good thing we don’t see any bloodshed because it won’t look good to see a younger boy fighting an old (forgive me) woman vampire. So diplomacy has its merits. But this one just feels out of place here.

Basically with the way things ended, I felt that there were other things that weren’t really resolved. For instance Kiriha’s case. After being discovered she is a Dependent, I thought Kouhei as the main protagonist would somehow find a way to lift the spell that made her like a loyal to Kaya and free her. Well, that didn’t happen for sure. She’s still Kaya’s Dependent right till the end. Probably an excuse for hanging around Kouhei longer. Another thing which baffles me is this. Shouldn’t Iori and Sei know Kiriha right from the start when they first met her seeing that they know she is Kaya’s Dependent? Why only after she is revealed to be one? I don’t get it. Another thing is, if Iori has been in this school a long time before, how the heck did he return here again? Maybe all the seniors grew up and moved away so they don’t recognize him that’s why he is able to be at this school again since he doesn’t age. And why doesn’t Iori share the same heart throbbing pain and crave for blood? Is it because he isn’t really in love? Shizuko? Not sure. Is it because Sei is his Dependent?

The characters seem one dimensional and don’t seem to have much development between them. Sure, Kouhei and Erika along with the rest grow closer. But I somehow don’t feel the impact of it.  Kouhei as the new guy, comes in, befriends everybody, helps everybody, everybody is happy. So what is the reason that made his blood special as Iori mentioned? I was thinking that there may be a twist to indicate that Kouhei’s a vampire too. Who am I kidding? Erika seemed like a potential tsundere at first and the kind of girl who tries to shoulder all the burden and pain by herself by trying to becoming human. Maybe somebody should’ve told her this that humans aren’t perfect. She should try more often to be herself. Probably that’s what Kouhei is for. I meant as her support not her personal blood bank lah. Iori loves playing pranks and his neutral stand to see Erika’s path in life may seem like he is a caring brother but from another point of view a sadist because he isn’t really there when Erika is in pain and leaves it up to her to decide and take action. Tsukasa, I almost forgot he existed because he didn’t really do much except to make up the numbers. So what is his role really for? And Shizuko too. Too bad I wanted to see her hit somebody’s head with a frying pan! Didn’t happen.

That short arc about Kanade and Haruna getting the latter’s memories back felt like a little distraction which otherwise would’ve made the series a lot shorter. Kiriha is the mysterious beauty observing from a distance all the way. Sure, she takes an interest on Kouhei but it feels more towards his fascination of his personality than a love issue. Shiro has got to be the most moe of the lot. Her very shy and soft spoken nature would sure melt the hearts of every lolicon. I have to say that Sei is the most amusing one. It’s like he has a double face. One face for anything that has to do with his sister and the other serious no nonsense expression for every other thing. I didn’t know his siscon fetish ran that deep so each time he gets that suspecting look on his face or anything, just about the slightest tiny thing that may happen to Shiro. I speculate that this way, she isn’t going to get a boyfriend of her own. Every guy will be instantly rejected! But good thing is that he doesn’t lock up her sister in a room all day long and treat her like a doll. Just feel that he is too overprotective and if she just steps a millimetre out of line or wants to know half an inch about something, he would just put his foot down.

Romance-wise, the harem part isn’t that evident. But obviously it should turn out as Kouhei x Erika. Though some may prefer Kouhei x Kiriha or Kouhei x Haruna. Unless you’re a fujoshi yaoi fan girl, I think you’d prefer to see Iori x Sei or even Kouhei x Iori! Well, there are few moments like that but that’s because Iori as the sporting (some may term it as troublemaker) person, he has this charming ability to liven up the mood. No wonder he is so popular with the other girls. But clearly every main girl here has feelings for him that could possibly go beyond friendship. Just need to see who will take the first bold step…

Even if I had this feeling after watching the first episode that things are looking bleak for this series, the only thing which I like are the opening and ending themes. At least they sound good enough to take my mind away from the story flow and plot. The opening theme is Kizunairo by Lia. Your typical upbeat and dramatic theme for such anime genres. The ending theme is I Miss You by Veil. To me, it sounds like a slow country ballad. The mid-intermissions are random poses of the characters in the series. Even Yukimaru has his fair share. Nothing really fanservice-y. Speaking of which, as a series that is based on an adult visual novel, you’d expect to see some but they aren’t anything that would even turn on elementary school kids. Holy! What am I saying? Okay, maybe the ending credits animation could be considered as one but nothing extreme and just mild.

There wasn’t anything extraordinary or memorable for this series so if they ever wanted to make a sequel, there is a high chance that I won’t be putting it on my watch list. It won’t be fair to say I have wasted my time watching this but I’ll give credit that the art and drawing of some of the sceneries are nice, though they may not be the best I have seen. Otherwise I could just proudly say that this is another one of the many vampire anime series that I have watched for my own useless record and… That’s about it. Are those kind of memories I would want to have? So maybe for the time being, can some vampire temporarily seal my memories of this anime?

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