The idea of two bounty hunters or assassins butting heads, working together or in opposition, and having them fall in love isn’t exactly a new idea though I don’t know that I’ve seen it as the premise for an anime previously. As such Love of Kill’s synopsis certainly made me interested as did the fairly cool character designs.
What I didn’t expect going in was how light they were going to keep the subject matter. I mean you have a stoic female bounty hunter and a male killer potentially going head to head and yet they really did make this first episode feel like a rom-com (with a little bit of creepy stalking and the occasional murder). It’s a weird combination given most of the visuals seem like this is taking itself seriously and yet it really works because I was just sucked right in to this story and was left wanting more.
Love of Kill somehow makes Song’s near harassment seem kind of endearing.
I’ll be clear though, if you are after something genuinely romantic, you probably won’t find it in Love of Kill. Because while it is kind of fun, this is not a good foundation for an actual romantic plot. The guy asks for the girl’s name after he has pinned her to the floor of the parking garage and already taken her photo. He interferes in her work, snatching bounties she’s after and sending her pictures of them and he coerces her into agreeing to a date in order to get one of the bounties she’s been after.
While Love of Kill plays all of this off as playful and keeps the mood fairly light, like many a fictional romance it definitely isn’t healthy. But if that won’t bother you by all means dive in because it is actually a lot of fun and somehow Song comes out the end of this episode looking kind of adorable despite being a killer and a stalker.
Chateau’s introduction is a little more mixed given she’s very much all business for the most part in this episode. You can tell she’s frustrated by her inability to beat Song during their first meeting and by the fact that he continues to get the upper hand in most of their encounters. We also get a flash back to young Chateau and I’m guessing we’ll get more information about her tragic back-story later. But at this stage while Chateau works as a character and potential love interest, she’s nowhere near as interesting as Song in this first episode as she seems to be forced to react to things rather than making them happen.
Still, Love of Kill does at least let her show that she is competent in her job (just somewhat outclassed by Song). I’m kind of hoping she gets to remain competent throughout because it would be awful if she ends up being a damsel in distress later after a fairly strong introduction. Regardless, we’ll hopefully get to see Chateau open up more in future episodes because right now she’s a little too stoic to really get attached to.
Most of this first episode focuses on the two main characters however Love of Kill does introduce Chateau’s boss and someone else who works in her office whose name I didn’t catch but MAL tells me it’s Jim. I don’t like Jim. Every scene he was in was a low point during this first episode. His voice and manner of speech just felt jarring and out of place in this episode and overall he contributed nothing to the plot or literally anything else except eating up screen time.
That said, with the exception of the scenes in the office, I had a lot of fun with this first episode and really did like seeing the interactions between Chateau and Song. I also wanted to learn more about both of the leads so for me this one is going into my watch list for the season. Opinions may vary on weather Song is creepy or cute but for now he’s leaning more toward kind of cute for me so let’s see if he remains there as the season progresses.
Images from: Love of Kill. Dir. H Ooba. Platinum Vision. 2022
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