Akatsuki is having a string of bad luck what with having had vampire powers forced upon him. Worse that he still has to brave the summer heat and sun to go and take make-up exams. And worse still, Himeragi, a middle school girl wielding a spear and a righteous attitude has just landed in his life and has no intention of going away.
I never really planned to pick this book up. I’d watched the first season of the anime and while it was watchable I didn’t find it noteworthy enough to work at tracking down the follow up and more or less forgot about it. However, sales do strange things to people, and so I found myself opening a parcel with this inside. I’m actually kind of glad.
While the book still has the definite harem set-up going on that the series seemed to be about, not to mention vampires and middle-school girls are a definite combination for some uncomfortable observations to be made by a male protagonist, and yet there’s a genuine fun and humour to the writing here as well as some decently described action sequences. Okay, the writing isn’t amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but it definitely keeps you moving forward only lingering briefly on how much of the girl’s neck he can see and whether or not his loli-teacher is dressed appropriately for the summer. Plus noting the accessories on his classmates outfit is just a little bit strange given how unobservant he seems about everything else.
But to focus on those details kind of takes away from the positives that this book has and there are definitely some positives. While this is strictly set-up and essentially shoving Himeragi forcibly into Akatsuki’s life, the two have some genuine chemistry at times and the banter between them is quite easy to read. Villains, both real and just street thugs, have some reasonable moments and despite ultimately only existing to be defeated they make a reasonable showing before their demise.
The support cast, despite being girl heavy, is also quite well done with most of the characters having distinct personalities and roles outside of falling over Akatsuki.
I’m still not going to say this is a must read. There’s only so many times you can deal with a lazy vampire who doesn’t really want to use their power before it gets a little dull, but I don’t actually regret giving this one a go.
If you’re interested in reading Strike the Blood Volume 1 it is available on the Book Depository.