Anime Best in Show

Call of the Night Episode 9 Review – Best In Show

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Call of the Night Episode 9 – Quick Summary

In Call of the Night episode 9, “No Fair,” Seri Kikyou lamented that her tactics to attract humans had one unwanted side effect: sometimes, one of her tasty treats became obsessive about her. Then, the whole relationship became a burden. While contemplating this, she saw Kou looking for Nazuna, and she thought he might relieve her boredom. She didn’t count on Nazuna’s interruption. Nor did she count on Kou coming to her later and asking what troubled her. A human? Showing non-obsessive concern? Can she figure out how to deal with that? And even if she can, what about the obsessive male who won’t stop texting her?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Call of the Night Episode 9

Call of the Night Episode 9: Nazuna's knee packed quite a punch

I have to admire Nazuna’s precision even when she’s moving at high speed. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

I’m beginning to think it’s a bad idea for Seri to get bored. Because when that happens, she gets herself into trouble. In this episode, for example, she sat around lamenting that she had to put up with guys who turned into possessive stalkers.

The situation had her feeling particularly blue, because this guy had been one she considered turning into an offspring. But his new-found possessiveness repulsed her.

Kou had the back luck to happen-by as he looked for Nazuna. Or maybe I should say that Seri had the bad luck to see him? Because even as she sprang at him in the hopes of taking her mind off her stalker, Nazuna drove her knee into Seri’s face. Good thing Seri’s a vampire! Because being kicked thirty or more meters into a pole would be fatal for a human.

Kou expressed outrage and said seri hadn’t done anything to him – yet. Nazuna said she had just wanted to protect Kou. She also seemed to want to confirm that Seri had not, in fact, done anything strange to Kou.

“I just said she didn’t!” he said, highly agitated (02:43). But then he seemed to remember it was Nazuna he was talking to, so he added, “Thanks, though?!”

I think Kou’s adapting well to his relationship with Nazuna.

Best in Show Moment for Call of the Night Episode 9

Call of the Night Episode 9: Seri wanted a friend, not a lover

Seri clearly wanted to keep her friend. But she couldn’t while remaining true to herself. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Fiction is Hard to Get Right

I read a lot. More accurately, I listen to a lot of audio books. I don’t have a lot of time to read when I’m home, because I’m either writing novels, or I’m, well, writing this blog! Putting aside the question of whether I should get out more, my point is, I come across a lot of work that tries to evoke an emotion but stumbles.

It’s usually something simple. Sometimes, a description contradicts something that came before. But more often, a character does something that character just would not do. Redemption arcs seem more prone to this than others. If a character suddenly sees the light and become a Good Guy(™) without the prerequisite character moments, I can’t engage with the emotional beat.

This series shows every sign of not falling into that trap.

Call of the Night Episode 9: Seri appeared ready to kill Akihito

In this moment, Seri intended to kill her stalker. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Remember the vampires from episode 7? Remember how Midori Kohakobe tried to use cuteness to attract Kou’s attraction? Even as she executed her plan, the other vampires mentally critiqued her approach. Each of them had a well-worn playbook. Each of them knew how to use their tactics – which I’ve seen others sometimes call wiles, but I’m not sure that’s a good term right now – to ensnare a man’s romantic affection.

Setup: Vampire Ennui

I didn’t talk about it at the time, but I remember thinking how crushingly sad that was. Each of the vampires, as they delivered their critiques, sounded tired. Like they’d been through this particular dance thousands of times. Like the idea of intimacy or companionship had nothing to do with them. Or like they used these tactics to eat, or to reproduce. And even in the case of reproduction, it wasn’t an act of consensual affection. It was a chore.

I almost felt sorry for them. But then I remembered: they said they’d kill Kou if he didn’t fall in love with a vampire. And I believed them. I still do.

That’s the key to Call of the Night avoiding the trap of false drama.

Call of the Night Episode 9: Seriously, Seri seemed ready to kill Akihito

If Kou had not acted, the stalker would have died right there and then. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

You could tell throughout this episode that Seri was down. Kou, being Kou, tried to establish an understanding with her. He wasn’t trying to get into her pants or otherwise manipulate her. Kou saw someone in pain and reached out to help. Seri flat-out didn’t know how to deal with that.

When the stalker showed up, Seri said she’d had enough and was just going to kill the guy. Kou got the guy out of the building and into an alley, where he learned that Akihito Akiyama had just wanted to be friends with Seri, and she with him – until he fell in love with her. Seri tracked down them and said again she was going to kill Akihito. Fortunately, Kou had been using his wrist-transceiver, and Nazuna arrived. Not only did Nazuna physically restrain Seri. She forced her to confess: that she had been having a friendship with Akihito. Sound familiar?

Delivery: Seri’s Sadness

So why did Seri break with tradition? Because she had gotten sick of it all. She just wanted a friend. That’s relatable. That’s something that inclined me to feel sorry for her. But if it stopped there, I would have been disappointed. Seri is not this kind, gentle young woman. She’s a vampire. She fully intended to kill Akihito when she arrived in the alley. If they walked off as just friends, I would have been disappointed. That’s why I was encouraged when she said she’d just walk away, and they’d never see each other again (17:33). That was going to be her solution to the problem.

Call of the Night Episode 9: Seri was not used to people talking to her the way Kou did

Seri clearly has little experience with people talking to her the way Kou does. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

It was a subtle thing. Not really a moment at all. In fact, it was completely overshadowed when Kou used his common sense to make an observation. Namely, that she had been complaining how Akihito’s stalking had been hard to deal with. “You enjoy having a friend, and you don’t want to ruin that relationship so you’re gonna kill him?!” Kou said (18:11). “That’s ludicrously hard to deal with!”

It was also in character for Akihito to offer to become her off-spring, which kept him consistent with the story’s lore. But it was Seri’s decision to walk away rather than betray herself and maintain a friendship inconsistent with herself or the story’s world that impressed me.

What did you think of Seri’s reaction to Kou’s music selection? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “Call of the Night Episode 9 Review – Best In Show

    1. I had the impression that he was now a vampire. He seemed to not need his glasses anymore! The show didn’t come out and say it, but that’s the impression I got. So he should be okay, right?

  1. Well that’s just typical. I took a break from reading many posts just when you started covering this. It’s one that I didn’t know existed but is based on a manga that has been popping up in ads for me for a while.

    1. I watched Gigguk’s video about the manga before I watched the anime. He had me psyched for the anime! It’s one of the few anime I can recommend with few reservations.

  2. It’s pretty clear that whatever vampire society exists within the shows Universe is slowly getting upended with Kou’s arrival. He has the same shonen protagonist naivety but in a story that means much more social complicated.

    1. I like that perspective! Especially with this episode, it’s clear that Kou is disruptive. And his naivety plays a major role. The contrast between his almost innocent perspective and their ennui is just fantastic!

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