Devils’ Line Ep. 6: No sympathy for devils

This episode kinda jumps back and forth between Tsukasa and Anzai’s relationship and the authorities trying to deal with the fallout from the Ikebukuro incident. Eventually, the two stories converge, but until then, it almost feels like the episode lacks focus. At the very least, I wasn’t very impressed with how the narrative flow. It’s all jumbled and disorganized.

— After Tsukasa offers Anzai her blood, he storms back into the kitchen and punches Lee. He thinks that Vampire Jesus may have fed the girl bad information. That’s pretty rude, don’t you think? Lee has saved Anzai, protected Tsukasa, and cooperated with F Squad. He’s also shown that he’s a vampire who can keep himself under control around blood. He has done everything he can to be trustworthy, and yet, he still has Anzai all up in his grill.

— Meanwhile, Tsukasa doesn’t say a word in protest. She just looks sad off to the side. One thing I really dislike about her is how she coddles Anzai. She never gets mad at him about anything. He randomly stalks her, and she doesn’t mind. He randomly shows up at her apartment window, and she ends up falling in love with him! And now, he’s being a dick to her friend, and it’s still copacetic for the most part. She treats Anzai like he’s just this misunderstood child who needs an infinitely long leash. No, he’s a grown adult. Yes, when he fully goes ugly vampire, he can’t control himself. But that has only happened once. Right now, he’s still in full control of his faculties, and he’s decided to use them to be a dick. Say something! If you want to be his partner, you have to be willing to tell him off when he’s being a jackass!

— The rest of the group knows nothing. They didn’t even realize that human blood can heal vampire wounds instantly. Nobody does! You’d think this sort of thing would be widespread knowledge to vampires.

— Elsewhere, sniper girl is just as surprised as I am that she’s still alive. She took a knife to the stomach, didn’t she? Anyways, her name is apparently Tenjo, but she also used to be Zero Seven in the mysterious devil-hating organization. I assume she’s no longer officially on their team anymore.

— Kikuhara shows up just to taunt her. Apparently, she attempted to fight back after he licked her. He really liked that too. Kikuhara’s a fucked up boy, isn’t he? Nevertheless, Tenjo wasn’t supposed to find out about Plan B. A certain Zero Nine had told her, so now he’s going to have Zero Eleven punish him. Hmmm. These bad guys can’t even keep their own shit in line.

— The authorities are kinda bungling the whole incident. Most of them don’t seem to care all that much about devils despite the fact that they’re a team dedicated to dealing with devil-related incidents. In the meantime, all devils in the force are not allowed to act. Sawazaki isn’t happy about this, but eh, what can he do?

— All of a sudden, we cut back to Anzai softly carrying a sleeping Tsukasa to her room. I do like the fact that she now permanently has a scar.

— As for Lee, he’s run out of blood vials. Who knows if he can control himself without the blood vials to sustain him? That’s the problem with the whole devil conundrum. The story clearly wants you to be sympathetic towards devils. Oh, they’re so misunderstood. Oh, they’re not being treated fairly! But dude, the instant they lose control, someone dies. It’s not like they’re hoodlums and all they do is trash the place. They don’t even, like, drink a little of your blood then stop. Nope, when they lose control, they literally kill people. It’s practically all or nothing. Had her attacker not been stopped, the weather girl would have died in the Ikebukuro incident. Nevertheless, she’s still in critical condition. And it’s easy as fuck for devils to lose control, too! The mere sight of blood makes them go mad! Sure, Lee can control himself, but only at the cost of human blood. You might not think that this is a big deal, but I dunno, man.

You might take exception to this analogy, but to me, it’s like creating child porn just so pedophiles can control their urges and not rape children. No, how ’bout we just cure their pedophilia completely? I see devils in much the same way. Unfortunately, the counterargument is going to be that you can’t cure them. They’re innately vampires. But don’t you think some pedophiles would make the same argument? That they’re just born this way? Whatever. The point is, you can’t have folks running around whose natural state of mind is to kill. Plus, donating blood doesn’t seem like a sustainable solution. As the devil population grows, what are we going to do? Compel more and more people to give up their blood just so that they won’t get killed by individuals with superhuman strength and speed? Look, we’re running low on blood, so you better give us some… or we’ll kill you. Gosh, that sounds swell!

— Okay, rant over. Sawazaki learns that the healing effect of drinking human blood has been suppressed by the government for whatever reason. Or, at the very least, no one seems to know anything about it, but that’s unlikely.

— We instantly jump to a phone conversation between Tsukasa and her best friend Miwako. This is what I mean at the top of the post. The focus just continually shifts back and forth between characters without any rhyme or reason. It’s fine to weave together two different plot strands, but you need to do it with a little finesse. We’re trying to create a coherent story here, not a mishmash of random visual records of these characters’ lives.

— Basically, Miwako realizes that Tsukasa’s so-called boyfriend is actually a devil, so she’s worried. Tsukasa tearfully insists, however, that Anzai is the world to her. Okay. That’s a bit drastic considering how they barely know each other, but I guess he did save her from multiple rapists.

— We shift focus again. Remember Oryo, the friendly vampire that Tsukasa had bumped into? He unluckily saw Kikuhara shove that kid off the building, so now the bad guys are after him. I think the hooded fellow is Zero Four. Sawazaki arrives just in time to prevent Oryo from being killed (how the hell did Zero Four miss at such a short distance?), but this soon turns into a chase. The guy behind Sawazaki is Makimura.

— Desperate to keep Oryo alive, Anzai allows Anzai to join the pursuit even though his bosses had told him that all devils were relieved of their duty. Lee is nice enough to lend a hand. He even reveals his origin. Sounds like he was specifically created in a lab. So was Anzai also a lab rat? Our hero is shocked, because he’s only ever known ONLO to be an orphanage. Guess not.

— Look at these two just hopping from building to building. How does this not get noticed? At night, sure, I can buy the idea that it’s hard to see them in action, but it’s broad daylight!

— Just to ramp the conspiracy theories up even further, ONLO gave the doctor a certain program. It can specifically monitor Anzai’s movements and health. Yeesh. Yeah, no orphanage can pull that off.

— Lee is the first to show up, and he immediately punches Zero Four in the nose. Unfortunately, this draws blood so maybe he should’ve socked the guy in the stomach instead. He tries to distract Anzai from going nuts by dehumanizing Zero Four and calling him Ketchup. Okay then. What’s more interesting, however, is Lee’s proposed solution to Anzai’s bloodlust: masturbation. After all, he only truly loses his shit around Tsukasa, right? This shouldn’t come as a shock to either our hero or the audience, though. After all, we’ve already seen him masturbate to Tsukasa’s blood. Remember when she cut herself in an attempt to fight off the rapey professor, and some of that blood got on one of Anzai’s hands. Yeah.

— It’s also amazing that one grown man has to tell another grown man to masturbate. Masturbation is totally healthy, and every doctor and counselor would tell you that. But there’s still a stigma surrounding the whole practice. Like if you masturbate, you might be a loser. Or if you masturbate, you’re just too horny for your good. Of course, having said that, I’m still not taking anything back regarding vampires. I still think they’re far too dangerous for their own good.

— Sawazaki wants to hide Oryo at the bar, because his gut tells him that there’s a mole in the Investigation Department. But what if there are multiple moles?

Some old dude is watching everything unfold, and he refers to Lee and Anzai as the Child of Light and Dark respectively. Huh.

— Other devils have different methods to control their bloodlust. Oryo is basically a cutter.

— He’s supposed to be hidden away, but somehow, he lost so much blood that they need to get him to the hospital. Welp. So much for Sawazaki’s plan. I wouldn’t be surprised of Oryo ends up dead in next week’s episode.

— Meanwhile, Anzai gives Tsukasa the cold shoulder, and that’s pretty shitty. This is the guy who apparently means the world to her. Hm.

— We cut to Makimura, and he’s apparently murdered the people that Oryo works with. Well, we have at least one mole identified. He also gets mad at Zero Eleven for giving him bad info, but unbeknownst to him, Zero Nine has somehow overpowered his attacker and would-be torturer.

— Tsukasa insists on taking Oryo to the hospital for some reason. Like, I don’t even know why she thinks she can help. She’s just a college student studying… literature, I think? What did she hope to do? Offer moral support? ‘Cause she can’t protect anyone. She’s not a doctor either, so she can’t help keep the guy alive. Either way, when she and the rest of the gang arrive at the hospital, Tenjo is in the middle of escaping. The latter immediately grabs our heroine and takes her hostage. Good job, girl! You just had to come, didn’t you? But of course she did. The story needed a convenient way to endanger her, so she made some silly decision to accompany Oryo.

— Knowing Tsukasa and her penchant for Stockholm syndrome, she’ll probably just pity her kidnapper.

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