Girls aren’t the only ones who can do it, y’know.
— This is all that’s left of the doctor, huh? Brutal. So what happens to the little girl now?
— At least Iba isn’t completely clueless. He’s looking into the Alma Company as well as V Shipping.
— Man, Ryoko is still in school. Abort, abort, abort!
— According to Philip, Saki is just being passed off to a relative of hers. Logically, this makes the most sense. A bunch of vampire-hunting mercenaries can’t possibly raise her.
— On the other hand, I just don’t like introducing a character, tearing her life apart, then discarding her after one episode. It doesn’t sit well with me. She doesn’t even show up in this week’s episode! What a shame…
— Philip adds that the kid should be alright in the long run. I think he’s trying to be nice to Yuliy, ’cause otherwise, that’s such a stupid thing to say. Hm, the poor, little girl recently lost her mom, and now she watched her father disintegrate into dust. She should be dandy, though!
— Blond(e)s can be so tsundere.
— Yuliy look kinda different compared to the rest of his village. I guess he just takes after his mother? Or maybe his mother is from a different race. Maybe Willard asked him if Japan felt nostalgic back in the first episode because his mother is Japanese. It wouldn’t be unheard of. Plus, it’s somewhat uncommon for an anime that primarily takes place in Japan to have a non-Japanese hero.
— The elder claims that Sirius’s Arc, which they’ve been trying to protect, is no longer here with them. I still have no clue what that is, though. Why do they have to protect it? What does it do? How does it move from place to place? What happens if we don’t protect it?
— Yuliy still hasn’t really distinguished himself as an interesting character. All this flashback really tells me is that he is sensitive to the cold.
— All of Yuliy’s teammates are concerned about him, but they also don’t quite know how to talk to him. First, we see Philip try to cheer him up, and now Dorothea wants to make sure he knows he can always reach out to them. As soon as she leaves, Fallon pops in and invites Yuliy to lunch. Last but not least, Willard pays him a visit to play therapist. But as a character, our hero hasn’t done much emoting. He doesn’t have much to say externally or internally, so all his friends’ efforts feel kind of wasted. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Yuliy still feels like a blank slate. There’s no emotional payoff, because we still haven’t connected with the main character.
— I guess it’s natural for these characters to blame themselves. This sort of thing always happen. The hero does an ostensibly good thing, but it still looks bad, so he feels bad. He feels responsible. As a member of the audience, however, I just can’t relate to what Yuliy’s guilt. Yeah, he technically “killed” Saki’s father, but like Philip said, what choice did he have? The doctor had already become a vampire. Unless there’s a way to cure him — which is unlikely – Yuliy did the only thing that he could’ve done: save the little girl. I guess it just depends on how you tip the scales. If you lean more towards cold logic, then you wouldn’t feel any guilt. If you’re attuned to your emotions, then you’ll blame yourself. Having said that, I felt gutted after what happened to Saki in last week’s episode, but I still wouldn’t blame myself if I had been in Yuliy’s shoes.
— I wish they would just explain what this Arc thing is. Maybe the rest of his flashbacks will finally spill the beans.
— Welp, there goes mom.
— Wait, wait, let’s tug on our heartstrings a little more…
— …okay, now she’s a goner.
— Bunch of facts coming right at us. Dogville is apparently the vampires’ destined land? Huh? The big, bad vampire boss says that they’re at the top of the food chain, but they’ve also been ruling from the shadows. You’d think the dominant species would’ve taken over by now. Also, if they want to rule the “ignorant masses” properly, they still need to get their hands on that elusive Arc.
— I still hate these vague monologues. I hate how bad guys like to stand in the middle of nowhere and drone on and on to nobody in particular. I hate this particular storytelling convention, because no one acts like this in real life.
— Later that night, Mikhail tries to defend Yuliy by fighting off the pursuing vampires. Honestly, the vampires seem more like werewolves than the actual werewolves. In fact, I have yet to see an actual werewolf in this entire series. The vampires keep referring to Yuliy as one, but hey… if it doesn’t walk, talk and looks like a duck, it probably ain’t a duck.
— Willard speculates that Mikhail might have made a blood pact with the vampires — whatever that means.
— Ah, Yuliy confesses that he feels guilty for a couple reasons. First, he actually felt happy that night. Despite ruining Saki’s life — again, he had no other choice — he was elated to see his brother again. Hm. I guess it’s about as rational as survivor’s guilt. Second, his resolve to eliminate vampires is wavering. Sure, he hates most of them, but can he truly kill his brother?
— Well, that’s what a team is for, isn’t it? He can’t kill Mikhail, but the others can! Eh? Eeeeh? How ’bout it? Of course, I’m joking, but at the same time, I don’t know why he’s acting as if he’s solely responsible for taking out every single vampire.
— I don’t think it’s such a bad thing that his resolve is wavering anyways. I just don’t know why we have to assume that all vampires are bad. Surely, there has to be at least one good vampire out there. They’re not genetically predisposed to evil, are they? Fine, you want to hunt down evil, murderous vampires? Do that. Don’t quit your day job. I just don’t see the need to also hold such an extreme belief.
— For a second, Willard considers petting the doggo, but he withdraws his hand in the end. If he’s not going to comfort the doggo, who will?
— The random love interest also wants to comfort Yuliy, but she chickens out for now. Cue the sad trombone noises.
— Plus, we still have the rest of the flashback to watch. How did Chibi Yuliy get away from the vampires? How did he end up with V Shipping?
— Either this vampire is toying with the kid or he sucks (you know it’s a he because no female vampire are allowed to be uggos). C’mon, it’s a little kid. The kid isn’t even running all that fast.
— Oh no, your mom’s last gift to you! Try ripping a scarf or any piece of clothing apart. I guarantee you it won’t fall to pieces like this.
— Nevertheless, the act triggers Chibi Yuliy and now he’s mad. And that’s the end of the flashback?
— We suddenly cut to Yuliy standing in a flower garden, clutching his emotionally overburdened heart. He couldn’t do anything for his mother. He can’t kill his brother. And he had to kill Saki’s father. Surely, this is Ryoko’s golden opportunity to swoop in and mend his his tortured soul, right? Emotional labor, here we go!
— When he turns to face her, his eyes are glowing. It looks like emotional pain is what triggers his normally dormant werewolf powers. How strange that becoming a werewolf in this story just means getting prettier eyes.
— For some reason, Ryoko’s not the least bit scared of Yuliy, and this inadvertently calms him down. She even giggles a bit afterwards. Blah blah blah, he’s not a monster in her eyes. Sure, she saw him literally fight a vampire in last week’s episode, so maybe this is nothing new to her. I’d still be a little scared, though. Just a skosh.
— The sensible thing is to push Ryoko away. That’s the sensible thing. But I love romances, so bond with that girl, werewolf man! Let her comfort your anguished pupper soul! Even if he’s supposedly hot, I still think her interest in him is way too deep and way too fast, but whatever. We’re three episodes in. Let’s just roll with it. This love story can’t be any worse than Twilight. Unless, of course, Mikhail tries to steal her away or something.
— Oh hey, after rejecting Ryoko, we get to see the rest of the flashback. Sensitive to the cold, huh? Here’s some exposure therapy.
— Out of nowhere, Willard emerges from the shadows to rescue the kid. Maybe he had been tracking the vampires. That’s probably it. Too bad he couldn’t show up a little sooner to protect the rest of the village or at least Mikhail.
— Chibi Yuliy knows his mother and brother want him to continue living, but he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do with the rest of his life. But we know what he ended up doing. He’s now part of a team that hunts down vampires. I wonder if this is something he had decided upon all by himself or if Willard gave him a push. Hard to imagine an adult telling a kid to pursue revenge, but at the same time, we don’t know Willard all that well, do we?
— Like the previous two episodes, this one is fine. The execution is solid. There’s just nothing groundbreaking here. It’s about what I expected, really. Yuliy’s family was killed by vampires, so now he wants revenge. Mikhail’s sudden reappearance, however, has completely thrown our hero’s emotions for a loop. We sit through an entire episode of flashback while Yuliy attempts to pick up the emotional pieces. At the same time, the story continues to feed us bread crumbs regarding the whole Arc business. Sirius the Jaeger is just missing a certain something — indelible quality that would bring everything together and get the audience to commit fully to its story.
— I do think it’s somewhat interesting that Yuliy didn’t open up to anyone until Willard dropped by. He still puts a distance between himself and the rest of his teammates.
— As for Ryoko, I guess she’ll have to harder next time.