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Black Blood Brothers episode 2: Compromiser

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As the episode opens, Jiro and Kotaro wash up on a beach. While local beach-goers offer assistance, they're put off when Jiro's face is revealed to be a bare skull as a result of the sunlight. Luckily, Mimiko Katsuragi manages to come to their aid and provide a plausible cover story.

Mimiko reveals that she is what is known as a Compromiser, meaning that she works to bring peace between humans and vampires (referred to as "red bloods" and "black bloods" respectively.) She offers to escort them to the special zone and the duo accept.

Jiro and Mimiko have an interesting dynamic. I won't say that they don't get along, but they do seem to enjoy busting each other's chops quite a bit. The exchange between them at the restaurant was fairly amusing and was a great way to show how these two will bounce off of each other.

Jiro's relationship with his brother is also much softer here than it was in the previous episode. Where as he telekinetically tossed Kotaro around with impunity before, here he tries to reason with him more and only goes so far as to give his brother a playful noogie. It shows that he really does care for his brother and makes him much more relatable.

When the group reaches the special zone, it's revealed that they can't enter as there is a specific barrier that prevents them from entering without an invitation. It's made clear that not all vampires have the same weaknesses; for example, Kotaro has no problem with running water whereas Jiro does and he makes clear that the barrier doesn't affect all vampires, but it acts as a nice way to incorporate vampire lore without being completely beholden to it.

As was the case with the last episode, a lot of terminology is thrown around that doesn't mean anything to me. As such, the episode can be hard to follow. It's more coherent than something like "Lain", but there's so much about this world that isn't made clear and I feel like it's stuff that I need to know in order to really get into the story. Considering the series as a whole is only 12 episodes, we don't have a lot of time for world-building, but the backstory needs to get a bit more detail.

Still, I did enjoy the stand-off with Kelly Wong. There was a fair bit of tension as she tried to recruit Jiro to their cause. I also liked that Jiro immediately told Mimiko that he never suspected that she set them up when a Suppression team arrives to start a fight.

While Jiro remains formidable despite his exhaustion as a result of the beach ordeal, he ends up getting captured, though his actions allow his brother to sneak away with little trouble. The episode comes to a somewhat abrupt end as Kotaro runs into the zone.

The episode was fairly light-hearted and more consistent in tone than its predecessor. I still have a lot of questions as to why things are happening the way they are and what all these factions are trying to do, but hopefully that will get addressed as we go deeper into the series.

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