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Black Blood Brothers episode 6: The Coven

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Not surprisingly, Jiro manages to get both his brother and Mimiko to safety after August's surprise attack. Jiro returns the favor, getting the drop, and subsequently the upper hand, on August.

He spills the beans and lets them know that he's working for Zelman. As such, they can't do anything to him, lest they incur the vampire's wrath. Even Jiro admits that Zelman is a scary dude, but they decide to go visit him anyway.

The conversation between the two was actually the best part of the episode for me. It did a much better job of balancing light heartedness and tension than earlier episodes and the interplay between everyone was fascinating to watch.

Zelman and Kotaro actually seemed to get along pretty well. I've seen cordial villains before, but this was impressive even by that standard. As is typical, Zelman offers them a place in his empire, but Kotaro turns him down saying that they're the good guys and that they will fight for justice. I chided Kotaro for being annoying earlier in the series, but this part was actually kind of heartwarming.

I did get a kick out of how Zelman refers to what he's doing as playing the heel. Most villains paint themselves as the good guy or at least believe what they're doing is justified, but he seems to just do it because he can. I kind of want to see more of what he's doing because I can see this character working provided he gets a bit more focus.

From there, the group attempts to find a place for Jiro, but no one seems to want him. It's later explained during a picnic (it makes sense in context, sort of) that no one wanted Jiro in the Special Zone in the first place as he is something of a trouble maker. In fact, the question of why he's even there gets brought up on more than one occasion. The Silver Sword makes some attempts to dodge the question, but only escapes it via dumb luck.

I was expecting this scene to be pointless filler, but it did serve a purpose and it balanced serious plot progression with humor fairly well. The introductions of Kain and Sei were a bit shoehorned, with Kotaro using the "Oh I know you, you're X" line in order to establish who they are and what they do. I'm not sure how else you could have handled that, but it wasn't the episode's shining moment. At least the (quite literal) back and forth between Kain and Jiro was amusing.

Later, August attacks the group again, dead set on revenge after being humiliated by Jiro. He seems to have gone quite mad, due to both the defeat and Zelman's laid back response to everything. It's a drastic turn and even Jiro suspects that something is up, but it's a moot point as August is out for blood. Jiro comes close to killing him, but Mimiko talks him out of it as it would only prove everyone right and would justify exiling Jiro from the Special Zone. With that, they leave.

As the two brothers have nowhere to stay, Jiro asks if they can crash at Mimiko's. Surprisingly, she's OK with it as they were getting on her last nerve earlier. Alas, that option is rendered void by a bomb that was supposedly placed there by August to get revenge.

This episode worked fairly well. There are still a lot of factions at play here that aren't very well defined, but we got some good character bits and teased at plot points that may come into play later. The conflicts felt natural and the tone was actually fairly consistent throughout, which I appreciated after the radical shifts that previous episodes had taken. We've now hit the halfway point of the show, so we'll see how things progress from here.

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