Even vampires experience peer pressure about family planning.
As has become his usual habit of late, Ko is wandering around town for an evening walk.
The usual goal would be to kill time until either Nazuna shows up or he visits her apartment himself. Either way, he has some time, and Kiyosumi from the impromptu massage gig last week happens to cross paths with him. She got off “early” today, and has more energy than before. Ko was oblivious to how Nazuna would feel when he made a big declaration telling Kiyosumi he could turn her into a vampire in the future, if she needed such an escape from the human world. But, as Kiyosumi tells him now, she did appreciate the thought. She thanks him, and Ko is given a vending machine drink as a treat.
He does feel weird about this, so there are some gears turning in his head.
A sudden evening shower does make him (and everyone else around) have to scurry for cover, where he observes an all too common situation. An older man hitting on a teenage girl. She does manage to turn him away, and in the process she waves to Ko and comes over to hang out. This is Seri Kikyou, and as she herself tells it: she was also waiting around looking to kill time. To be more specific, she was even looking for men to hit on her. Her primary hobby is taking advantage of horny guys trying to get close to her. She tends to be able to get offers for free meals, karaoke, and so on.
She finds herself bored with a great many things in life, was also bored with what was being offered.
She strikes Ko as similar to himself. He is sympathetic to her aimlessness, as he has been with others. But he just can not quite manage to place what particular school she happens to be from. He is unfamiliar with her uniform. But as befits someone who says she has a literal hobby of taking dudes to the cleaners, she manages to get the drink Kiyosumi gave Ko earlier. And he would quite like it back, as he follows her off the streets and sidewalks all the way under an overpass.
As if the cute little anime fang Seri sports was not itself a dead giveaway: she is also a vampire.
Ko has been lucky throughout the series up until now. His sneaking out at night has yet to catch up with him or raise any real concerns, either from his school or family. His time with Nazuna has been going great overall, even considering the occasional relationship bumpiness. Friends like Akira have been supportive, and even participants in his late night shenanigans. He has been safe, by and large.
The night is calm and quiet. The night holds mysteries which can make the world seem all your own. The night makes familiar sights beautiful in new ways.
The night can also be dangerous.
Nazuna would never be the only living vampire, and not every vampire would be like Nazuna. Our powder purple haired bloodsucker does manage to race to the scene and sever an arm off of Seri, releasing Ko in the process. But she only manages it by the thinnest possible margins.
For as much as the topic of blood has come up, as it would in vampire fiction, this is our first instance of vampiric power and violence. As jarring this may be to Ko at the moment, Seri goes one step further to pick up and reattach her lost arm.
For as little as the series has used “action” scenes, the impact here is fast and jarring from what the series has done up until now. As it should be.
Everything has still gone according to plan though: with Nazuna here, her location is now known. As such, yet another vampire can swoop in and kidnap Ko while Seri keeps Nazuna occupied.
Other vampires around town have known about what Nazuna has been up to for some time now, and are putting their hands on the scales. Ko has learned quite a lot about their ways for a human.
He will need to become a vampire himself or die.
As vampire dens go, Ko meets a heck of a welcome wagon.
An upscale urban rooftop lounge, complete with multiple sofas around a central table. All the better for those in attendance to sit down together and have a discussion about the matter at hand.
There are four vampires present. The more casual and brash Nico Hirata. The elegant yet gloomy Kabura Honda. The playful Midori Kohakobe. The unassuming but gender nonconforming Hatsuka Suzushiro. They would like to hang out with Ko for a bit. He can have a free choice, to pick one of them to fall in love with and work on making him a vampire. It would be preferable to killing him, as a mercy for both himself and Nazuna.
Seri, who is still off fighting Nazuna, is also presented as a fifth option if she is more his type.
What follows for much of the rest of the episode is talking through this hostage situation.
Ko is insistent right from the start: he would prefer Nazuna. Even going so far as to question the idea of Nazuna not being popular, with her looks. As the various vampires make their cases for themselves, there is a recurring bit. The inner monologues from the other vampires, each commenting on their competition. They have all not only known each other for a long time, but also know the strategies and quirks each will use to win over a target. This is far from the first time they have seen each other try to work their personal appeals to win a human heart.
By the letter of the vampiric laws, as they work within this series: the human does need to love the vampire. They will become one themselves after being bitten. But it was never said the feeling needs to be mutual. Hence, one of these vampires could pick up Ko as a personal project.
As Ko subverts and frustrates conversational expectations at every turn with his vampire captors, Nazuna and Seri have kept fighting.
Earlier, Seri was leveraging her perspective of biting being either for devouring meals or reproducing. But she does also show she has more consideration than this alone. Fooling around with someone Nazuna does not intend to turn is super dangerous for him in all kinds of ways. Seri also says everyone has respect for Nazuna and her particular hangups when it comes to romance. But she can not keep doing things the way she has been. Forget even the topic of fairness: it is not safe.
For as scuffed up as they both are, Nazuna does relent and makes a sheepish admission: she does have plans to multiply and create another vampire.
On his end, Ko is being asked point blank if he understands the very serious stakes of the situation he is in.
Again: pick a vampire and work on falling in love and becoming a vampire, or he will die.
The thing is though, as we have ourselves heard him say multiple times already: Ko has every intention of becoming a vampire. It is a huge personal goal!
The absolute dumbfounded response from the vampire party den has everyone wondering if Nazuna knows this.
While we all know she already does, the series can still enjoy a moment. Free of her fight with Seri, she slams herself into the rooftop party for her rescue mission with floor crunching force. All just in time to hear Ko once again declare he wants to fall in love with her.
As powerful as her arrival was, she is unable to move for a bit out of sheer embarrassment.
With everyone processing how this was all one large miscommunication, Nazuna and Ko are free to go. With one condition. They need to explain how Ko is going to fall for Nazuna. What is the actual plan?
Given how well the other vampires knew how each would try to win over Ko, the group knows what to expect amongst themselves. Nazuna is aloof from the other vampires. Nazuna has trouble with romance topics. She has a known history of not getting into relationship situations which would generate new vampires.
As Ko has handled before, he steps up to tell everyone how their relationship works. Nazuna enjoys his tasty blood, and Ko wishes to become a vampire. And so, as has been the running dynamic between the two, Nazuna will keep hanging out and biting him. If he falls in love with her along the way, then his vampiric turn will be spontaneous.
This is all considered an amusing approach by Nico, but also good enough to let everyone leave and live.
Nazuna, who has been more than a little preoccupied during much of this episode, gets to make one joke about how things would play out like a shotgun wedding.
Which sounds scandalous and unromantic to the likes of Midori. Ko smiles with the realization Nazuna may be the only vampire here who enjoys her particular style of dirty jokes. This is the partner he has chosen. He was never at much of a risk of wavering, even under threat of death by multiple other vampires.
He will fall in love with Nazuna, no matter how many years it takes.
Which sounds… super terrible and sad when you say it out loud, Ko.
For you, and for Nazuna.