When everyone is falling in love, while you stand alone.
We resume from Ko making his grand declaration: he is willing to spend literal years to try to fall in love with Nazuna. And the beat of every vampire within earshot looking at him like he had grown a second head.
It worked last time around as a stumbling bit of conversational comedy to end a chapter on. It works, in particular given after how serious the stakes had been.
Here, with plenty of fresh runway time, we can turn the heat back up again. The kidnapping vampires inform Ko of there being a one year time limit from when a human is first bitten. After this, there is no chance of them becoming a vampire anymore. They become immune, in a sense. Considering the time Ko has already been spending with Nazuna, he has a fair few weeks less than a full year to achieve this goal.
Given how open faced slack-jawed Nazuna is during this chain of events, anime sweat bead and all, she may well be quite honest when she says she forgot about this part of the rules.
But we are also well versed with her desire for relationship things to play out in a “if it happens, it happens” sense. So one can never quite rule out what she may have chosen to have a bit of a selective memory about when it comes to vampire rules. Introducing a time limit would add a lot more pressure to Ko and his actions in their relationship, after all. It will now, by all means.
There are also things Nazuna is super good at remembering when the convenient moment comes. Ko is still owed a kiss from his hard work handling the Kiyosumi massage case. This is not an insignificant promise
Nazuna just so happens to recall this favor when Nico, Kabura, Midori, and Hatsuka bring out the beers and cocktail drinks to toast each other with. Nazuna, as we see, is never offered a drink. There is no open dismissive snub or anything. But she is not offered one all the same. Which is something she would take as a very personal insult.
And so, Ko gets his reward kiss, and in full view of everyone at the little vampire rooftop drinking party. While embarrassing for him, the move is also a public statement of intent from Nazuna.
As a bonus, it also startles all the other vampires enough for them to stop drinking.
They are not used to seeing such a sight from the notorious shy romantic.
Akira Asai has been out on the sidelines for a little while. She gets to drift in and out of the story throughout the rest of the episode.
Ko is trying to keep her up to date on what has been going on with his vampire adventures. Which of course includes his kidnapping and release. As well as the looming trouble with the time limit rules he was unaware of, and how they pose a potential roadblock in his plans to become a vampire.
If the audience has not already asked themselves this question, Akira is quick to process there is still a humongous threat hanging over Ko. The ultimatum he was being given by his captors was to pick one of them to fall in love with so he could become a vampire, or die.
His open goal to fall in love with Nazuna and become a vampire through her has bought him time. But there is the matter of what would happen should he fail to fall in love within this grace period year.
If the clock runs out, he can no longer become a vampire. The other vampires would have no choice remaining but to kill Ko.
Which he had not thought so far ahead about.
Granted, he did just get out of a life or death experience. His brain was still in the process of cycling through the stakes of what happened the other night. But the realization wave of how screwed he may be does manage to stress him out when it hits.
Akira may have her misgivings about Nazuna. She also by all means has her own crush she would love to see realized. But she does offer to help Ko and give him relationship advice as he continues to try and fall in love with Nazuna. The alternative is Ko being killed.
If she can help him become a vampire, and by extension save his life, there is at least the chance for something between them down the road. Ko would not need to stay in love with Nazuna forever.
At school, Akira manages to avoid tripping over another childhood friend from their playground group: Mahiru Seki. Who was using his schoolbag as a pillow to nap in an underused stairwell.
As Ko notes himself later in the episode, Mahiru is something of an ideal dude. He is nice and casual. He has great grades, and all the teachers love him. He is upstanding, but not too serious. He has good looks. His family also runs a flower shop. The sight of him surrounded by beautiful bouquets and otherwise taking care of these displays is well known among the student body.
But again, we first meet him slacking off and having a crash nap in a stairwell.
As it happens, he has also been up all night more and more in recent times. He has been out seeing someone, who is only available at night.
For as much as Akira is willing to help Ko, we do also see and hear the cracks in her armor across moments like this. She sure hopes Mahiru is not hanging out with a vampire, which is a statement which makes no sense to him. She mutters to herself about how more people around her need to get proper sleep.
Even while she herself has her own sleep schedule all kinds of messed up, from what she is juggling and struggling with.
Other folks are staying up with goals and relationships and other adventures in mind.
But the goals Akira has are more distant night by night.
Ko has not limited his relationship consultations to the human world, and manages to reconnect with Seri again.
Or rather, Seri manages to catch up with him. Ko remembers how the last time he saw her there sure was a lot of blood and violence. And lost limbs. And reattached limbs. When the nerve rattling flashbacks subside though, yes, he tries talking out his problems while she listens.
She might have talked a big game during their last meeting about taking advantage of horny guys and how boring she finds a lot of things in life. But, she does see the teenage innocence of “What is it like to fall in love?” to be not only endearing, but almost transcendent in its purity. Also bloodlust inducing, in the multiple meanings such a word can have for a vampire.
While she does not bite Ko, she does resolve to help him fall in love with Nazuna to the best of her ability.
The camera also makes a point to show the audience Seri has received a new message on her phone over the course of this conversation. Which is a story for another time.
Regardless, Ko can now “enjoy” a selection of greatest hits from the romantic comedy storytelling grab-bag: being enthusiastic for setting up a date which goes wrong at every conceivable turn.
Even from the introduction of the idea, Nazuna closes her apartment door right back in his face. Which might seem like something of a contradiction, given how she had asked Ko not too long ago to come up with new ideas for things to do together. This is how the night swim pool party idea came about, after all, from Ko spitballing ideas around. But given the course of their relationship and their personal dynamics, Ko making such an enthusiastic initiative about a “Capital D” Date would seem suspicious.
If not, indeed, outright off-putting.
He is at least still allowed inside. And Nazuna does relent enough to come with him. Although Ko turning off the game Nazuna was playing to get her to take this date was also not going to set him up for the best possible success. Going to a movie and talking about it afterward? A complete failure in every way. Nazuna hated the genre (romantic comedy), and leaving a film early gives less to even consider discussing it.
Contrast this with things like the story of Nazuna letting her hair down, and the two of them enjoying watching infomercials and the news on a love hotel sofa.
It is obvious to Nazuna someone put Ko up to something, or otherwise gave him a weird script. Nothing about his actions tonight are normal, and she does not like it.
In this case, Seri had provided Ko with a literal paper list of activities. Nazuna is quick to snatch it, and examines what they have done (movie and a cafe), and what was still on the agenda (arcade, karaoke, aquarium, window shopping, meal over the night scenery). As well as determining the source of the list was Seri. Who, as she gave the list to Ko, had warned him about not letting Nazuna know she was helping. Nazuna does not like Seri much at all.
Feeling unimpressed to outright disgust, Nazuna leaves and goes home.
With the date failing in such a spectacular way, Ko also has no choice but to return to his room.
He can roll around for the rest of the night and wallow in how things backfired. His first official date went so wrong. Nazuna goes back to gaming, with nothing else to occupy her evening. She does get hungry however. Her meal is nowhere close. But she does still have the list she confiscated.
Part self serving dinner time needs and part reflecting on how the night went, Nazuna picks up Ko from his bedroom window to at least end the date as intended. Having a meal over the night lights.
She also has enough presence of mind to tell Ko: When you think about it, dates are just ways to spend time together. So, when you get right down to it, they are always going on dates.
The nights before were all dates. As well as all the nights to come.
While this would be a swell point to end an episode on in its own right, we instead circle back to the Mahiru matter from earlier.
Ko is wandering around looking for Nazuna. In the process, he manages to catch sight of Mahiru walking on the opposite side of the street with a group hanging on his every word. Ko worries about Mahiru noticing him. This is a general concern he has had about running into anyone he knows during his night activities. Mahiru is perceptive though, and manages to catch up with Ko to hangout and have an evening chat for a while at the playground.
As they catch up and talk about childhood friendships, Akira once again drops by.
This entire conversation she is hearing is far too corny for her tastes. Her deadpan and sardonic streak continues to grow. As does her personal frustration.
Mahiru is grateful to know Ko is also spending his nights in pursuit of love, and how Ko finds it fun and fulfilling. It gives Mahiru encouragement to continue down his current path.
A more forlorn Akira, who stated earlier in the conversation how she only just woke up, says she is going back to bed. Ko is looking for Nazuna, right?
As one might expect, Nazuna is soon found walking around town sipping from a can of beer while people watching. She has an absentminded thought about if what she is doing is illicit, given the “age gap” between her vampire self and a human teenager.
For the time being though, Nazuna offers Ko her hand. She can not let him out of her sight for a second, or he might wander off. The same, of course, applies to her.
Either way, she got the idea from observing Mahiru walking hand in hand with someone.
Ko encouraged Mahiru earlier. Even without knowing it, Mahiru has also aided Ko.