When classroom academic theory turns into unexpected fieldwork.
Nazuna picked up a new supplemental income stream through the cafe work in the previous episode.
So, there are various things a viewer could imagine her doing with the money. Games. Booze. The opportunities for any number of reckless impulse purchase gags would not be out of place. In particular for a romantic comedy series. Plus, such a thing would dovetail well with her previous problems catching online delivery boxes at the right time of day.
The audience is indeed treated to a quite proud Nazuna. She begins the episode showing off her payday splurges to Ko. But what she did choose to buy is for super commendable reasons. A complete redecoration and furniture overhaul for the main room of her personal massage and cuddle buddy business. Storage closet space for costumes. Shelves for holding documents and a stereo, as well as displaying her additional service add-ons. As well as the centerpiece: an entire freestanding bed-frame and mattress.
She has reinvested her earnings from a side gig into her primary personal business.
This is a lot of work of course. So it falls to Ko to wander around town in the middle of the night trying to solicit potential customers. Which places him in a peculiar situation. Trying to find the right combination of person who might be up for the services Nazuna provides, while also trying to make sure he is not coming across as a creepy weirdo. People might think he is hitting on them. Tired looking people would be best. But you need folks tired enough to hear out a sudden offer for massage and cuddle buddy services. Yet, they should have nowhere in particular they were already planning to be. Such tired folks are often already on their way home.
In this process, he comes across a particular woman in a trench coat. She is smoking on the ground on a pedestrian walkway. While she gives Ko her business card a bit later on, her appearance should at least be familiar to anyone who does not skip their anime opening credits. This is Anko Uguisu, a private detective. She is, indeed, quite tired. She walks everywhere. But she is far and away sharp enough to know how to swim around a clueless teenager.
She is like a shark sizing up potential prey.
If you recall a conversation from the last episode, Ko mentioned the potential dream of becoming a detective.
Anko arriving here shows just how far such a path might require him to go. The change of scenery to a late night cafe to talk things out allows Ko to think he might be making some kind of progress. Or at least take a break for a little while. In the process, he keeps stepping on landmines Anko to all too happy to lure him into and capitalize upon. The Labor Standards Law about minors working the hours Ko is out and about. How fast an adult woman with a call to the authorities could crush whatever it is he is up to. She loads and aims these kinds of verbal guns, while always then being sure to lower them as a token of her grace. A nonchalant remark about how Ko must have his reasons for being a minor out working late.
She toys with him like a lackadaisical cat, seeing what she can get out of him. How disappointing it is Ko is not the cuddle buddy at the core of the business he works for. How excited Ko is to meet a detective and hear about their work. Missing persons, infidelity issues, and so on. Lots of night work. Ko loves the idea of night work. In the course of this casual cafe fishing expedition, since Anko is working her own kind of professional hours, Anko asks about a particular young adult missing persons case she has been looking into. Sliding her phone to show a picture, she mentions the name Akihito Akiyama. Ko, who has enough of an honesty problem and overall lack of a poker face, betrays his thoughts. He flinches. This, after all, is the same guy Seri had so many hang ups about, which Ko helped to resolve.
Which is enough for Anko to break her own careful and curated facade to lunge across the table.
Ko knows something.
Which is the most progress this case has made in ages. And knowing something about this particular one is enough to alarm her. Recognizing how further questioning on this matter would not be fruitful however, given the abrupt change in demeanor, she deescalates. She provides her aforementioned contact information, jokes about how Ko should be prepared to hit on her better next time, and pays the whole bill. Ko can keep all the change.
Ko, again not realizing the caliber of personality he is up against, uses the extra cash to buy a whole bunch of beer for Nazuna. Ko knew he was going to be truthful and tell Nazuna the whole story. He also foresaw how she was going to be mad about how he got off track and went to a cafe with another woman. So Nazuna is overall quite happy about the whole situation. She gets free beer!
Anko is pleased as well.
She tracked Ko and where he went after he left the cafe. Her splurge of some extra cash on him also proved to be a worthwhile business investment.
For the second half of this episode, we continue to follow a human majority crowd.
Mahiru and Akira have been on the side for a bit. With how nocturnal everyone has been getting with their sleep schedules, they now all get some time to pal around together. We have seen flashbacks to their time playing together as kids. They have every now and again crossed paths as teenagers today. Mahiru thinks taking advantage of the opportunity to make some more modern memories together would do them all some good. Wherever they may go next in their lives, they will be able to hold on to nights like this.
After all, Ko might indeed go off and become a vampire someday. Among any number of other complications.
The plan then is to infiltrate their current school under the cover of darkness. The group will do some classic urban legend and tall tale investigation. A potential haunted girls restroom. A rumor of the science classroom human body biology aid walking around (despite the mannequin not having legs). All the usual classics, complete with a montage flipping through the light spooky antics the trio got into.
Everyone is, by the end, laughing and fulfilled by having an enjoyable night out together.
There is the story of a teacher who went missing about ten years ago, which remains unresolved. Sometimes folks think they see a silhouette in a classroom window. It is about as contrived as anything else they have been looking into all night. Aside from the fact a teacher did indeed go missing those years back. Anything else past this point may as well be as fictional as all the other little stories they have had fun with tonight.
Of course, as if you needed a reminder, this is a series with vampires as a central pillar. Most of these three characters know they have met at least one. Without a confirmed dead body, the potential for the missing teacher to still be walking around years later is at least higher than zero.
Sure enough, the missing man is there in the classroom.
Muttering to himself in frustration and anger, he strikes out like a beast and pins Akira to the ground at lighting speed. He fights himself, hungering for her blood while also trying to resist the urge with every other fiber of his being. The man is drooling all over Akira, who is fighting on the floor for her life. The man can not be stopped or removed by Mahiru alone.
Meanwhile, Ko is shell shocked with how unusual this particular vampire situation is to him. In all his experiences with vampires, they have been beautiful and gorgeous individuals. Even in his initial meeting with Seri, where she did incite violence to bait out Nazuna for the Ko kidnapping operation. She was still methodical and sly, and worked the social situation to spring such a trap. Ko has never seen the wild immediate ferocity of the man who has now pinned Akira to the ground.
Ko does snap out of his shock enough to slam the former teacher with a chair, freeing Akira. But the lack of immediate help for her desperate situation is a heavy thing to consider. Every second counted, and could have been fatal for Akira. Or Mahiru, in his attempt to help. Ko was caught up thinking about vampire society ethics and personal grooming habits first, before trying to pry a dangerous individual off of his childhood friend.
Ko may not be a vampire, but we can see how being around vampires has come to influence his thinking.
Meanwhile, the teacher has regained enough human composure to beg the teens to get away from him. He does not, in his heart, want to hurt them. Since turning into a vampire about a decade ago, he has resisted drinking blood.
His body hungers in ways he is straining to control.
To welcome back our newest cast member from earlier in the episode, Anko drops by.
She is already prepared to handle the situation. Cigarette in hand, she taunts and makes a casual offer of her neck to him. Anko being slammed to the ground and her blood splattering with a neck bite is the kind of visual which, as a reflex, looks like a death sentence in most vampire fiction. But, after a moment, we again remember how vampire creation works in this universe: the love requirement. Not only this, but the man begins going into almost immediate convulsions after tasting the blood Anko could offer.
Anko not only knew she was safe the whole time, but was casual about the danger posed by the situation. One can infer right away: she must have a whole lot of experience doing this exact song and dance with vampires.
Anko switches tones again, as she proceeds to comfort the crying man. He is distraught over how things ended up this way for him. How he never knew vampires were real, how he was tricked into this transformation, and so on. Anko hugs him, while also shooting down Ko asking about why the man would not have consumed any blood over the years.
Why would anyone want to become a vampire?
Anko hugging the distraught teacher, woeful as he is about how he ever could have loved someone who put him into this situation, also gives her a perfect setup for her next move. To have the access to place a silver ring in his hand, closing his with her own, as the morning sun shreds him to dust and ash. He struggles for a bit, with the understandable terror of someone about to be destroyed while hanging on to so many sad regrets. But, as Anko says, he died as a human.
Missing persons cases are sometimes vampire problems. As a private investigator, she prides herself on how she needs to know how to deal with them. Which includes handling executions.
Ko, again thinking more about vampire society, is angry and frustrated about how there must have been another way.
Anko grabs him again, and tells Ko straight: She has zero intentions of allowing him to live out his idiotic dream of becoming a vampire.
Ko knows nothing about vampires. And she already knows his dream.
As for Akira and Mahiru: Anko gives these two her business cards as well. Should they ever question the situation they are in, they should give Anko a call.
While we know there are several other vampires around town already, there is also a further implied threat for Ko. If either of his friends would prefer Ko to die as a human, rather than a monster, Anko will take care of it should he go too far. They have just seen how effective she is at vampire removal.
Ko, left walking alone in the dawn after this night out with friends, has to have a somber consideration. How little he still knows about vampires.
The street signs are filled with oncoming warnings.