• remind me tomorrow
  • remind me next week
  • never remind me
Subscribe to the ANN Newsletter • Wake up every Sunday to a curated list of ANN's most interesting posts of the week. read more

Call of the Night
Episode 7

by Steve Jones,

How would you rate episode 7 of
Call of the Night ?
Community score: 4.5

This week, Ko lives out every depressed teenage boy's dream: to be surrounded by a secret council of hot vampires all debating the best way to seduce and/or kill you. It's a different kind of Call of the Night episode, largely eschewing easygoing vibes in favor of broadening the scope of this story and its characters. We meet five new bloodsuckers of varying eccentricities, and we also get our first bona fide limb-flaying vampire battle. It's the first step in a new direction for the series, and despite some growing pains, I think it's the right way to go.

Ko encounters his first new non-Nazuna vampire completely unwittingly, so his reaction to Seri is instead informed by her humanity and his own immaturity. He is, after all, still a 14-year-old boy, so he's flustered by her sexual promiscuity, but he also expresses sympathy for the struggles and pressures thrust upon women in society. While his confusion exposes his age, his thoughtfulness remains his most endearing and grown-up trait. Ko doesn't rush to judge. And by extension, I continue to appreciate the series' nonjudgmental attitude towards sex, as it has refused several times to shame characters for having past and/or multiple partners (in both the carnal and vampiric senses). Instead, Ko recognizes Seri's restless ennui as his own, and he concludes that she must be a fellow wayward soul rejected by the day and called by the night. He in turn extends his hand in friendship. It's very sweet, and I hope to see him speak with Seri more in the future.

For the time being, Seri returns the favor by whipping out her fangs, but before she can sink her teeth into Ko's neck meat, Nazuna sinks her claws into Seri's arm meat. The result is a tense action scene, which Call of the Night pulls off rather well for not having worked in this mode yet. There are some nice cuts of animation—most notably Nazuna's blitz of an entrance—and the shift to a hot pink palette helps distinguish this conflict's fiery passion from the rest of the show. Some sacrifices have to be made, of course: outside this scene, the episode looks even more static than usual, with less dynamic storyboarding, and consequently the pacing of the dialogue suffers when compared to earlier examples. All things considered, I think the reallocation of resources ultimately works out here, but I wouldn't want to see Call of the Night turn into a battle-oriented series.

Luckily, there doesn't seem to be any cause for concern there, because the second half is entirely dialogue-driven. The other vampires' interest in Ko belies their own concern for Nazuna, who turns out to be quite the weirdo even when measured against her bloodsucking kindred. That's the most important thematic thrust introduced with this expanded cast, as this means that Nazuna's struggles to fit in mirror Ko's own ennui and truancy. He doesn't want to go to school or become an adult, and she doesn't want to kill people or make more vampires. They're exactly the same thing. And I'm only half-joking. Both Nazuna and Ko are uncomfortable with the idea of growing up, since that requires the acceptance that they are not simply creatures of the night free to do as they please. They're also both idiots fumbling around in the dark trying to navigate romance for the first time. I'm sure they'd be content to just vibe together in perpetuity, but for the sake of their development (and for the sake of spicing up the narrative), they could use the kick in the pants that Nazuna's colleagues are more than happy to provide.

There's not much to say yet about the individual members in this midnight society of vampiric femme fatales. This chapter tries to fit in a lot of exposition, which weighs down the conversation and only provides enough time to introduce their archetypes and tactics for glamouring their prey. While the vampire lore and rules make this scene drier than I'd like, it does eventually devolve into a comedy of errors, in which Ko's naivete allows him to deflect their advances without ticking any of them off too much. He's like a Judo master but specifically for older women flirting with him.

In the long run, too, it's nice to have more characters to bounce Nazuna and Ko off of. Seri brings out Nazuna's violent side, which makes Ko finally reckon with how truly scary vampires can be. Nico and the others also probably help Ko affirm that, even with her dirty jokes and propensity for teasing, Nazuna is much more his speed. Still, I really like the aesthetic of their rooftop leather couch setup, which is appealingly liminal. And ultimately, in spite of all the murder talk, they are supportive of Ko and Nazuna's odd arrangement. The kids just need a little guidance. Or a lot of guidance.

Even though it's not a perfect readjustment, this episode is good news for any audience members who felt frustrated by Call of the Night's lackadaisical plotting in the first half of the season. The Nazuna and Ko shenanigans shouldn't be going anywhere, but the addition of new characters, conflicts, and threats points to a more complex second half. While Ko's goal hasn't changed—he still wants to fall in love with Nazuna and become a vampire—the consequences of vying for and achieving that goal are closer than ever, and they're dripping with blood.


Call of the Night is currently streaming on HIDIVE.

Steve's Twitter DMs are open to vampires and vampires only. Otherwise, catch him chatting about trash and treasure alike on This Week in Anime.

discuss this in the forum (93 posts) |
bookmark/share with: short url

back to Call of the Night
Episode Review homepage / archives