Rumors and trouble in the middle of the night bring about the idea of vampires on the school grounds.
What They Say:
Episode 8 - 'Memories'
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Fortune Arterial starts off dark this time around and goes for the perfect bit of humor. With a vampire sighting of sorts in the middle of the night on campus, the student body is all a flutter about there being vampires on the grounds. When the student council meets, most of which is made up by vampires, the president says the whole thing is baseless and that he'd love to see a vampire. And proceeds to look in the mirror and mock freaks out. It's exactly the kind of reaction that feels right, as opposed to being overly serious right from the start. Though these guys have their histories, a sense of humor among vampires continues to be rare. At least decent humor. Fortune Arterial sets the mood perfectly here as it shifts into the more serious side.
While they can be light at first, they have to take it seriously since it can hamper or ruin their way of life at the school. With the rumors going strong and a lot of the people around there taking it seriously, the four head off into the night to try and track down this mysterious person if it's true. While much of the series to date has been high school based fun with the edge of vampires and the choice that Kohei has to make, it hasn't done all that much with the action side. Which is why this episode stands out so well as they give over a good part of it, comparatively, to a chase scene when they do find the person responsible. It's very engaging to watch as the night time period and the flow of the chase, which is largely quiet outside of the music, has a feeling of intensity about it.
This episode brings out two very key things that go a long way towards changing everything. The first is the revelation that Kuze is the one causing the rumors, though they aren't able to capture her since the chase goes badly. The other is that because of the chase, Eri ends up revealing her true nature in front of Yuki, which will lead to her memories being altered. The two have a history together that we know of, but there's more to it than we've seen before and Eri's reluctance is explained with understandable results. Both girls have such a nature about them that they really wouldn't do anything to hurt the other, but so much is at risk if people know about vampires that Erika really has no choice. And learning about that past explains an interesting piece of Kohei's puzzle with Yuki as well, which does a nice job of dealing with a loose end earlier than one would expect.
Fortune Arterial has done a really good job up until this point to make the vampire aspect minor, in that it didn't dominate or drive the show. It was and is an interesting undercurrent to everything that offers a lot of potential. What they do with this episode is to start to ramp it up and make it more relevant to everything going on, as well as trying up some of the loose subplots that are all part of it. The core characters is where it's at and we learn more about Yuki that we needed to while also seeing some very appropriate humor come into play as well. This series has balanced the humor, vampirism and scholastic side so well to date that when they focus more on one than the other, it has the right flow and feel to it. This episode is no exception.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.