Call of the Night: Night Owls and Escaping Limits

Why I Chose to Write About This Series

This season had a lot of things that I enjoyed from the summer season. Aoashi was one of them and my post about that show came out on Wednesday. There was also Made in Abyss and other things like Shadows House and Fuuto PI that just ended recently too. So why didn’t I decide to write about those right now? (Yeah, I will write about some of those in time too.) Call of the NIght is a show that I am still trying to figure out my feelings on. So yeah, I guess I’m going to use this post to try to figure those out.

I also do want to try and write about some newer shows sometimes. Kind of because I am falling a little behind on the older shows that I am trying to watch. But also because I do enjoy watching newer series as well as older ones too. I really do enjoy watching newer shows and yeah, I’ve been trying my best to try adding more newer shows onto my line up. Part of that was watching newers that I missed out during those seasons. But here is some attempt at watching the shows that I just finished once again. Let’s get back into the mechanical anime reviews from a couple years ago. 

Call of the Night’s Ideas

On just a reputation sort of basis, I think Call of the Night’s story is already known by a lot of people. A teenage boy named Kou Yamori is out during the night for the first time in his entire life. Something about the nature of seeing the city at night calls to him. Same with one particular vampire named Nazuna Nazakusa. A vampire that discovers Kou’s blood to be absolutely delicious, so she slowly entices him into the lifestyle of the night and the vampire way of life. Or unlife? Doesn’t matter. The show revolves around just those sorts of vibes.

In an episodic way, Call of the Night does a lot of questioning of Yamori’s choices. Each week, a girl from his past or a girl/woman he has never met before shows up. Somehow, they are connected in some way to Kou’s life like his former best friend from school who is also saddened by it to ask why Kou doesn’t want to return. Or the office worker lady who is like Kou but ten years ahead of him in age so she is ruined by the office lifestyle that pushes her too hard. Good ideas and I know this is anime so that might answer this question already, but why do each of them have to be attractive women rather than literally anything else?

It Does and Yet Doesn’t Click

So, I see what Call of the Night is doing. It feels like one of those series that is looking at the Japanese working culture or school culture. That sense of feeling lost in a system that doesn’t see you as a human being. Being a vampire and tapping into the powers of the night allows these people at least a hope for escaping from it. It’s like a full acceptance of being a different being from the system at play and it’s kind of cool because of that. Or I could be reading too much into it. Something which I will refuse to accept because of how disillusioned so many characters are in this show.

At the same time, there is something about the execution that just doesn’t work. I think there is something about this show’s humor that is so down to Earth and yet lacking too. Something so matter of fact about it that works in some instances and doesn’t in others because it feels like so many aspects of this show just come out of nowhere. Some characters literally bang on a door to find their entrance into the show itself. Or the fact that it’s mostly young and attractive women that we see as a reflection to Kou instead of seeing all sorts of people. It works and doesn’t at the same time

Vampires Suck Too and Loneliness

The idea that Vampires don’t understand vampires or they just don’t do anything other than talking about romance for some reason. So they don’t really do anything besides that and look down at Kou (and other people probably) who want to be vampires and look down upon them. Thinking about it though, maybe that is the point. Maybe they are supposed to show that the Vampires really aren’t as different from human kind and their own terrible systems. It really does show how messy the system of life is when even immortal beings have pointless rules.

So it’s interesting with that sort of context of how Nazuna and Kou are such reflections of each other. Two people that don’t belong in either of their societies and live on the fringes of their sorts of societies. So it’s not only romance stuff and Kou and Nazuna falling in love leading to Kou becoming a vampire, but two people who don’t belong anywhere else trying to communicate with each other because they are so awkward around each other. I see that now and I don’t think a show now being straightforward about it is bad, but there is something weird about how it presents those ideas that doesn’t make it as effective for me.

Anko Uguisu

This show didn’t hit well for me until the mysterious, attractive, smoking, terrifying, and hardworking detective, Anko Uguisu showed up. Not just because of those reasons, though they help, but because of how she literally changed the entire show’s game by herself. She added some really interesting stakes and conversations. Most of the show up to this point was running on pretty fun and unique vibes until that one instance when Yamori and two of his friends broke into the school to have fun and suddenly, there is a vampire that has been trying to be good for ten years and Anko killed him so masterfully.

Not to mention that Anko really is the ultimate weapon against everything Kou is trying to do. The best doorstop that he can’t just push away and ignore like her, her word is law. She brings up the ultimate sort of consequences to a show that barely had any. A 14 year old should not be outside in the streets going to bars and hanging out with vampires just because they don’t want to exist in society. At least that is what society is saying. Anko is everything that the show was holding back until now and the way she carries herself makes her feel so large and incredible on the best sorts of levels. I’m so glad she showed up in this quirky and messy show.

It was those pairs of episodes where Anko showed up that actually brought so many ideas that Call of the Night was sitting on the forefront better. Suddenly, I understood more about what Call of the Night was trying to say. Not that any of those episodes were bad at all. There were some good slice of life episodes centered on the maid cafe and other places that at least added a lot to Kou and Nazuna’s lifestyle or fun around the night time. Suddenly the real terror of soceity that Kou thought he just easily left behind is out there to make him return to it while also making him question if he wants to still be a vampire. It was material that I couldn’t help but love. 

Conclusive Thoughts?

The most alluring aspect of Call of the Night was obviously the art and details of the show itself. The way the show displayed the night time was powerfully alluring. Such great direction and powerful use of colors makes me want to enjoy that time period. Not to mention the good focus and direction of those sorts of good moments alongside the well placed quirky moments and the focus moments too. The character designs are so good and distinctive too that you can feel so many bits of personality and power in each of them. Such good art and thoughts and patterns are why I got back into Call of the Night sometimes.

After thinking about it for a bit, I’m going to give Call of the Night a good. I feel like the last three episodes really carried so much of the show for me because it was so engaging. I really wish the sort of quirky nature of the show didn’t get in the way of its ideas more. You know, even if it was so fascinating to see it trying to go somewhere and accomplish something. No, I am not going to comment on the unrealistic nature of parents letting this kid go out at night without them knowing. That is just something that isn’t meant to be thought about so the show can work in the first place. Anyway, I still recommend this show even if it wasn’t for me. 

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