Let’s Watch CALL OF THE NIGHT Episode 3 – A Lot Came Out

Let’s Watch is a weekly recap column where I follow an anime for the course of its entire runtime. Expect spoilers!

Literally speaking, Call of The Night is about a boy who’s down bad for a vampire. But more abstractly, and perhaps more importantly, its main theme, at least so far, seems to be otherness. I mentioned this a bit back in episode one, but “A Lot Came Out” really hones in on the concept, through a number of techniques both related to its actual narrative and more abstract material like its visuals.

To wit; this episode formally introduces Akira Asai (Yumiri Hanamori), Ko’s one actual human friend and, as one would expect from a pretty ordinary schoolgirl, she’s mostly active during the day. Despite that, Call of The Night never steps outside of its nocturnal purview; the only times we get to see actual daylight are during flashbacks.

Both ends of twilight are fine for present-set storytelling, but never broad day. That’s a forbidden zone that I doubt the show will ever breach unless it’s trying to one of a few very specific things.

What does that have to do with being an outcast? Well, as previously discussed in this column, a vampire can be a symbol for almost any kind of “other” in a narrative. In the creature’s roots as a being of the horror genre, this was used to stir up fear, but nowadays, as in Call of The Night, using vampires as a kinder (although not without some issues) metaphor for anyone who lives outside of one’s established frame of reference is fairly common. Ko, in his desire to become a vampire, has basically already committed to the choice of eventually joining that “other.” I imagine that much of the rest of the series is going to be testing that resolve. There are a lot of ways Call of The Night could do this (in future episodes look out for Ko running afoul of curfew laws or something of the sort, it almost seems too obvious not to do), but here it takes a fairly simple form. Akira, as a normal high schooler just like Ko himself, is representative of the kind of normal life that Ko is leaving behind.

Maybe that’s all fair enough but you’re wondering what actually happens in the episode. Thankfully, that’s pretty easy to explain; Ko and Akari reconnect after years of not talking to each other and start hanging out. Nazuna gets kind of jealous and she and Ko have a minor fight. They make up at the end, roll credits.

The devil (or vampire, as it were) is in the details, though. In flashback scenes that establish how Ko and Akira first met as young kids, Ko notably avoids playing with the other children on the playground. Instead, he studies a line of marching ants, finding their hurried resource-collecting amusing in its own way. (I’m not saying he’s definitely supposed to be neurodivergent, but when the shoe fits….) Akira, who converses with him and eventually joins him in his observation, comes across as a kind girl in this flashback, but they’re clearly coming from different places. This leads to some confusion when they meet again in the present day.

Which isn’t to say that she doesn’t like him, mind you….

When the two get back in touch (via the whole watch situation from episode 2), they start meeting up regularly. Akira gets up very early to go to school, you see, which conveniently lines up with Ko’s nocturnal schedule. In fact, between Akira and Nazuna, Ko is well on his way to building an entire nighttime social circle. But, there’s the small bit of trouble in paradise that, because Ko is now hanging out with two people, not just one, he has to cut into his time with Nazuna a bit. The episode doesn’t spell this out until the very end, but it’s obvious that this makes Nazuna a bit jealous. She ends up confronting the two, and any pretense at keeping the whole “vampire” thing a secret evaporates when she promptly sucks the blood out of Ko’s neck right in front of Akira. (If this entire dynamic sounds slightly uncomfortable to you, it’s that way in the show itself as well, although thankfully not to the extent that it ruins the scene or anything.)

The three hit up a restaurant to hopefully hash out their differences. (Which, frankly you could boil down how far removed Nazuna is from Akira or even Ko, yet, by pointing out that while Akira gets a full breakfast and Ko just gets a coffee, she gets a cartoonish-looking stein of beer.) Nazuna and Akira have a brief but fairly tense conversation, during which Akira also makes the mistake of inviting Ko back to school. This ends with Nazuna abruptly leaving after asking Akira why, if she’s really such a good friend of his, she hasn’t reached out to him in the past few years at all. (Akira, it’s worth noting, does not respond. Although arguably she doesn’t really get a chance to. My assumption is we’ll circle back to her side of things again next week.)

It’s telling that after Ko picks up her bill (classic vampire dick move, that, leaving a restaurant without paying), he rushes after her. We can think of Akira and Nazuna as representing two, roughly, different approaches to life. Whether we should boil that down to something as simple as “straight and narrow” vs. “dangerous but wild” or look at it in a more nuanced fashion will hinge on where the show goes from here, but when he sprints out the restaurant door, it’s very clear that Ko has already made his choice.

Ko and Nazuna’s little fight ends when the two meet up on a random rooftop—this show loves random rooftops—and the two have this exchange, which is worth reproducing in its entirety, if you’ll forgive the avalanche of image embeds.

And that really is the thing. No matter what else happens, Ko has already committed to going “over to the other side.” Despite what anyone else might think, and despite his own reservations. Nazuna likes to tease, but her and Ko’s relationship, while they definitely are also friends, is also much more involved than a simple biter / bite-ee thing, whatever you choose to map that to. (Although her constantly cracking jokes about how their relationship is ‘purely physical’ certainly pushes the viewer in a….certain direction.) As they resolve their differences, Nazuna notices that Ko’s bloodied his lip from tripping up the stairs to the roof. And then, in defiance of contemporary romance anime and manga structure, and in what I genuinely think is a pretty bold move, this happens.

A make up turns to a makeout, Nazuna flies off as the dawn breaks behind her, telling her “friend” that she’ll see him again tomorrow. A stunned Ko can only retort that “friends” don’t normally, you know, kiss and such.

Now to be fair, maybe—and it’s a huge maybe—vampires and humans have different ideas of what constitutes ‘romance’, and it is definitely not impossible that the show will try to walk this back. But I rather doubt it will try to do so with any substantial force. As mentioned, Ko has already made his choice. The show is called Call of The Night, after all, and only one of the two girls he spoke to in today’s episode is nocturnal.

Like what you’re reading? Consider following Magic Planet Anime to get notified when new articles go live. If you’d like to talk to other Magic Planet Anime readers, consider joining my Discord server! Also consider following me on Twitter and supporting me on Ko-Fi or Patreon. If you want to read more of my work, consider heading over to the Directory to browse by category.

All views expressed on Magic Planet Anime are solely my own opinions and conclusions and should not be taken to reflect the opinions of any other persons, groups, or organizations. All text, excepting direct quotations, is owned by Magic Planet Anime. Do not duplicate without permission. All images are owned by their original copyright holders.

7 thoughts on “Let’s Watch CALL OF THE NIGHT Episode 3 – A Lot Came Out

  1. Pingback: Call of the Night Episode 3 Review - Best In Show - Crow's World of Anime

  2. Pingback: 5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2022 Week 30 - Amezomovies

  3. Pingback: 5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2022 Week 30

  4. Pingback: 5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2022 Week 30 - Crow's World of Anime

  5. Ya know, for as convinced as Kou is about becoming a vampire, I do think you’re right in that his indecisiveness is something that will be tested. Yeah, he seems pretty sure of himself at the moment, but how much of that a fleeting feeling versus genuine passion. The “otherness” that the vampires are supposed to represent in this case I think is also kind of important. I saw people suggesting that Kou’s character could be some flavor of aromatic/asexual because of the bit at the beginning of not understanding his suitor’s romantic feelings. It would be interesting to get some more hints in that direction, but atm it feels a bit more general. Overall, though, really fun show and the direction is solid.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.