- Titles: Song of the Night Walkers, Night Owl Song
- Genre: Supernatural, romance, slice of life, comedy
- Episodes: 13
- Studio: LIDENFILMS
Kou Yamori is just a boy. An average normal boy. He has decent grades and a few friends. He’s a little gloomy and introverted but hey, that’s just how teenagers are, isn’t it? And he lives a perfectly normal life. He goes to school, comes home, and talks to people in class. And he’s bored. But not just bored like normal people are, he is so terribly bored, he can’t quite find the energy to be normal and do normal things at all anymore. He doesn’t understand love, he hardly understands friendship anymore and he doesn’t really know what he should be getting out of bed for. All he knows is that wandering around at night is a little more interesting. And then he meets Nazuna Nanakusa and suddenly things get very interesting indeed!
I have an odd history with Call of the Night. I remember when the translated manga first came out and I was going to get it just based on the cover. I still really like the covers of the Call of the Night manga. They draw my eye every time. But a few blogs had some less than glowing reviews and as I am trying to not be as frivolous with my manga purchases, I decided to skip it. Those covers still kept calling to me though and when I saw an anime was coming out, I figured it was my chance to see what it was all about without any of the waste!
I love the Call of the Night production. I just do. The colours are spectacular, especially the background colours. If you pay attention, you will see that they have themes. I don’t need to go on about it, the screencaps will give you a much better idea. The character designs, like all designs really, are up to personal taste but I loved them and they are a little unusual. Downward drooping eyes are one of the more uncommon eye shapes in anime and I think it made for some striking faces. The animation is smooth and the few really high actions scenes that take place are very high impact.
And finally, something I rarely talk about, except when Fire Force is airing, the framing and visual composition of scenes are simply wonderful. I can count on one hand the number of anime that have deeply impressed me with their composition and Call of the Night is one of them. Nazuna slowly evolving apartment was probably my favourite example. That red sofa is just brilliant.
But it was present everywhere. Camera angles change all the time and are carefully chosen. Little bits of scenery peak out in the forefront while others flank backgrounds to create perfect curated matboards for the characters to exist in.
It’s a really great-looking show and I know a lot of people don’t care as much about that but if you do, that alone is reason enough to give Call of the Night a watch.
Story & Characters
If you haven’t read my Countdown to Halloween post, you may not know that I am concentrating on Boy meets “Monster” anime this year. Stories of Love soaked in blood and horror…kinda. Horror is a bit of a stretch, especially for Call of the Night. If anything I would call this show a romantic slice of life with vampires in it.
And as I write this, the only thing I can say for sure is that Call of the Night was an utterly perplexing experience for me.
You see, I watched Call of the Night as it was airing. And I regularly forgot about it. I didn’t forget that it aired on Thursday evenings and ended up watching an episode a few days late or anything like that. I forgot the show existed at all. Someone would mention it and all of a sudden it was like I was recovering suppressed memories and realized oh yeah, there is an anime like that. And then next week the same thing would happen all over again. You know how in certain vampire mythos they hypnotize you so you forget you ever saw them, I think that’s what was happening to me. Although that particular trope doesn’t exist in Call of the Night.
But for all that, I also enjoyed every episode. Some were more fun than others of course but I can’t remember a single episode I would call boring or particularly weak. I had fun watching all of them. And I danced to the ED every time. Actually the OP as well. I thought the characters were pleasant enough if a bit underdeveloped. I will admit I might have preferred their designs to their characterization but that’s only because I really liked all the designs. And every time I did remember the show existed I looked forward to watching it. And then forgetting all about it again.
And now that the season is over, I’m in a bit of the same limbo. If they announce another season, I will watch it happily. I will look forward to it and I’ll take a ton of screencaps. But if they don’t, that’s absolutely fine. I will probably forget I ever watched the show in the first place.
It’s an odd place to be, this hazy in-between.
I think one of the reasons the show failed to make a long-lasting impression on me is that although I really like a lot of the ideas in Call of the Night, it is a very meandering show and it doesn’t develop them much at all.
For instance, one of the core concepts in the series is that in this universe, to become a vampire you must first fall in love with a vampire and then have that vampire suck your blood. Already, I love that variation of the vampire mythos. I think it’s fantastic, it takes care of that nasty little problem vampire stories always have about why the world isn’t overrun with vampires by now and it adds a lot of potential depth to the stories.
So main character Kou decided he wants to become a vampire. It’s not said outright but it seems like he’s actually struggling with depression and the appeal of becoming something new and starting over with this brand-new life seems like a form of salvation to him. But to do so, he needs to fall in love. And not just in general, he needs to fall for a specific person. He has no idea how to do that, and honestly, I’m not sure I would either. So he just tries to get to know her.
And this is also a great new twist on the romantic comedy genre. It’s a will they won’t they from a completely different angle. Both of them want to fall in love but they’re not. There is so much potential here to explore exactly how romantic relationships develop and how fiction and media might have skewed our perception of what those are in the first place.
But Call of the Night doesn’t pry too deeply into anything. It just flows along. So you get those wonderful ideas and all the implications, you have some of the themes and questions crop up and then the show just sort of stays there.
Like I said, it’s pleasant enough. The actual narrative is nice to drift along with. But it never got poignant or fascinating to really hook me. It stayed at nice.
This said, I still found it entirely worthwhile and for me, the production made up for any weaknesses of the plot. And if you have to watch every vampire anime out there, like I do apparently, then Call of the Night is not a bad place to start.
A little lovers treat for Halloween!
You might like this anime if:
I think you probably will like it, why wouldn’t you?
My favourite character:
Mahiru Seki – I wish they gave him a proper arc
- Every time Nazuna uses outdated language – take a sip
- Every time Nazuna blushes – awwwww
- Every time there’s a forced perspective – cool
- Every time anyone’s drunk – drink responsibly
- Every time there’s a double entendre – take a sip
- Every time Kou shares a bed with anyone – take a sip
- Every time anyone plays video games – take a sip
- Every time a vampire has no reflection – take a sip
- Every time Kou’s heart is beating – check your pulse
- Every time anyone gets called a perv – oh my!
- Every time Nazuna takes someone flying – take a sip and wish it was you
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.