There is a kind of peace you can only find in the quiet of a sleeping city, something which Call of the Night episode 1 perfectly captures. A lot of vampire stories have come and gone, but this anime suddenly feels like a breath of fresh midnight air with its empathic dialogues and lo-fi/hip-hop-like music which I personally enjoyed. The fact that the premiere did not hold back with its mesmerizing visuals and snappy shots made the “night” experience so pleasing that when our vampire girl finally bared her fangs on the protagonist, I got bummed thinking the anime might shift into a romantic direction – but I was wrong. You see, there’s a charm in not knowing how the night would turn out, and Call of the Night played that so well by consistently keeping its aesthetic. It’s rare to find an anime that sits so calmly and mysteriously, charming even… especially with its comedic timing. Much more when I found out that Tomoyuki Itamura (Monogatari, The Case Study of Vanitas) is directing it! Honestly, it’s a fantastic first episode, and it is easily a season favorite.
Call of the Night episode 1 follows the story of Ko, a 14-year-old boy, escaping teenage drama by going out into the city during the night. Vampires are often those horror or sensual fantasies one dreams of, but the unique part about this anime is how it portrays the solitude of the night first and the vampire romance after. The detached moments where it feels like the rest of the world is gone, are brought to life with these amazing backgrounds and vibrant colors. I am constantly in awe of this atmosphere, along with Ko’s “freedom” of the night. These elements are wonderful and are certainly something a night person would really appreciate.
Nazuna, the vampire, is responsible for pulling the introverted Ko out of his shell. She tells him things like “releasing inhibitions” or “staying up late until you’re satisfied with the day.” Nazuna is cute and spicy, plus the fact that certain quick shots in the episode emphasize her features. (Like, really.) Again, the anime sticks with its whimsical night aesthetic, making Nazuna’s character feel so beautiful and extraordinary. She’s also easily relatable with her awkwardness and goofiness!
In the end, the relationship that Ko and Nazuna have, (whatever it is or will be) is an endearing one. Aside from basking in the quiet nightlife – the not-busy streets, bright lights, cold air, and the starry sky – there’s also that slow moment of peace that feels real and raw. Maybe that’s the reason why Nazuna and Ko have that special emotional bond. The age gap and the brief sexual innuendos are a bit worrisome though, but I’m impressed by how the script easily explains and handles the supernatural situation. I love a show without useless filler drama, so I appreciate that a lot. Even though it’s unclear right now why Ko wants to be a vampire (if he really wants to convert or prove he can fall in love), one thing is for sure – this isn’t your ordinary vampire story.
All in all, Call of the Night episode 1 is a very interesting premiere. The visuals and writing are amazing, not to mention the audio experience too! (I strongly recommend watching with earphones.) This anime especially feels like a love letter for the night lovers and owls. While it dabbles on themes of insomnia, loneliness, and emotional/social problems, it also explores the feeling of letting go and living free. It’s a comforting experience just watching this, and I’m excited to see how the story will unfold soon.
The theme songs are also really fun. If you didn’t know, the Call of the Night manga was actually inspired by a song of the same name from the band, Creepy Nuts. They’ve gone full circle now that they’ve also performed the anime’s opening theme!
The next episode will release on July 14, at 12:55 PM while the English subbed version will follow an hour later on HiDive. This timeslot, if you ask me, is just so perfectly fitting for the anime. Don’t forget to vote in our weekly polls!
Images via Netflix
© 2022 Kotoyama, Shogakukan / “Call of the Night” Production Committee