Lord of Vermilion is an exciting addition to the 2018 Fall anime lineup. The story based on a video game follows Chihiro Kamina (Yuuki Kaji), a 19 year old university student who collapses one day, having heard a strange sound which also knocks everyone in the city out into a coma. 5 months later, Chihiro wakes up to discover that the city has been covered by a weird red fog with mysterious plants growing out of it. After his adoptive father turns into a monster, Chihiro discovers that he has a mysterious power – that of the Heroic Bloodline, which allows a user to create blood armaments which are powered by the user’s blood. From there, Chihiro gets involved in more weird incidents surrounding the Malthus Church and the Aval Science Research Institute which he tries to resolve with his friend and adoptive brother, Kotetsu Dōmyōji (Satoshi Hino).
Lord of Vermilion is definitely one of the series that will be either a hit or miss with viewers. While it is enjoyable, does have an amazing opening by May’n, nice visuals and a really nice soundtrack, it has just as many negatives as there are positives. With 13 episodes, the main downside to this series is that it has too many characters crammed into its plot, which causes the characterizations to suffer as a result. One of the main characters who suffers from this flaw is Julia Ichijō (Yui Horie) and Suruga Jūmonji (Akira Ishida), two elite members of the Guardian Faction who get barely any background exposition at all (even though they look like really cool characters) and are only in it for maybe a couple of scenes at most, though to be fair, the plot mainly focuses on Chihiro’s faction. Shōko Hanashima (Ai Kayano) who is a nun for the Malthus Church and one of Chihiro’s allies is also one of the characters who gets presented terribly as a result of the bad writing. While her overall personality is rather annoying to say the least, the writers don’t really get the chance to explain why she is this way and the way she is written off is so quick and painless, it leaves the viewer with the impression that while they are happy that she is gone, they would’ve preferred to have seen her gone down the dark route first before she met her end. Honestly, it could’ve done better as a 26 episode series to explore the character’s motivations more.
Pacing is also another issue, as by the end of the series, the ending comes off as rushed and slightly cheesy, despite having a cool opening scene where everyone was fighting each other. However, one of the better done aspects of this series is the relationship between Chihiro Kamina and Yuri Shiraki (Misato Fukuen (our Romeo and Juliet of the series)). While the relationship is presented as slow and has no kissing, the pacing and the relationship building scenes are presented as nice and relaxing to show how they are at peace when they are together.
Overall, Lord of Vermilion is a rather nice series. While it does have some complicated problems, if you are just in it for the actions scenes then you will probably like it, like I did.