Alternative title(s): Yofukashi no Uta
Manga Adaptation by Liden Films
Streaming on HIDIVE
Unable to sleep, a boy named Ko sneaks out to experience life on the streets at night. Just as he’s starting to enjoy it, he encounters a mysterious woman named Nazuna who is actually a vampire. Ko wants to become a vampire himself, but the process is not as simple as a bite on the neck.
Jel’s verdict: Sleeper
I was only interested in this because it’s by the same author as Dagashi Kashi, a series about a boy who becomes fascinated with an eccentric, purple-haired girl that looks stoned all the time and is obsessed with candy. Call of the Night seems to be about a boy who becomes fascinated with an eccentric, purple-haired girl that looks stoned all the time and is obsessed with drinking blood. Despite those similarities, Call of the Night is a very different entity, which is both and good and bad.
Call of the Night replaces Dagashi Kashi’s lazy summer, small town vibes with the allure of city night life. In fact, the real star of this episode is not the characters, but night itself. Almost every scene takes place after dark, with backgrounds covered in purple and black and the occasional burst of gold from a street lamp or vending machine. It’s a visually striking presentation that tries to recreate the magical, indescribable exhilaration of being out after the rest of the world is sleeping. That feeling is a major part of everything that Call of the Night does, including several monologues about it throughout the episode. As a night owl myself, I was very into this.
I also think there’s some good story and comedy potential, with the setup of a young boy having his world view expanded by an older woman… and that’s when we get to the problematic elements that need to be addressed if you’re going to enjoy this. The most obvious is this presumably immortal, adult (she loves drinking beer!) woman creepin’ on a 14 year old boy. Granted, she explicitly states she has no romantic interest in him, but come on, we all know where this is going. Even if they never say she has feelings for him or whatever, the sexual implications in their interactions are off the charts.
Then we get to Ko himself. At the root of his insomnia are his troubles at school, particularly a girl that confessed to him that he turned down. He talks a lot about how he doesn’t understand love and isn’t interested in dating, which is perfectly fine. But there’s a weird moment later in the episode where they replay a scene from his perspective and he’s literally just like, “I hate women”. It’s best to watch the episode yourself for the full context, but it feels strangely condescending, even misogynistic. I suspect we will get further explanation on why he doesn’t like women, but I also suspect it will be some kind of weak excuse to justify his bad attitude. I already felt indifferent on him, this made me not like him.
With all these elements in play, I still think there is a very small tightrope that Call of the Night could walk to make it work. Maybe this will end up being everyone’s problematic fave of the season. It certainly has enough style and charm to keep me on the hook for another episode, we’ll have to see if that’s enough to outweigh my other issues with it.