I think I understand what’s going on…
Kuro and Kuromitsu live so long that they reach the future, in which people use an excuse to launch nuclear missiles at each other, and 30% (only?) people get killed.
Then Nuclear winter happened for about 1 year and some (that’s it?), and the apocalypse stays.
It seems pretty clear that whatever ancient group that tried to kill Kuro in the show in Heian Era survived through time, and now they’re technically advanced and able to use techno demons to kill people, and of course, to hunt Kuro down.
The “Red Emperor” troops.
The side characters are quite interesting as the story goes on. The Japan at the time is seriously lawless and controlled by the descendants of the Omiyuji from Heian Era and somehow, Kuro survived their first hunt and he’s in the city called Asuka.
One of the oldest eras in Japan was called Asuka. I’m not Japanese and of course I failed to see the parallel. That being said, here are some things that are quite clear (at least to anime veterans):
– Kuro and Kuromitsu has lived many years together, drinking blood. But no matter how long they live, wars, conflicts, and ultimately the hell for the Japanese – Nuclear Holocaust – happens.
– Somehow modern weapons seem to put Kuromitsu out of her eternal life because she get shot, falls off a cliff and Kuro goes insane and forgets everything up to that point.
– The Omiyuji’s clan or organization survives at least 2000 years and they now rule Japan, or at least they are the only power left in Japan (and perhaps world wide)
Is this Highlander like? Well, not quite because the time shift in this show is quite dramatic and the plot progresses super fast (remember this only has 12 episodes).
I found the first episode the most artistic and graceful. From second episode on it became a little less artistic. By episode 3 it became rather not so artistic and more of a 80’s style sci-fi ala Fist of the North Star and other post apocalypse shows. But bear in mind I didn’t get any of the Japanese-specific reference. The animation is still super, but you know, it’s like a little slump after the bang. That’s natural however, as no studio can hit a home run every episode.
I don’t feel like naming the exceptions because that’s not fair.
Are you wondering how could I missed the first few minutes of intensity? Well, I didn’t.
It was really freakin’ intense as the Red Emperor troops started slaughtering for no reasons whatsoever. This is what T2’s beginning sequence could’ve looked like if they didn’t give a shit about movie ratings for the family (R, NC-17, and the like). The fear in those people’s eyes, the horror of senseless massacre, the tired old man who just let them do whatever they wanted…
As little as I know Japanese culture, a lot of Japanese Warring States drama showed similar things – senseless killings, women and children slaughtered, people just let it all happen.
I really wonder if this show isn’t something like a futuristic samurai show at heart.