Anime of Tomorrow
Fortune Arterial – Akai Yakusoku (review)
Final impression – atmospheric and smooth (7/10)
Autumn 2010 (12 episodes) (title literal translation – Fortune Arterial – Red Promise)
Kouhei was always transferring schools throughout his childhood as his family moved from place to place. But now that he’s a high school student and he’s been accepted to a prestigious private school, he’s decided to make some real, lasting friendships for the first time in his life. But now that he’s made up his mind to finally enjoy his youth without worrying about having to leave it all behind again, he discovers that Erika, the beautiful student council vice president, is actually a vampire. Her older brother, who happens to be the president, gives him an ultimatum. He can either join the student council so they can make sure he doesn’t divulge any secrets, or Erika will erase his memories—ruining any chance he might have of recollecting his past relationships with the other students at his school.
The splendid symphony of Lia’s music for the opening and ending themes is the most wonderful aspect of Fortune Arterial. Also, the story is deeper and twistier than most anime based on h-games. Overall it gives me the impression of a Twilight rewrite with gender roles reversed and no werewolves or pretty boys—making it a version of Twilight with a male audience in mind and fewer plot devices stolen from Underworld. However, for as much good as it does to fix the vampire-romance subgenre, Fortune Arterial’s greatest failing is how poorly it treats its side characters. Those girls not important for the main plot get about one badly written episode if they’re lucky enough to not have any siblings. Basically, it just sticks with the main girl all the way, which provides a steady pace for some good character development. The ending is a bit wishy-washy, but impactful enough to not detract from the overall story. And while this anime ultimately falls short of excellence, it is still very respectable.