The following contains spoilers for Season 1 of Call of the Night, now streaming on HIDIVE.
Call of the Night is a Summer 2022 anime that just aired its final episode, and while it never fully explained the lore of its vampire race, protagonist Yamori Ko and viewers alike still learned what they needed to know. There are many mysteries about this bloodsucking race that not even the vampires themselves understand.
Unlike other fantasy works such as the Underworld movies or Dungeons & Dragons, the Call of the Night anime nerfs its vampires by taking the glamour out of their lifestyle and deliberately leaving gaps in their lore. Hatsuka the vampire said as much to Ko in Episode 13, and this actually humanizes the vampire race. Humans don’t fully understand themselves either, after all.
The Deconstruction of Vampires in Call of the Night
A remarkable variety of anime and manga franchises deconstruct time-tested ideas to show how faulty or outdated certain storytelling ideas or character archetypes are. In the 1990s, Neon Genesis Evangelion deconstructed the giant robot genre, for example, while One-Punch Man is a deceptively dark satire and deconstruction of the superhero genre. Meanwhile, Call of the Night is primarily a heartfelt rom-com, and its deconstruction is only a secondary plot rather than the main purpose. Even so, the series is unexpectedly clever about picking apart the seemingly glamorous, eternal life of a vampire. Strahd von Zarovich didn’t like being a vampire in the Curse of Strahd campaign, and Nazuna and her coven friends don’t like it either.
Call of the Night repeatedly made it clear that Nazuna’s immortal life is actually boring and frustrating, not exciting. As her empty apartment suggested early on, she gained very little by becoming a vampire. What is more, Nazuna and her friend Hatsuka can’t even explain the inner workings of vampires, since these creatures don’t understand their own race. As Hatsuka put it, humans can’t fully comprehend their own psychology or nature, and the same applies to vampires.
This is a humble approach to the vampire race in an unexpected but thought-provoking way, with the vampiric condition being beyond everyone’s comprehension. These are not proud predators who view themselves as a superior race; they’re just beings trying to figure out their own lives and deal with their mysterious nature, just like humans. Ultimately, vampires are at the mercy of nature — or the supernatural — without the benefit of self-comprehension. This holds them back from their true potential, whatever it may be.
How Nazuna’s Nerfed Vampire Life Made Her More Lovable
This is an intriguing bit of worldbuilding in Call of the Night, and it definitely makes vampires more relatable for Ko as well as the anime’s viewers. No one will ever fully understand their own nature as a human being, and these vampires can say the same. They’re at the mercy of nature, and that makes them much more approachable. Nazuna isn’t the queen of the night; she is just a lonely creature trying to find her way, and that’s why she and Ko got together in Episode 13 to conclude the season.
In the season finale, Ko and Nazuna both realized that the night was empty and boring simply because they had been alone up to this point. An aristocratic vampire would enjoy being alone and fully understand their own nature, and thus they’d be invincible — but not Nazuna. This vampire is highly relatable and approachable on many levels, including not fully understanding and exploiting her own nature. She and Ko are in the same boat so to speak, and both just needed a friend to make the night life worth living.
Ko didn’t become a vampire in Episode 13, and doing so evidently wouldn’t have helped him understand himself better or even gain a new perspective on the world. Instead, he and Nazuna are just two lost people who need the power of friendship, and they found just that in the end. They can’t fully understand themselves, but they can at least understand their mutual need for one another. In that regard, Call of the Night‘s leads learned everything they needed to know.