The previous episode of Dance in the Vampire Bund closed with one of those moments of abject stupidity which only ever seems possible in a fictional medium, with those who had chosen to fight against the vampires within their school opening up the doors to the church they were holed up in after specifically being told not to open those very same doors to anyone.
Needless to say, this decision doesn't really work out too well for those inside, and as we rejoin that particular scenario we find all and sundry attacked and turned into vampires, with only Sister Laura and Yuki left to enjoy that "pleasure". While this is going on, we also see exactly what Akira is up to, as he stocks up on weapons for his (now not so) merry band, before being confronted by both his own father and a Marquis named Alphonse who he last met just after the "accident" that wiped his memory... although in all honesty I was rather expecting this Marquis to start trying to sell Akira some Russian sushi.
Once all pieces are in place, and with Mina Tepes getting ready to play her part, we reach a pretty action-packed second half to the episode which also does much to reveal why some vampires have been following a very different path from those who have been following Mina Tepes - A much needed explanation, truth be told. Even when this rebellion is quashed with relative ease, there's still plenty of unfinished business between Mina and Akira, business which Yuki has to witness first-hand....
Speaking of unfinished, this is another one of those classic SHAFT unfinished episodes, with red or black screens, still shots and other oddities shouting from the rafters that they simply ran out of time to finish animated this particular instalment. Unfortunately, this does mean that we actually miss what should have been a lot of the best and most important visual moments of the episode, although somehow even despite all of this it still proves to be easily the best instalment of Dance in the Vampire Bund thus far. At last, a lot of the key tenets of the series are explained (while still leaving enough questions unanswered to keep the rest of the show entertaining hopefully), some important issues are resolved, and you're left with a sense of satisfaction that everything which went before wasn't a complete waste of time after all. While it's hard to really judge this episode completely given the fact that... well, it isn't complete, for the first time I actually found myself taking more of an interest in the stories it was trying to tell, and that can only be a good thing. I just hope this will in turn make for a more entertaining second half of the series, although it seems we'll have to live with a recap episode to give SHAFT some catch-up time before we enter that.