Monthly Archives: April 2011

Dance in the Vampire Bund

Quick & Dirty

Language: Japanese

Initial Interest: Medium

Favorite Character: Akira

Opinion: Mixed

Synopsis

Mina Tepes, the Princess of the ancient covenant and ruler of all vampires, wants her race to stop hiding from the humans. Using her vast wealth, she has paid off Japan’s entire national debt and by doing so, gained the right to create a district off Japan’s coast that is to become the future haven to vampires worldwide. But when she finally attemps to make public the existence of vampires to the world some politicians, terrorists and rival factions are plotting to assassinate Mina before she has a chance to get Japan’s and International recognition for the Vampire Bund. Now she must rely on her strength, cruelty and those closest to her, while trying to make a normal life.

(Source: AnimeNewsNetwork)

Pre-Viewing Thoughts

Confession, I have a thing for vampires. I don’t know why exactly but I tend to enjoy vampire stories. Because of this the prospect of a vampire anime will generally pique my interest. However I must say that the plot on this sounds poorly thought out. Obviously money isn’t going to make the public accept vampires as legitimate citizens, even if it does buy them a space to live. Why a rich and powerful vampire would think this is a good idea is beyond me. It sounds more like bringing cattle to the slaughter than ekeing out a place in society, since all the humans who now know about vampires and are still their food would know exactly where a large group of them sleep. Still, either good writing or just synopsis error may lead to this being a good series so we’ll see what happens.

Favorite Character

This is another series where there aren’t many characters to choose from. As you can see there were only 5 that seemed worth putting in the lineup and of those 5 only two were a primary focus, those being Akira and Mina. Oddly I think the reason I like Akira best is that he’s mostly just a regular guy. He doesn’t want to kill or rule, he’s friendly and loyal…he’s a nice guy. I liked Mina well enough I suppose but her constant need to strip made her feel very awkward to me and by virtue of being a vampire she isn’t really the nicest character in the show. It made me not really like her that much.

Overall Opinion

What they did well: The story is interesting; part of me is extremely curious to know what will happen. I mostly like the artwork for the series as well. Also I really appreciated the pronunciation of the name Tepes. I read somewhere once that it was pronounced something like “Tsepesh” and that’s how it sounds when they say it here. I’m not sure anyone else particularly cares but it made me rather happy.

What they didn’t do well: I mentioned above that Mina has a tendency to strip and I wasn’t joking. After watching the opening theme in the second episode, which features Mina dancing practically naked for a reasonable portion, it occurred to me that Mina being a vampire that looks like a kid may well have been an excuse for loli porn. Interestingly enough they never show anything, even going as far as to significantly blur the wide shots. Still it’s enough to feel awkward and it certainly feels forced. I was also disappointed with the vampires themselves. These vampires, not unlike others before them transform into more monstrous creatures when they feel like it. I understand this decision, sometimes the wolf has to come out of sheep’s clothing to really become monstrous, but unlike most shows where they become hideous (Buffy) or where they become bat-like creatures (Dresden Files on SciFi) this show decided they should become different things. In the first episode we watch a vampire transform into a lumbering chameleon and in the second we see one transform into a spider-like creature. I didn’t really care for the concept in general and I really dislike that each transformation is different; personally I feel like vampires that change form should all change to the same general sort of form. I am also rapidly despising the love aspect of this anime. Mina seems to be obsessed with Akira and maybe loves him; Akira seems devoted to Mina and maybe loves her…but Mina is doing some things in order to establish the bund that she isn’t telling Akira because when he finds he will feel hurt and betrayed.

Overall I’m still on the fence on this one. It’s interesting but it feels like it’s going to head down a very dark road, the kind that I tend not to enjoy. The ruthless actions Mina is taking give me the same feeling as Gunslinger Girl, necessary from her viewpoint maybe but ultimately despicable. I’m going to reserve judgment until I’ve finished this one.

Next Official Review:  Guin Saga.

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Full Review: Baccano

And once more the full review without the 5 episode review because after 5 episodes, knowing that there were only 11 more, I decided to just keep going.

Quick & Dirty

Language: Japanese

Initial Interest: Medium

Favorite Character: Firo

Opinion: I’m not sure

Apologies for the bad images, Google failed.

Or you can go here and see if the video will play.

Synopsis

Each of the stories in the series involves several unrelated plots intersecting and crossing each other as events spiral farther and farther out of control. Immortal alchemists, mafia operated speakeasies, and many other elements of pulp fiction mashed together for a world straight out of the movies.

(Source: AnimeNewsNetwork)

 

Pre-Viewing Thoughts

First let me just say that the above has got to be one of the worst synopses I’ve ever read. Really it will only be excusable if the plot defies explanation. I’m not exactly sure how I feel going into this one. It doesn’t sound interesting but I’ve had enough people whose anime judgement I trust recommend it to make me curious. I also like the art style. Let’s begin.

 

Favorite Character

I picked Firo because he was a fun character over all. Also it helped that the only person he killed throughout the entire series completely deserved it, something that most of the characters can’t boast. He’s one of those characters that seems to get along well with everyone so he had to be pretty likeable I guess. I think he cemented his place as my favorite character when he got into a fight with Dallas and did all the fancy dodge and jump tricks with the hat.

 

Overall Opinion

I’m gonna say that this series was kind of gory at various points. I can’t really file that under either the did well or didn’t do well category because while I wasn’t crazy about the amount of gore, I also feel like it was a necessary result of the premise. The premise, by the way, is that a bunch of New York gangsters in the 1930’s somehow became immortal and how they did it and some extra stuff on a train. The timeline was presented in a kind of mixed up order which was both genius and obnoxious at the same time. More than once I had to walk myself through the appropriate order of things before I could understand what was going on and yet I think that it might not have been as powerful if they hadn’t thrown it in the mixer first.

What they did well: The story was really interesting. I found myself curious about various aspects of the story and how this character came to that and what happened after this event. There were a lot of characters but they made all of them unique and interesting and did a good job of getting their names across (putting name cards in the opening theme may have helped).

What they didn’t do well: They had a lot of characters for a 16 episode series which means that a lot of them didn’t get a lot of development and/or screen time. Also, while the characters were interesting within the context of the story I didn’t find most of them likeable. Pretty much all of them were murderers and criminals and generally not really very nice people. The two who were the dumbest criminals to never get caught were mostly decent people but they were so stupid that I couldn’t decide if I liked them.

 

Overall I just have no idea what to say about this series. I think I liked it but I just can’t say for certain. If you don’t like gore don’t watch it, otherwise I’d say give it a shot. You’ll know pretty quick whether you want to watch the whole thing or not, but whether you’ll know if you liked it at the end is another question.

 

 

Next Official Review: Dance In The Vampire Bund

 

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