Quick & Dirty
Initial Interest: Medium
Favorite Character: Akira
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.
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.
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.
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.