When I first saw this Anime, I thought “Dance” then I thought “Vampire” then I came to “Dancing vampire?” Much to say, this Anime was very, well, interesting to say the least. As many of you guys know, I will sit down and watch an Anime through without dropping it back I don’t like dropping Anime, even if they were outright terrible.
Being the trooper though, I managed to pull through and was able to watch this Anime all the way, and well here is the results of me sitting through 288 minutes roughly 5 hours of watching.
On live television, Mina Tepes, the ruler of all vampires, reveals the existence of her species to the world and states her plan to build a sanctuary in Japan for vampires, called the Vampire Bund. Using her family’s wealth to pay off the nation’s debt, they have agreed to let her build this safe-haven for her fellow creatures of the night. But not everyone is so easily swayed by Mina’s influence, as her announcement brings about conflict with humans who believe that the queen’s quest for peace is a façade.
Akira Kaburagi does not believe in vampires and gets uneasy whenever they are brought up, although he has yet to realize why. Apart from suffering a head injury a year ago, he lives on blissfully until he meets Mina. She triggers within him memories of a life he had long forgotten, and he soon begins protecting her without understanding why. But Akira’s secret is far stranger than he could have ever thought possible—he discovers that he is a werewolf, sworn from birth to protect the vampire queen, even if it costs him his life. Now, as these two dance a rondo of death in the Vampire Bund, Mina and Akira find out just how deep their bond goes.
Imagine if you will, the most painfully generic and dreadful story you can think of. Take what’s chic. Vampires, right? Yeah, I mean, everybody loved Twilight, right? They’ll like it even more now! Since you know, vampire shows haven’t been beaten to death since the 1931 film version of Dracula. The vampire, in this story, is Mina Tepes, the descendant of Vlad the Impaler we can only presume.
Since you know, he was definitely a vampire, because that’s what Dracula says. This time around though, the poor little vampires just want to be peacefully accepted into society. Two things come to mind when I hear this, the first being Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” (1818), where a “monster” tries to integrate itself into society and is nonetheless feared and shunned by everybody. The second is the anime Vampire Knight, where vampires and humans already co-exist to a small degree in a school setting, where the ‘Day class’ is occupied by humans and the ‘Night class’ by vampires.
It goes further to hit every cliche in the arsenal, where the vampire chooses to attend school with her servant, who also happens to be a werewolf, the very school she, of course, has rule over, and the defiant student council wants to fight back for the school they most certainly love. Perhaps this wasn’t meant to be an original story. For the rest of the review, therefore, I will look at it as a re-telling of all the old legends of vampires and stuff like that. The story itself though gets a 3 for lack of original content.
Shaft has always had a unique style of animation. That’s what makes me a fan. Being a fan I’ve seen many of their other works. Having seen many of their other works, I recognize re-used animations and stills, re-coloured to fit the characters in the current show. Clearly not their best effort. The animation itself, however, is fairly decent, smooth, and with consistent characters and interesting angles. On the contrary, it’s not as stylized as other Shaft works, such as Bakemonogatari or Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, which means it does tend to just look a little generic compared to their other works. Also, there is no actual animation in the ending theme.
The opening and ending themes are good. Everything else is generic, or even inappropriate. Comical sound effects mixed in with serious conversations set you off, and in my opinion, all the important voice actors have done better work in other shows.
Here’s one of the biggest disappointments of this show. Where they could have gone with creative, decent characters, there’s just an eyesore lacklustre display of crashing waves of mediocrity. The main character (at least, I think she is?) Mina Tepes, is basically some sick combination of Remilia and Flandre Scarlet, as well as Nagi Sanzenin but without the nerdy side. An oppressive, static loli vampire queen. She shows two sides – the dominating, quick-witted personality you would expect from any major boss in a shonen show, and the slightly irritable yet teasing-playful unavoidable Tsundere archetype. Not exactly something to go into the record books.
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