" 'Donít you have a hunger that needs to be satisfied?' Try and tell me that doesnít sound like a bad come on. "
Title: Vampire Princess Miyu, Initiation (vol. 1) and Haunting (vol. 2), distributed by TokyoPop
Reviewing Monkey: Chimpan-A
The Hype: One of our favorite gothic anime characters in a TV series. Miyu, Vampire Princess, hunts wayward shinma who've escaped from the darkness. As Lava, her faithful protector asked, "Don't you have a hunger, that needs to be satisfied?"
What This Monkey Thought...
Animation: The animation is pretty good. Everything looks fairly crisp, and stays together nicely. Miyu looks the part of Vampire Princess, with big dead looking eyes. The whole world is painted a little darkly, which fits as well. There are some cool looking characters in here. Lava has a great profile, with his large flowing robes. There are also cool looking evil shinma to be destroyed, such as a cloth monster, and the ever-popular giant lizard beast. 3.5 out of 5
Action: Depending on who's doing the action, it fluctuates from pretty good to pretty lame. Miyu, despite being the title character has some of the lamest powers. She gets a flame. That's it. Not even a big flame. I suppose you could count changing into a short skirt instantly as a power, but I wouldnít. Lava, on the other hand is a bad ass in a mask with a gigantic scythe. Full props to people who fight with scythes. There's a new monster for every episode, one that's announced in splashy Japanese (a lot like Ultra-man). Some of these guys have some cool attacks, and there's some very neat action that ensues from the battles. Good stuff to be had. 4 out of 5
Story: The basic concept is that Miyu (the aforementioned vampire princess) has been taken from the darkness (a dimension of monsters, filled withÖ darkness) and appointed as one of the guardians of the earth. Her job is to hunt down the evil demons (called Shinma) that escape from the darkness to terrify the poor people of our little green planet. At her side is Larva, an older shinma who used to be her enemy, but is now her protector (go fig). Incidentally, Miyu is pretty old herself, but is trapped in the body of an adolescent. Sheís also joined by the cute beast. Ah, the cute beast, who is anything but cute. With one gigantic blood shot yellowed eye (excuse me while I stop shivering). Anyway, every episode features Miyu discovering some brand new Shinma causing trouble for the people of earth, and then vanquishing the shinma. This, she does just fine. You need anything else done? Too bad for you, Miyu canít do crap. Time and again, innocent bystanders are caught up in the web of evil shinma doings. Time and again you say, "Miyu will save them, sheís the hero!" Time and again, you are bitch slapped with an ending where no one is saved. I suppose itís fitting, but itís so dour. Here we are used to our happy endings, and we get these endings where cool characters die after one episode, and innocent bystanders are cursed to meaningless existenceÖ Oh well, I guess thatís what Gothic is all about. 3.5 out of 5
Music: The music for the series is pretty good. For the most part the music is as dour and dark as the series is. The music never gets too happy, even in the happier scenes. A lot of the music is sort of wistful and old world. Even during most action scenes youíre not hearing a lot of modern type music. The music isnít anything to blow you away, make you stand up and cheer, but itís a good setting piece, and fits in quite well with the mood of the show. 4 out of 5
Translation: The mouth work is quite good, with rare mish mashing of lip synch. I didnít really notice many awkwardly phrased sentences. The most obvious was the question posed at the head of this review "Donít you have a hunger that needs to be satisfied?" Try and tell me that doesnít sound like a bad come on. There are some weird inconsistencies in Lavaís name. Depending on where you look itís spelled both Lava and Larva, but at least not on the same box. And donít get me started on translating it out as "The Cute Beast"Ö The translation does lose some points for having written notes and other things bearing kanji used by the characters, and not translating for us. While some of us love anime, some of us still donít know Japanese, dammit. 3 out of 5
Rewatchability: Are you in way too good a mood? Feeling like the world is a happy, flowery, man loving his brother, place? Then watch this series a couple of times. Itíll get you in a nice dour Goth boy or girl mood. If youíre already there, watch it anyway, itíll help you reaffirm. Honestly, the series isnít bad, and itís got some definite high points to it. Youíll just have to be in the right mood for it. 3.5 out of 5
|Okay, the show is actually pretty good. Itís a fairly good offering for Vampire Princess Miyu fans. If youíre looking for a happy ending, go elsewhere, quickly. Miyu will only build up your hopes and then dash them on the ground. Still, if youíre a fan, go see Ďem, theyíre worth a look see.|
The Good: Good animation, decent story and adventures.
The Bad: Depressing endings.
The Overall Ugly: Shina, the cute beast. I mean seriously, that freaking eye is huge!
What it's Worth: 20 bucks.