Sunday, May 2, 2010

Review: Dance in the Vampire Bund (2010)

Dance in the Vampire Bund is a vampire romance anime that takes place in contemporary Japan. It contains 12 episodes.

Vampires, who have lived for centuries in the shadows, have reemerged into the human world. Mina Tepes, the princess ruler of all vampires, establishes a bund (an enclosed special district) with the financial help of the Japanese government where all vampires worldwide can live normal and peaceful lives. Although she looks prepubsecent, she has a cocky and assertive attitude and cares for the welfare of her species. She reveals to the world through the media the existence of vampires and wants both races to co-exist peacefully. Meanwhile, she searches for her guardian and lover who lives somewhere in Japan.

Akira, a high school student, suffered amnesia and has no recollection of his roots. He is kind, gentle, and very protective of his friends and loved ones. He later learns that he is a werewolf by birth who has undergone extensive training to become the guardian of the vampire princess. Throughout the story, he protects Mina from various enemies and later falls in love with her. Before Mina and Akira can reunite, several high school students have disappeared and reemerged as converted vampires. Conservative human and vampire extremists are also planning to assassinate her. She must also engage in a battle of roulette to save the lives of those dear to her.

My final exams are over, and I have just completed my first year in graduate school. I have a four-month break where I can just relax and focus on this blog. I know I somewhat abandoned it this year because my school work kept me extremely busy. Imagine being inundated with endless papers and weekly deadlines! The good news is I have purchased new novels and gradually added new anime over the months. Anyways, back to the review...

I finished this show last month, and I really enjoyed it. It had a lot of humor and action. Vampires and werewolves joined together to fight the vampire extremists. As usual, the extremists treated humans as guinea pigs and preferred living in isolation. Mina was also a complex character because she looks defiant on the outside but can appear weak when she is alone. She is also stronger than she looks because she is one of the few remaining true vampires -- very powerful. I am not sure if Akira truly loves her -- his love is more platonic because he vows to protect her.

My only disappointment is that I wish this show ran longer than 12 episodes. I never got a feel for the characters' personalities nor learn their background histories. The storyline seemed rushed. Lately, I noticed a lot of anime with fewer episodes in a series -- is this a trend related to the economic recession and lower budgets? I am not entirely sure, but I hope the production companies resume anime shows with 24+ episodes. Overall, I recommend the show!

This series is not available to buy or rent on DVD. Check back for more updates!

Opening song: "Friends" by Aiko Nakano

Ending song: "Tsumeato" by Hibuku

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