Dance in the Vampire Bund

Studio: SHAFT    Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy/Romance
Aired: Winter 2010    Length: 12 Episodes
Weeaboo Average Score: N/A  (0 ratings)

Dance in the Vampire Bund - Preview

"I still don't know what this show is about"

Posted by: Crim @ 2010-03-13 07:35:26

It's quite an impressive talent, being able to take an idea, apply a Japanese spin to it and then come up with something quite different as the sum of all parts. In Japan's case however it's often much like playing Russian roulette, there's a chance you come up with something really good but more often than not you end up with one of the empty chambers. I'm not quite sure yet where Dance in the Vampire Bund falls, which is generally not a good start for a show especially when I've already seen half of it.

Vampires have existed for thousands of years living in the shadows of mankind biding their time for the moment when they could announce their existence to the world and establish the sovereign vampire kingdom. The moment has finally come for the queen of the vampires, Mina Tepes, to set her decades in the works plan into motion and secure a home for the Vampire Bund where they will finally be free of all antagonizing elements. Not everyone humans and non-humans alike however are willing to just accept that vampire are real and give in to their sudden demands for sovereignty over a city-state located in the heart of Tokyo, Reclaimed Land Zero a man (but really vampire) made island in the middle of Tokyo bay.

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Dance in the Vampire Bund focuses on one Akira Kaburagi (who suffers from amnesia, how typical) and his strange relationship with the young (but not really) loli (because Japan can't accept that someone who lives to be a thousand will ever age a day past 12) vampire princess Mina Tepes. Mina's announcement sets in motion several plots to kill her before she has the ability to fully announce the existence of vampire and establish the kingdom. As it turns out, Akira is a werewolf (descendant of the ancient knights of vampires) who was born to serve the royal vampire family who must now cope with the fact that the life he had been living with the humans is nothing more than a lie. Of course being an outsider to the world of vampires he's not quite sure if he fits in with vampires either, even though Mina seems to be a childhood friend of his who may or may not have the hots for him (tsundere). No anime is complete without a love triangle however so of course he also has a "friends forever" moe on the human side that also would like to jump his bones but now has to deal with the fact that he's not human and her rival in love is an unfathomably rich princess that essentially owns Akira. Japan sure has some fucked up relationships. The love triangle is only exacerbated when Mina transfers into the school Akira and Yuki (friend moe) attend and turns out to be the owner of it as well.

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Vampire Bund is being done by SHAFT, which as of late isnít necessarily something that bodes immediate confidence (yes I'm looking at you Bakemonogatari), so far however they seem to not be half-assing it so lets hope that keeps up. The animation is fine when they're not doing :SHAFT: things with a scene, you'll know what I mean if you're familiar with SHAFT's work, they tend to do a lot of odd artistic approaches to their shows that rarely add anything to the show and often end up really messing with your eyes. The character designs are pretty typical, everyone in the show with the exception of Mina is pretty (overly) well endowed and there's every stereotypical male in the school as well. The OP ["Friends (フレンズ)" by Aiko Nakano] and ED ["Tsumeato (爪痕)" by hibiku] (animation aside, I'll get to that in a minute) are pretty enjoyable rock pieces that I've added to my collection and been listening to while writing this.

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I want to like Dance in the Vampire Bund, it has a lot of good pieces going for it but Japan has a way of making the whole package hard to swallow because of some rather less than appetizing filler ingredients.

The biggest problem with Dance in the Vampire Bund is the fact that it has no sense of urgency, it spends the first three episodes on shit that has absolutely nothing to do with the storyline which is fine except when a series is only 12 episodes long. I'm all for background story development but not so much in a shorter series and not the entire first quarter of a series, I knew what this show was supposed to be about but it was pissing me off that the episodes didnít have a damn thing to do with the plot. Once it actually got to the meat of the story (Ep4) it was quite enjoyable.

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The second problem with the show is that Mina looks like she's 10 and is quite the cock tease. I read the news that Funimation was taking it upon themselves to censor the show for its US web broadcasts and any other form of US distributions, which at first annoyed me but this was before I actually saw the show. I see the problem now, Mina's basically naked every fucking chance she gets, the entire OP is basically her dancing around with as little possible covering her up so they wouldnít have to make two different Ops and the ED is a "classy" still image of her in some pretty revealing lingerie.

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Here's an IRC excerpt on the subject;

Crim: does she really have to be naked
Shere: Japan
Crim: like I'm all for nudity
Crim: but at least make it have a reason

Interestingly enough not ten minutes later into that particular episode, there was plot relevant nudity and I'm still not quite sure I'm okay with it. I'll have to remember to watch what I ask for when it has to do with Japan.

Shere: tbqh, tits mcgee (Yuki) > princess eternal loli
Crim: I dunno man, I mean yeah she's more tappable, but loli is queen of the goddamn world
Shere: basically what I'm getting at is
Shere: this show would be just as enjoyable were she like, 10 years older
Crim: yeah but it wouldn't sell nearly as many DVDs and you know it

This is becoming a rather troublesome trend, anime used to be about really cool :stuff: but then they figured out that they would make money if they could get people to buy anime DVDs so more often than not decisions are made based on how many units you need to ship rather than just being good on normal merits, and there's apparently a big market in Japan for lolicon.

Then there's also the fact that its about vampires and werewolves, I have never been one to be fanatical about either so I havenít been overexposed to the genre so the novelty hasnít worn off but your mileage may vary.

In its defense Vampire Bund does have a few things going for it, its not (really) about magical girls/bullshit, giant robots, a harem, or four girls forming a club/doing :something: and manages to make use of some economics, political srs business, and tactical espionage action which appeal to the adult in me.

First Impression: 6/10
Verdict: This is apparently one of Japan's highest rated shows this season but Japan likes some horrible shit too so take that with a grain of salt. If you remotely think you're interested in the show and donít mind the occasional loli nudity I would say go a head and check it out, it's only 12 episodes so you wont be wasting too much time, just remember to give it more than the first few episodes for the story to actually get going.

Dance in the Vampire Gondam
"It's a Gondam!"