Dance in the Vampire Bund
Since ages long past, vampires have hidden in the shadows. Most people doubt they even exist. All that is about to change as princess Mina Tepesh, ruler of all vampires declares that vampires will be taking up residence on a special island district of Japan, henceforth known as "the bund". Mina is intent on creating a world of harmony between humans and vampires, but there are many on both sides who don't want this to happen.
Akira lost his memories a year ago and has been struggling to recall them since. As it turns out, the princess of vampires has a keen interest in him due to a promise he made long ago. Akira ends up becoming a protector of the princess, but finds some unusual things as his memory returns. For instance he's not human or a vampire.
Under normal circumstances I scoff at the mention of "objectionable content". I'm an anime fan, and have other extreme interests. But the Lolita vampire thing really hit home when watching the intro sequence and started to feel uncomfortable. Then in episode two Mina entices Akira to apply lotion to her body (sunscreen that allows vampires to walk in daylight) and I'm thinking... "okay, this is freaking creepy", and wasn't sure if I'd be able to watch the rest. For the most part that's as bad as it gets and it doesn't really get sexualized a whole lot with the (pseudo) pre-teen nudity, but it's a factor you'll probably need to be aware of.
If you can get past all that you are treated to a title that is only mediocre. It's hard to put my finger on, but I just didn't find the characters very compelling. The one who did start to appeal to me was Mei; a mysterious girl who enjoys teasing Ren. It's unclear if she's a former lover, an enemy, or simply amusing herself. It also turns out she's not a long term character which was a big disappointment. The rest of the cast isn't that bad, but their interactions with one another often felt forced.
The story has a whole other set of problems, mainly from the premise which is pretty dumb from the onset as far as logic failure. The sub plots don't seem to accomplish anything, until the end of the series. If divided into 3 parts, the first two plots are really weak. Only the third one starts to get interesting with the background of Mina, the legacy of the vampires, and Akira getting his memories back. While the most interesting of the stories, it's also inconclusive as the big story behind Dance in the Vampire Bund is only starting.
Okay I have to get this off my chest. It's odd in the context of a loli vampire show, the thing that annoys me MOST is typical horror show stupidity. At one point the students take refuge from vampires in a church. Akira leaves the church and warns the students not to open the doors for any reason. Why vampires unaffected by religious stuff, and possessing super human strength would be stopped by church construction is left to your imagination. Anyway, not even a minute later, a girl is begging to be let into the church. A girl who has been missing for at least two weeks, and is known to have been attacked by vampires. Could this be a trick?!?!? No sympathy from me. These kids deserve to be a lower link in the food chain.
There's nothing remarkable about the production values like animation, soundtrack and so forth, but the animation does have one unusual feature I took note of. This anime often does this unusual high frame rate "zoom" on a character as the perspective pans in, and it looks fairly exotic. For a show which doesn't have anything else that's noteworthy, it does provide Dance in the Vampire Bund with a unique feel sometimes.
It can be hard getting through 12 episodes with distractions like checking over your shoulder to see if Chris Hanson is going to feature you on To Catch a Predator. Aside from that that it's only mediocre. At the end Dance in the Vampire Bund starts to show potential, but it doesn't get far enough to really make it worth watching at the moment. I'd wait to see if they release another season of stuff before bothering with this series, but if they never get around to it, I wouldn't be broken hearted either.
Mina: I wouldn't be living up to expectations if I didn't instill some sense of fear into humans. However it has proven to be a difficult task because I'm so adorable.
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