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.
In one of SHAFT's latests, Dance in the Vampire Bund, there is actually very little to dance about. SHAFT usually has a knack for finding strange source materials and then adapting them in interesting new ways that break the troupes of their genres. Usually is the key word in that last sentence. I'm trying to write a non-bias review, but it's inevitable to say Dance in the Vampire Bund is not a good anime. But! At the same time it isn't a terrible anime. But what Bund is, is absolutely average. There's nothing this anime does to set it apart from other second-rate anime about vampires or political conquest. At first, everything that happens you'll feel like "Hey well I kind of thought that was coming" and by the end you'll be like "Wait? Was that a plot twist?" Note that is a review on the anime only and from what I've seen of the manga, this is a poor adaption of what could have been a much better experience.
Mina Tepes, the vampire princess has decided to establish a safehaven for all vampires. Through various means she gains political ground for the establishment of "the Bund." Of course, exposing to the world that vampires exist and that they will be Japan's next door neighbor is troublesome and the events told in this story are about them. I think. Mina also happens to own some fancy Japanese High School where our protagonist attends and our protagonist also happens to be a werewolf whose dad works directly under Mina who also happens to attend her own school. Huh? I'm confused too. The story becomes derailed whenever Akira, the protagonist, is focused on, because to be frank, the anime isn't about him. It's about Mina Tepes, but SHAFT decided to make the back plot some nonsensical love story (which only resolves with loli-rape - I'm dead serious). Oh, and be warned, there's most likely a sequel coming.
Oho. SHAFT is one of my favorite animation companies because they always do interesting things with their anime and try and tread new grounds by playing with color or 3D elements or optical illusions. SHAFT is also one of the most underpaid and overworked studios in the current anime market and thus they have an incredibly low budget. The only reason I can make sense of why Bund's animation quality was so low was because at the same time SHAFT had been working on the eye-candy "Hidamari Skecth Hoshimittsu." Almost everything about Bund in comparison animation-wise fails. The character movement is repulsive and over-dramatic. Every time a character does something they have a strange angle placed on them, then a zoom onto a random body part, followed by a slowed sentence that it wouldn't matter if it was even said or not. The only time you really see SHAFT's personal touch is when they zoom in on the eyes of the characters talking, which by the end of the anime was more of a nuisance than a pleasure. The clarity was also a huge problem. I started watching this anime in low quality TV rips, and then moved up to bigger and better looking files. There was no difference. The entire first episode had this weird green tint to it that made it unpleasing even to look at. The clarity fluctuates too (how fun!), so it's hard to enjoy when you have to up the brightness of your media player to view the episode normally. Oh, and other than Mina, every character looks boring. The main character looks like every other cliche male protagonist, and there's nothing even to set him apart from the other characters visually. Yuki, one of the female characters, is almost as interesting as Yuki from 11eyes (Note: Yuki from 11eyes sucks and she looks generic). I still like SHAFT's animation style, which is a plus for this anime, but the moments of camera genius that often appear in other SHAFT works are definitely missing here.
Nothing to complain about. The opening and ending are both nice but nothing memorable. Character voices are fitting (I enjoyed Mina's) but once again aren't anything to flaunt. BGM was quiet and rather uninteresting most of the time, but nothing bad.
Vampires, werewolves, tigresses, oh my! DERP. Mina Tepes is the one interesting character in this entire anime and every other character exists solely to support her. She's the under-estimated soon-to-be queen of vampires who tries and fights the old traditions of vampires to finally reveal her people to the world so they will not longer be persecuted. Kind of like a Martin Luther King Jr. of vampires, except in the form of a ten-year-old girl and not black. Hey, strong lolita leads are cool in all (Pani Poni Dash! I'm looking at you) but SHAFT needed to realize that there were other characters in this anime. The list includes a Chinese Tigress, a blood-sucking "older sister," a vampire with massive eyebrows, a priestess, and about thirty five thousand big breasted women. There's actually very little to say about any of them except that they're bland. As soon as they're introduced you know exactly what their personality is. Mina is the only dynamic developed character, and thank god she is, because more than half of the anime is spent following her around. Akira on the other hand manages to grab as much time as Mina and ends up wasting it all. He's inctredibly undeveloped and the only point of appeal (kind of) is that he is a werewolf. COOL (BUT NOT REALLY). Even when he's a werewolf he most of the time gets the crapped knocked out of him and that's when a Deus ex Machina comes into play. Yuki is also an undeveloped annoying "for some reason it's a harem" bitch who gets in the way of the main "relationship" between Akira and Mina. She has absolutely nothing that separates her from other female characters in any anime ever and could easily be a background character that accidentally wandered onto the foreground.
SHAFT tries to do the impossible and fails when they tried to make a show about political warfare with a touch of "romance" and then ended with a harem and fighting with plot twists as original as "I AM YOUR FATHER". It's frustrating seeing how much potential this show had. I can safely say that after such a thrilling experience I wiped the anime off my hard-drive and will have probably forgotten most of it by tomorrow morning.
That isn't to say that there aren't worse anime, because hot damn there are. I thoroughly enjoyed when Mina was on camera and thoroughly disliked whenever she wasn't. The annoying "wait for season two where we explain what the final episode was even about card" is pulled too. The only thing I can say is that for an anime about vampires, this show falls right into the pit with the other ones already out there, and unlike Hellsing, does not bring massive guns or blood. It brings one thing and one thing only - Mina Tepes - and if you don't like it, then this anime is definitely not for you.read more
To be honest, it's really surprising to see so many reviews giving Vampire Bund such a low score. For me, it was absolutely the best vampire anime I've ever seen. I can't really say that I'm obsessed with vampires, but it's certainly an interesting genre. Unfortunately there isn't really a lot of animes which use this theme to its fullest. In that sense, Vampire Bund has managed to utilize all the glory of the vampire legend and myth.
As it goes with most vampire stories, Vampire Bund's plot revolves around the vampire princess, or vampire queen. However, it's really the subtle things that impresses me the most. I suppose most people would just pass them off as whims, but SHAFT has a knack at making an impression of the subtlest things which brings the plot together. Most vampire stories seem to forget that time moves, and are always trapped in one time-frame but Vampire Bund is nothing like that. Vampire Bund's story spans centuries of vampire history and glory, and the darkness within. It shows that vampires are not just creatures sleeping in coffins locked away in the middle ages, but also advance in technology and culture as humans do. It's an enormous theme and it's certainly not an easy task to depict it, but SHAFT does a great job. I suppose most people expect there would be a 2nd season because there's still another last boss and because of the manga, but if I'm not wrong, SHAFT doesn't intend on making a sequel. It's a lot better leaving the ending as it is and letting the audience imagine the story after, or just read the manga.
It doesn't get any better in abstract animation than with SHAFT. They make the simplest scenes look cinematic and grand. It seems they have been slacking a lot since ef, though. Basically, there's very little movement and lots of shadows. Vampire Bund seems to be lacking in the shadow effect SHAFT loves so much, however. In a sense, it could have been a lot better. However, it's still very impressive nonetheless.
The OP and ED are not the best you can get from anime songs, but it's complimentary. On the contrary, the sound effects are excellent, as expected from SHAFT. Many scenes would have been very empty and felt meaningless without the sound effects, but SHAFT always makes it worthwhile with the perfect timing and tone.
As it is, the story revolves around one person, the vampire queen. But this doesn't mean everyone else are just pawns. Yes, the side characters may seem to have very little screen time, but they make a powerful impression every time they come onto the chess board. Unorthodox as it may be, Vampire Bund never depicts the mains as powerful and unbeatable. Instead it shows that they bleed and feel the pain, and don't live on their own but are supported by various characters.
Vampire Bund is one of the few animes I've managed to finish in just a day. It's so enjoyable and interesting that I couldn't take my eyes of it. The conversations, culture, history, philosophy, and action makes every minute worthwhile. I haven't read the manga, and I probably would in a while, but I doubt I would enjoy it as much as the anime. It's beyond my mind that the beautiful abstract animation by SHAFT can be depicted in manga form. read more
Okay, so Dance in the Vampire Bund. Or Bland, as I call it. First off, I had to look up what a bund was, because I thought I was missing something. Turns out I wasn't. It's just bad. I won't just stop there though, I will explain in detail why I think it's bad.
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. 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-colored 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. Knowing Shaft, they will change that soon, but for now, 5'd.
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 lackluster 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 in the record book.
Then there's the other "main" character - Akira Kaburagi Regendorf. He made a promise as a child. Creative. He's a werewolf. Creative. He's a bullheaded protagonist that will go to unnecessary lengths to help the one he loves, even if he ends up just getting in the way. Creative. That, and if I were to describe him physically (short and somewhat spiky brown hair, school uniform, ..........) I'd run out of things to say about that fast. Complains a lot, same old, same old.
Unless this anime is just a satire on anime or attempt to kill the industry, it's not worth watching. At all. I found myself checking the timer to see how much longer until each episode finished, so that I could be done with it and go on to bigger and better things, like staring at my computer's wallpaper.
Unless you're an undefeated vampire champion striving to peck up every last piece of lore you can relating to vampires, I would avoid watching Dance in the Vampire Bland. If you're looking for a vampire show with lots of action, there are many, many other, better choices. read more
I did not read the manga so the review is based entirely upon the anime. I don't really describe what happens in the series and spoils are from none to very little. Look at the description if you wish to know what the anime is fully about.
Story-7: Wow, vampires that have been hiding among us for centuries! I've never heard of anything like that before! That was sarcasm, if it wasn't obvious enough. Honestly though, yes it is overused and this anime doesn't pull it off as well as many other books or movies. But it doesn't have to. What I find very well done is how they justify their ability to hide and survive in the time they have been oblivious to common humans. In the beginning the story is very poorly developed but everything starts adding up around the latter half of the series. Don't give it up too fast.
Art-8: Everyone loves a naked 10 year old right? But seriously, it's not as bad as everyone is making it out to be. Although there are times when where they directly focus on her sexuality as a child, these are usually short and aren't that bad. So people should just take a chill pill. The animation moves in a way that Bakemonogatari does (yes I'm using it as an example, but in a good way) in that random motions and images are presented and there is a lot of emphasis on speech. Overall, expect fight scenes to have a dark undertone and blood is apparent when bodies are being cut in half. But that's just being realistic isn't it?
Sound-6: The background music doesn't stand out. The voice actors also don't really make themselves apparent. I do, however, enjoy the sounds that represent pain. They are far more realistic than many other animes and have almost a surreal quality.
Character-8: The characters are bland and some come in and out of existence way too suddenly. You're left with a "Who the hell was that guy?" kind of feeling a lot of the time. Despite this the Vampire princess is actually a very complex person and it stands to reason that most of the character development revolves around her. The rest of the characters are basically just there although some things do get explained during the last couple of episodes. I don't see enough character development based off of Akira but i still like his interactions with the rest of the characters.
Enjoyment-9: I actually enjoyed this series very much. Although the whole series wasn't "excellent," it was still a good watch. There are some very unpredictable moments which surprised me when I first read the reviews, stating that it is completely unoriginal. Oh and the princess' true form is sexy as hell, even though it uses a light effect instead of skin for representation.
Overall-8: If it's taken for what it is it can be very enjoyable. I'll probably get lots of haters for this who try to only see the things wrong the with the anime and people who just can't sit back and enjoy. Sigh...well this is long enough already so I'll just end with saying if you like it, awesome, if you don't like it, that's cool, and if you've never seen it, you should give it a try.
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