This is the longer 26 episode TV series chronicling the adventures of Vampire Princess Miyu, the Guardian whose destiny it is to banish stray shinma (demons, shapeshifters, vampires etc.) back to the darkness from whence they originated. She is accompanied by Larva (a European shinma) and a rabbit whose right eye can actually "see" supernatural things, in Dungeons and Dragon they called this "true seeing".
The series because it's longer has different strengths and weaknesses compared to the OVA.
The first 10+ (too many) episodes follow the formula of
1. Miyu + classmates and how their relationships begin/grow
2. Some shinma appears
3. bad things happen
4. Miyu and Larva defeat
the shinma and
5. There are consequences
After a while it got really boring. The only excitement was trying to guess what form the shinma would take. There was reuse of a lot of the frames and the plot got repetitive and predictable, which made this less exciting than the OVA.
On the plus side, interweaved into the plot was the continuing story of Reiha, another shinma who has an antagonistic relationship with Miyu. In fact the character background episodes for Larva, Reiha and Miyu are easily the best episodes in the series. Notice how good I am at not really giving out any spoilers ! <(^.^)>
Tension builds up until the last 2 episodes (the climax) which are easily worth a 9 in plot/story. The ending was much better than the entire series. However, to be fair, having had to sit through 18ish repetition/boredom to watch 8-9 good episodes made me unable to rate this series any better than a 6 overall.
While the title character's eternal task of hunting stray demons lends itself to a "monster of the week" structure at first, Vampire Hunter Miyu reveals itself to be a fascinating character study. The teasing glimpses into Miyu's heart and past are fully satisfying in the final few episodes, making the anime far more rewarding than the mundane (though equally pretty) OVA. While I would have appreciated less of the episodic approach, it does give a feel for the "daily grind" of hunting creatures of the night that prey upon the weaknesses found in humankind. The high school sequences are lighthearted, but retain
some shade, through Miyu's bemused detachment. Miyu seems destined to view her human "friends" from a distance, and a careful viewing brings out her constant melancholy. She is morally colourful, or rather, exists outside moral ethics.
The action scenes are interesting, but are clearly meant to complement the character moments, not the other way around. With tinges of nihilism and a taste of inevitable suffering, I found this series had a fairly moody tone. I recommend this one for the patient. ^_^
Vampire Princess Miyu is one of those dark Anime that is unique because it leaves you feeling haunted. This anime has always stuck to me as one of the anime you can never forget. It is not one of those sugary anime and not every one gets a happy ending. Each episode are mainly stand alone and contained but do give a bit of a character development between the main characters Miyu and Larva.
Miyu and Larva are such an interesting couple and you are drawn into their complex and compelling relationship. Miyu is not your typical herione, sometimes you don't know what side she is
on for she seems to be on her own side. I found Miyu and Larva to be a gorgeous looking couple that creeps you out a bit.
Some viewers may not agree with this dark anime but I think you should give it a chance. The anime style is wonderful and a good soundtrack. I gave it full marks because I haven't seen an anime quite like this and able to be pulled off the way it did. It gave you a sense of reality about how humans are and that not everything ends up the way we want things to be.
This is a show that has an interesting and long history with me. I originally watched this show when I was in middle school towards the beginning of my anime obsession. This was back when I was unfamiliar with the medium, when the internet was still a baby, and I harbored an unhealthy obsession with vampires (pre-Twilight, of course). I was finding less-than-awesome shows such as Helsing, Trinity Blood, and Nightwalker to feed my lust for bloodsucking sexiness. This is when I watched the first few episodes of Vampire Princess Miyu. I rented the first two volumes from Blockbuster (already dating this story) and watched
them several times. Why write this review now? I just bought the newly rereleased box set of the show from Maiden Japan. Watching this show with my now matured view of anime and knowledge of the medium, I can now conclude that this show struggles to hold up through the times and has aged less than gracefully.
First off, I feel it is necessary to address my issues with this new rerelease. The price is fair…I paid about 36 dollars for the full set which consists of 26 episodes. The cover art is nice…if not a little bland in colorization but fairly sell the show to the uninitiated. The way the discs are contained in the box is where the deal falls short. All five discs are pressed together onto one spindle which not only harbors the risk for scratches but makes it nearly impossible to remove the discs without forcible prying them apart to the point of snapping them in half. I have only encountered packaging this bad once before in my anime collection when I bought an old copy of Princess Tutu.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s describe the show itself.
Vampire Princess Miyu is about a vampire named Miyu who fights monsters called Shinma to protect the human race with the help of her companions Larva, a reformed shinma, and a cute rabbit-like creature named Kyubeast. If you missed anything in that description, it is repeated over each opening in dramatic narration. The show is largely episodic with a slight overarching plot regarding the less than interesting high school life of Miyu and her friends. There are few reappearing characters. Miyu and her fighting posse are in every episode and an ice spirit named Reiha is in a good handful of episodes.
A first impression of this series when viewed by a veteran anime fan (and an observant new comer) is that the animation is…economic. It is apparent that the studio needed to make this show on the cheap as the viewer will lose count of how many times a character goes off model, Miyu speed lines into an enemy, and the characters don’t so much as walk but hover awkwardly while each of their legs appear in front of the other. Animation-wise, the show is a mess. Its old which may excuse a few aesthetic choices but few anime have aged so poorly. For example, Cowboy Bebop, a show which has aged extremely well, was aired a year after Vampire Princess Miyu. The art is a step above the animation. The character designs are distinct enough to stand out making each main character extremely recognizable. The scenery is colored to give the mood of foreboding and despair which is very fitting. The Shinma are each unique and distinct and it is always the highlight of each episode to see them transform into their monstrous forms.
The worst aspect of the show I noticed as I watched, as someone who has viewed well over a hundred other anime series, is the dub. I chose to watch the entire show dubbed since I default to this option if it is available. With the exception of a few strong cameos, the voice cast seems to be suffering from a case of severe apathy. Miyu’s high school friends vocally express the emotional range of Velcro. There are some obviously bad moments such as when the tall friend and the friend with glasses come across a snake and are meant to scream which comes out as more of a quiet “ahh.” The worst offender is, perhaps, Miyu who is so prevalent in each episode. It seems, in my opinion, that the actress, Kimberly J. Brown (episodes 1-7) and Dorothy Elias-Fahn, understood her character as emotionless and cold which, in a way, is accurate. I have seen this character type portrayed before more effectively in Hell Girl. In this show, Brina Palencia plays the role of Ai Enma, a character very similar to Miyu in personality and in being a supernatural, immortal young girl. While Brina finds a way to make a whispery emotionless voice sound complex and threatening, Miyu’s actress makes her sound bored and seems to lack commitment. In each episode, for example, Miyu makes a speech to the Shinma she is about to vanquish where she shouts “into the darkness, Shinma!” Her victory speech ends with an awkward whisper of “shinma” which falls flat. Her speaking voice is even more unbearable as her monotone hearkens back to the voice of Daria without the sarcastic charm. The other characters are less than notable with the exception of Steve Blum who pops up once and a while and a few other actors well known for their older voice work. When the credits run after an episode, dub fans will note the lack of recognizable vocal talent which can be very telling. One may also notice that Miyu’s voice actress changed after the first 7 episodes, a fact which I didn’t realize until I check the show’s wiki page; another bad sign.
After that rant, one may expect me to write this show off as a waste of time and not even salvageable through the lenses of nostalgia, however, there is an aspect of the show that may save it. The soundtrack. While many anime fans may not put so much stock in a soundtrack, that may be because, with some exception, anime is accompanied by instrumentation meant to support the action on the screen rather than stand on its own as a musical piece. The soundtrack from Vampire Princess Miyu is amazing. Each track is beautiful and fitting. The opening is unskippable and the ending gives the viewer a somber yet satisfying conclusion to their episodic adventure. In middle school my friend and I passed a copy of the soundtrack between us and each track is gorgeous. The orchestration is dramatic and lush and the vocals range from a slow pop ballad to a children’s choir. If anything, an anime fan should experience the soundtrack for themselves.
In conclusion, avid fans of the vampire genre or nostalgic otaku looking for old fashioned animation and a dated dub track may want to look up Vampire Princess Miyu. The box set is on sale now for a fair price (with dreadful packaging). New anime fans should steer clear until they develop their genre preferences and decide they want to experience this bit of early anime. Hardcore otaku looking to experience all types of anime and wish to experience the evolution of anime to the present day would benefit if only to hear its fantastic soundtrack and yearn for the old days of full orchestration.
A fantastic extension of the Miyu animation that built upon the previous success of the popular OVA series. With the addition of schoolmate characters that were more fleshed out than the background characters briefly shown in the OVA and the incredibly interesting Miyu foil in the Ice Demoness, the Shinma-Hunting Reiha, and her crusty companion, the Living Doll Matsukaze. Featuring highlights like a two-parter that looks into Western Shinma/Larva's past and some interesting twists and reveals in the final 4 or 5 episodes, the series excels upon adapting more of the Miyu Manga story which the short OVA had less space to adapt the manga
with. Punctuated by more of the fantastic haunting melodies that the OVA had, the shared composer builds upon his previous atmospheric melodies and brings new OST offerings that share much of the oft-creepy but stirring melodies from the OVA music. Added with effective sound designs and creepy cues, the overall atmosphere truly builds upon the darkness inherent in the creepy episodic narratives, fantastic gothic horror!
I've talked about the vampiric Princess, Miyu, once before. About seven years ago. Like the OVA, this is from AIC. The same studio that brought us Blue Gender, Night Walker, & Bubblegum Crash to name a few. This series came out almost a decade after the OVA since that was late 80s and this was late 90s. But the important question is, does it maintain the same level of quality?
The narrative follows the same basic premise as the OVA. There are supernatural beasts called Shinma that feed off of humans. Fighting against these monsters is the Guardian, Miyu who uses her flames to send stray
Shinma back to the darkness. Each episode presents a different encounter with the Shinma.
Honestly, that's the big weakness of the series. It was fine for the OVA to be somewhat "monster of the week" since it based its dramatic tension on the mysteries behind the scenarios and they were building up to something. This tries to do the same thing, but it doesn't work nearly as well when everything is stretched out over twenty six episodes and the bulk of them have little or nothing to do with the big finale. It also doesn't help that the only episodes strongly hinting at the turn for the finale come at the very end, shortly before the event itself.
The mysteries also aren't as well handled. Yes, they can be interesting and the scenarios can be quite engaging. However, a big part of what made the OVA's mysteries work was having the outsider's perspective. This doesn't provide that. There is no equivalent for Himiko. The closest we get is a single episode that focuses on a young woman trying to hunt down a Shinma that killed her family. Which generally means the episodes that want to push the mystery aspect more will focus on an ordinary human who finds themselves targeted by some kind of Shinma and Miyu will appear largely in the background until the end where she confronts the Shinma.
I will credit the series with being engaging. Even though the episodes are fairly formulaic, there's enough variation to keep the scenarios interesting. It's not one of those monster of the week series where nothing interesting happens. Or one of those ones that's full of pretentious nonsense juxtaposed against stupid shit like mecha pilots using DDR to sync their movements. It does help that there is a strong mystery element to some of the episodes. It also helps that the people being targeted are neither faceless parts of a crowd nor are they guaranteed safety.
This is actually a bit improved over the OVA. The OVA gave us largely nothing characters with a few main characters who were worth mentioning. In this one, the side characters being targeted do tend to come across as complex and very human. Which makes the changes they undergo more disturbing and adds some investment to their fate. The major characters are still the most compelling. We even get some strong back stories for Miyu, Larva & the ice-powered Reiha in this one. It is also interesting to see Miyu & Reiha clash ideologically. There are some very strong interactions in this series in general. Which is a big factor in how it remains compelling in spite of following a monster of the week formula.
The weak point is that some of the Shinma are just kind of dull. Some are well developed and have a strong sense of personality, but others are just kind of generic villains.
One odd thing is that Miyu comes across as much more sullen and duty-driven in this one. In the OVA, she came across as more of a trickster figure. I kind of preferred the OVA version, but I can see why AIC considered this more suitable for a main character.
The art style does, generally, look pretty good. The Shinma have interesting designs. The backgrounds are nicely detailed. The action sequences are where the series falters a bit. One issue is that Miyu doesn't come across as all that capable. In a lot of her battles, she'll summon Larva to block attacks and weaken the enemy so she can deal the final blow with her flames. Which kind of creates the impression that she can't handle things on her own. The battles themselves aren't all that interesting to watch. There's strong build up to them, a well done reveal of the Shinma's true form and then the fights themselves are kind of short and one-sided.
The acting is well done. They didn't get the same cast, but this did come nearly a decade later and the people they get do do a good job in their roles. Nagasawa Miki, Miki Shinichiro, Ogata Megumi & Shirakura Asa are all fine actors and their performances are definitely a strong point for the series. The music is very good. Kawai Kenji did a great job.
There's a bit in this one. There's an episode that deals with a doll maker that explicitly involves two women getting into each other. Larva also meets a man from his past who seems interested in him in more than a friendly way. Some of Miyu's interactions with women also come across as a little gay.
Areas of Improvement:
A stronger over-arcing plot. Yes, episodic anime are fine. But monster of the week series generally only work when they're made for children. Which, this isn't. I think it would really benefit from a more complete narrative.
Start hinting at the twist early on. Not obvious things that you'll easily pick up on, but subtle hints that take on a new meaning in retrospect would work a treat.
More effort in the action sequences. More physical clashing and varied use of powers would go a long way.
I can't say I enjoyed this as much as I did the OVA. While the episodes are interesting and the characters are well constructed, the weak over-arcing narrative does hurt the series. It's still decent. If you liked the OVA and can look past the formulaic nature of the series you'll enjoy it. I'm giving it a 6/10.
One of my personal favourites, I was lent the first few episodes a long time ago and was forever drawn into anime from then on.
Even though it's pretty dated now, i think it's classic more than anything, the art is elegant and sweet, while dark where appropriate.
The story is not for everyone, although most of the early stand alone type episodes are easy to watch, but the final few episodes can be pretty devastating, in an excellent story telling sort of way.
If you like watching people be destroyed emotionally and physically in a real world type setting by the supernatural
then this is for you.
Also, i love Larva
Quite the mixed bag of a reboot for Vampire Princess Miyu. Many episodes of this TV take on Miyu are "Shinma of the day" setups where a random Shinma is manipulating a different human, Miyu senses its activity, she and Larva confront it and in many instances, tragic developments befall the Shinma's human victim. The Shinma cases for the TV anime are more on the dramatic side compared to the suspenseful horror of the 80s OVA adaptation. The setting and characters here also have their noticeable differences with Miyu being more reserved in personality and taking the guise of a middle school student, Larva being
able to talk and remove his mask and the two having a cuddly new companion named Shiina. I didn't have much problem with the changes to Miyu and Larva for the TV anime, though Shiina was more an annoyance than an interesting character as he didn't get any fleshing out and seemed to be around in the show's attempt to have some kind of cuddly mascot.
For the most part, the "Shinma of the day" episodes don't do anything to advance the show's plot as many episodes were self-contained with their plots. The introduction of Reiha's character and a number of arcs seen in the show's second half help save the series from complete mediocrity as they help add more depth and dimension to aspects of Miyu's character and her conflicts. The mentioned "Light of the Sea" two-parter explores Larva's character with the life he led before meeting and becoming Miyu's partner. Reiha's character serves as a foil and rival to Miyu with their differing beliefs about hunting Shinma and the treatment of humans where their hostility towards one another increases greatly as the show progresses. The final six episodes are the high point of the series where events come to a head in Reiha and Miyu's rivalry, Miyu's past gets explored and some shocking events unfold involving one of the schoolgirls Miyu befriended from earlier in the series. Still for as much as these elements are engaging, the first half of the series is somewhat of a struggle to go through thanks to the "Shinma of the day" episodes and the series lacks a conclusion as Miyu is still fulfilling her duties as the Guardian by the end of the show.
Visually, the Miyu TV anime sports nicely drawn scenery and character designs that have a great amount of detail to them and have subdued color tones to go along with the show's dramatic mood. However, the animation for the series is rather subpar with reused animation frames, still shots and speed stripes. The soundtrack did its part to enhance the drama of key scenes in the series, mixing dramatic and traditional musical pieces.
Overall, the "Shinma of the day" really put a dent in the quality of this TV anime take on Vampire Princess Miyu. While the show does gradually improve in its second half when we start learning more about Larva and Miyu, the mentioned "Shinma of the Day" episodes seemed to drag the series out too much as Miyu TV would have been better either as a shorter series at 13 episodes or had more linear plot developments. While still engaging to watch, I'd still find the 80s OVA to be better to watch in terms of length and story setup.
Vampire princess miyu could hav been much better in my oppinion.
I liked some of the characters and it could have been a bit shorter becouse when you get a bit out in the series it feels like it drags it out too much.
The story is ok but as i said they drag it out a bit and it's no real progress in it. It is more like a new story in each episode and some plot in it at some places. The art are good enough and sound not too bad. It focuses on this 2 main characters who is hunting down shiinma (some
kind of deamons let loose in the world) But the focus is on Japan. The enjoyment is for me not that i feel i would see it over again. But for some people may like it, couse if you like a bit horror style anime and demons and don't get bothered by the bit too long drag out it's an ok anime to watch. In my oppinion if i look back on the way the episodes are it would have been a realy cool game. And that is becouse in each episode it is like a boss in the ending. And when that is said one of the best things in this series for me was the boss like ending battles couse the demons in the series are creative designed and very cool done. All of them are different from eachother and at last for those who might want to test this anime out. Just to let you get a bit interested it is a very nice twist at the end, and that one i liked pretty much.