Anime Meta-Review


Vampire Princess Miyu


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Kyuuketsuki Miyu
  • seen: 1-4 of 4
  • type: OAV
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: other
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title has been commercially released in Australia.
    • This title is a personal favourite.
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

The vampire has always been a strange, and frequently intriguing `monster'. Once human and now predator, but add in some rich japanese folklore and shoujo style and something both strange and cool is sure to result. As the title suggests this is the story of Miyu, who stopped aging when she was a 13 year old girl, but who has seen many years and horrors since then. She remains on earth as the guardian, not guarding humanity, but guarding the sleep of the shinma (god's and demons) who sleep in the darkness. This sleep is disturbed by those amongst them who have escaped to live, as parasites, in the broken souls amongst mankind. We follow Himiko, a human spiritualist as she becomes aware of Miyu, and both intrigued and repulsed by her, and her actions.

This is how I like my horror, weird and spooky rather than messy and in your face. The emphasis is on atmosphere and character all the way. This is going to leave the blood and gore crowd very unhappy of course, but there's enough of that elsewhere. Instead we have Miyu who looks like a cute 13 year old girl, but who radiates a sense of danger, predatorial hunger and hidden knowledge, while at the same time hiding a certain sense of loss. Her speechless, cloaked and masked slave/companion Larva, a male shinma, is also very fitting and the relationship between the two interesting. Opposing them are various shinma who prey upon humanity by exploiting their weakness and consuming their life forces (as miyu herself does in a sense). At the same time as Miyu carries out her duties we get to see, through the probings of Himiko, some aspects of this complex character. Much of this is brought out through actions, body language, silences and Miyu's relatively cryptic speech, in the very best traditions of shoujo. Once again, this may be a negative to those who like things spelled out clearly and simply.

The animation appears relatively dated, but still works suprisingly well. This is both because the focus is on story and dialogue, and because of the fairly unique `action' of this anime. The action in Miyu is, abstracted, looking at times like a dance, at times like a stage production and at other times almost as a discussion. The focus is on atmosphere and suggestion, rather than anything as pedestrian as martial arts. Of course this is helped by Miyu possessing a wide range of magical powers. This style, which seems to exist in the manga I have as well, allows the limitations in the animation to be worked with and reduced. Although the sound production including a lot of strange `japanese' sounds, excellent music and good voices also plays a large part in the rich atmosphere. This also means that the dub, despite being decent, is not recommended.

There has been a television series of Vampire Miyu. It is reviewed elsewhere but the simple summary is that it fails to equal this material and either engage or extend with the character of Miyu. In addition it is worth mentioning that the translation of the title allows both `vampire miyu' and `vampire princess miyu' as possible english translations.

From Akemi's AnimeWorld comes a short but positive review, and if you think she liked it check out the readers comments. Those THEM have an excellent and positive review of this "quietly spooky series". The Anime critic, who likes his action, still find a lot to like in this review, including some lovely images of Miyu and Larva.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:26 WST 2009