Anime Meta-Review


Vampire Princess Miyu, TV Series


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-26 of 26
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

I had great hopes for this, because it springs from a rich and atmospheric OAV and has lots of manga to draw from. Sadly, despite continuously seeming to be about to recover and chart new ground, it ended up as a disappointment. The story involves the Vampire Miyu, who while being 600+ years old and a powerful vampire appears as a young schoolgirl, which has to be a good start for an anime. She has a darkly gothic companion called larva with an interesting history and a very cool relationship with Miyu, which appears to be another positive. Miyu has been charged with the task of exterminating stray shinma, demons that prey on the weaknesses in the hearts of humanity, which has many interesting possibilities. In this series Miyu has settled in one region for a while, including going to school and possibly even making a friend, something both rare and dangerous for an ageless vampire guardian.

And with so much material it seemed pretty much a sure fire hit. The first strike against the series is that the stories are strongly episodic, with only a tiny number spreading over two episodes, which largely cripples the ability to tell deep or atmospheric stories. This is followed by the inclusion of a `shinma of the week' to fight with. Sometimes this works, but the time pressure strongly limits what can be done. There is also a weird conflict between the desire to have combat, but the inability or lack of time to do it properly, leading to dissatisfaction on both counts. However while this may be a contributory factor the true problem seems to be weak writing and a lack of strong direction as to how the show was going to work. As a result the minor characters introduced (especially the `normal' humans) never really develop into anything interesting. The personality of Miyu herself, which should be the focus, likewise fails to evolve or even be brought out. On many occassions she seems to be a minor figure in her own TV show. The true weirdness of someone in her position, the wealth of experience, the OAV and manga deadly cool, her strange outlook and terrible fate are largely ignored, reducing her to the role of a shinma incinerator so that the show ends on time. Sad to say some of the early stories show the most promise, which simply hurts. The conclusion is likewise messy and hurried, and very unsatisfying. This writing, and the limited dialogue, simply never reach the depth needed to do this properly.

The production is acceptable, albeit somewhat variable. It is not as pretty as the (old) OAV's, showing many of the signs of being made for television. The characters generally look ok, but the backgrounds and environments are often very simple. The shinma design is really poor, a lot of them being laughable and some of them illogical given the background of what a shinma is. Which is a real shame since they are the dominant character's in way too many episodes. The action is very poor, with Miyu more or less having two special attacks to use, one of which is larva. The character personalities, and dialog, are very limited and quite simple, although the core voices are fine. The opening and closing songs are very nice and atmospheric. In summary the main problem with this anime is that it is such an average product delivered from such a rich source. There is no sadder sight than a sequel that so dramatically fails to equal its origin. I advise you watch the OAV's in order to see how it should be done. Indeed i'm about to head off and follow my own advice.


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