Dance In The Vampire Bund – 02
I didn’t think much of the song, but the attached animation sequence was certainly notable for the fact that it had Mina dancing around half-naked. It sets quite the tone for the series.
Kaburagi Akira is a seemingly normal high school student at the time that Mina Tepes creates the Vampire Bund. He’s taken care of by his friend Saegusa Yuki and isn’t too interested in the vampire stuff. This changes when he comes across a young girl following him, causing him to experience some confusing and painful flashbacks. The girl disappears, but Akira runs into her again later that day, and this time he realizes that she’s Mina Tepes. She in turn realizes that he still doesn’t remember anything, however despite this, he instinctively protects her when they suddenly get attacked by a helicopter. The two are able to escape, but Mina then reveals that the gel that protects her from the sun is losing effectiveness. She thus leads Akira into a warehouse and has him apply the gel onto her naked body.
The pair are then found and attacked by two people dressed as police. Akira is able to smell that they’re enemies, and Mina defeats them both, sucking the blood of one of them in front of Akira. Afterward, Mina gets dressed again, and they make their way towards the Vampire Bund. In the process, Akira reveals that he lost his memory a year ago in an accident, and Mina ultimately decides to bid him farewell and gives him a kiss on the cheek. Before she can get very far though, she gets captured by a vampire whose true form is that of a spider, and when Akira tries to help, he gets tossed around and thrown into the ground. Hearing Mina cry out for him, Akira suddenly remembers a scene from many years ago when he had promised to protect her, and his own powers activate. He transforms into a werewolf and easily kills the spider, and he then grabs Mina and carries her to safety.
Unlike the first episode, this second episode actually had some resemblance to the manga story that it’s based on, like in the gel scene and the subsequent battle, nudity and all. However, it’s clear that SHAFT is still taking a lot of creative license in adapting it, apparently for good reason. I thought the whole lost-memory-due-to-an-accident thing was a bit on the cliche side, and I don’t like how they’ve made the series feel very monster-of-the-week so far. The broadcast quality isn’t so great either, and I’m not a fan of their use of the blur effect during action scenes. On the other hand, the general direction of the story is a little more promising now because it is closer to what I enjoyed from the manga. The difference is that they appear to be emphasizing the relationship between Akira and Mina a bit more here and the political aspects a bit less. It’s too early to say if that’s a good decision or even if it’ll stay true for the rest of the series, but it’ll be telling to see how or if they try to develop the love triangle.
In short, I’m neutral about this series so far because it hasn’t been really good or really bad. I’m going to keep watching for the time being because, if nothing else, it’s interesting to see how it’s different from the original and how the writers are crafting this particular story.