Dance In The Vampire Bund – 04
With the establishment of the Vampire Bund, Mina Tepes is ready to hold a press conference, so many members of the press have come to the island. A vampire noble named Juneau Dermail arrives as well to take over security, but he looks down on Vera and Akira. What they don’t realize until the night before the press conference is that there’s a vampire on the island with a C4 bomb, but Mina decides to proceed with the press conference anyway. Fortunately, right before it starts, Akira picks up the scent of light-blocking gel and realizes that one of the members of the press is a vampire. Since all of the journalists were humans when they arrived on the island, this one was turned into a vampire sometime since then. Not knowing this, Mina begins her press conference by revealing that she was able to obtain this island from Japan by taking on its one-quadrillion yen fiscal deficit and helping the country economically.
When the topic turns to the fact the assumption that Mina is a vampire, a female journalist stands up and reveals the bomb trigger in her fanged mouth. Akira is able to jump in and stop the vampire, and Vera subsequently kills her with a stake, but that still leaves the ticking bomb. Mina gives permission to use a certain something, so Akira’s father Wolfgang has him throw the bomb down an elevator shaft to an underground area. The bomb thus explodes but does little noticeable damage, and Vera declines to tell Akira what’s underground. Mina uses this event to mark the end of the press conference, and she declares that as long as humans are good neighbors, the vampires won’t become a threat to them. In the aftermath, Mina and Akira head out to the place where he had seen her jumping rope with some kids earlier, and Mina explains that those kids are Fangless who have removed their fangs and refuse to drink human blood. The Bund gives them a place to live without being persecuted, though that’s not the only reason it was created.
Before anyone asks, the reason this post is so late this week is because I spent the time I would have spent writing this up on Katanagatari instead.
This episode was actually pretty close to the manga, much more so than any of the previous episodes have been, and yet the ironic thing is that I still didn’t find it all that special. The first half in particular felt poorly paced and failed to keep my interest, and they probably could have done more to develop the plot against Mina instead of focusing on Akira and Vera’s conversation. The second half was better because it had some action, a decent end to the episode with the Fangless, and because it raised the question about what’s being built underground (something I hadn’t really caught on to when I read that part of the manga).
The issue is that the anime lacks most of the energy, excitement, and intrigue that I got from the manga, and I have a hard time appreciating the directing effort by Shinbou here. I acknowledge of course that the manga could have spoiled me on the anime, and I’m not calling this a bad series. But given the lack of things compelling me to watch the anime version aside from the good memories of what I’d read, and (just as importantly) given how busy my schedule is, I’m leaning now towards dropping the series and just sticking with the manga.