OP Sequence

OP: 「フレンズ」 (Friends) by 中野愛子 (Nakano Aiko)
Watch the OP!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming ▼

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.

Extra Segment

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.


  1. I’m somewhat disappointed that they aren’t following the manga too closely, but this episode wasn’t too bad. They could have gone with another option other than the “I hit my head, who are you again?” scenario, but at least we got to see some werewolf action and some endearing master/servant screentime.

  2. To be honest, Im really enjoying the anime so far esp this whole new storytelling with much of the good manga content subtly embedded into, refreshing but yet not losing its connection with the manga. Im also very fond of last week’s original and unique opening, how they conveyed much of the background information through this TV Show, in such a succinct way.

    However it is also far from perfect. I too also felt the whole headache and memory loss part was way too cliche. The couple floating in the air near the end was also bit cheesy. And the main downside is unlike the manga where akira was portraited as a smart lovable funny character, this akira in the anime was much more dull and colourless in comparison, and hence unlikable.

  3. Not a huge fan of the naked loli but, its getting interesting. Cliche or not, still worth a watch. Never really bothered to read manga so I cant comment on the connections (or lack of) between the two. I have always liked shaft’s work so I might be a bit biased.

  4. The manga opening of the series was clearly much better then what was shown in episode 1 of the anime series. Whoever made the decision to change episode 1 of the anime into some sort of a game show clearly missed the boat. I just hope they can recover and make the series turn out good with the episodes they have left.

  5. The author really shot himself in the foot asking SHAFT to do an original script. People liked his manga because it was his manga and the plot was interesting.

    This? WTH is this? Opinion’s going to be very, very divided on this adaptation and sales are probably going to suffer.

    They should’ve just named it something else.

  6. How come you and Divine haven’t watched the first episode of Hanamaru Youchien? You assumed (or feared) it would somehow turn out like KnJ but it was actually one of the funniest shows this season – admittedly, not difficult.

    Ari Gold
  7. at least this episode was a lot better than last weeks, but i do get twilight vibes when i watched this episode telling me to shut it off, then download it, burn it on to a dvd, then break it in half so i can relax that and know im not watching crap.

  8. Erm, I didn’t get it? She was superpowerful in the first episode. I mean, a guy died just because she told him to. And now in this episode she lost all that wicked aura and got totally beaten up? Allucard would be soo dissapointed! She seemed like a totally different person. Wtf was that about?

    I’m hating the fact that vampires are turning into animals. Why can’t they just be vampires? It would be so much cooler.

    But the animation is wicked. I loved the character design!

  9. Why aren’t they following the manga like I saw in the trailer version? Do they follow it from next week?

    The OP wasn’t great in my opinion. Mina dancing looked ridiculous. I was expecting more blood and action in the OP but was disappointed when all I got was a twirling girl.

    Also Twilight? Haha, please, at least the vampire turns into dust in this story

  10. All the new* story does is make the whole thing more banal. The presentation itself just sucks in Bakemonogatari and throws in the manga’s fetish fuel. Does SHAFT need a pony trainer? If you’re going to rewrite, why not focus on the Bund and make it less of a titular animal shelter? Why focus on the ‘me and my magical girlfriend go to school’ angle and throw in some lame amnesia? In each episode they throw in at least one monkey wrench that pretty much requires them to change characters significantly or invoke facepalm. They overpowered Mina Tepes in the first episode, and then facepalmed with the monster of the week. Now they’ve had Akira play chicken with the destiny his father assigns him with magic amnesia, so either his father has to change character to explain why that would make sense or it’s more facepalm.

    * A new story for adapting source material that isn’t finished isn’t necessarily bad, because it has the potential to prevent the reverse 20-car pile-up of pacing that animes that adapt unfinished manga usually have. You don’t have to spend 2/3 of your episodes on slow introductory material followed by cramming the new (usually crap) plot (Soul Eater) into the last part. If you want to maintain any of the appeal of the source material, then you’ll have to either preserve the characters or preserve the theme of original work, while doing your own thing. Otherwise you end up doing the Hollywood Finds a Book thing, where you just sprinkle some names or whatever and end up with some monstrosity like Dune or I am Legend.

  11. It’s good that the manga’s start wasn’t followed. Same goes for all the anime this season… If you ask me I guess that following the manga may get a bit boring like last season’s “Letter Bee” and “Sora Oto”. This deviancy from the manga is quite refreshing…..

    The SuperEnigmatic Moondoggiebuiscuit
  12. Oh please, let SHAFT have there fun. The mangaka even suggested it, probably knowing that SHAFT would do something like that from the get-go 😛 The fact that most of yall are complaining about it is both complete nonsense & a way of telling that they’re doing a preatty good job of getting your attention.

    With all the other bs shitty anime this season this was easily a highlite on the list & its still easily the best. So I had to go check out the manga to conpare it for myself & I found it to be boring as hell compared to how the anime set the pace. If yall want that boring shit, then go back & read it again OR maybe yall was just expecting too much (stick to the manga) from this since it was so highly thought of. I’ll take the anime any day. Hell, at least something happened in this episode…

  13. SuperEnigmatic sounds like a troll. People get pissed when a great manga is drastically changed from the original (in a worse way) and not better. I’m not one of those guys that complain when they show a girl in a red dress in the anime adaption and in the manga it was blue. We are talking changing major plot points and in a negative way. The way Akira meets Mina in the manga was great and showed hot smart and skilled Akira is. On the way in he is introduced to a slew of maids and a little girl with a basket of flowers. The girl gives him a flower to put in his lapel. He is introduced to the Vampire Princess and asked to bow and show his respect to her and he refuses which shocks everyone in the room. He can tell she isn’t the princess but a fake to test him (Vera pretending to be her). Instead he knows the flower girl is the real vampire princess. That was a great way for them to meet. It was so much better then a game show and amnesia.

  14. Oh 1 more thing… there are various vampire clans in the series and some of them have special abilities or traits so the vampire turning into a spider was not all that unusual. Many spiders in nature will wrap up an enemy in a web or poison/paralyze enemies and then suck the fluids out of them so a vampire clan with spider like abilities is believable.

  15. So the introduction over… Akire finaly remember Mina.
    The creators skipped the manga beginning ( The assaintions, the attack agaist the Castle etc. ) but finally show a key character ( Kaichu the long haired girl with a glasses )so i think they follow the original story.
    I hope after that the anime will follow the manga.

  16. Having not read the manga in the first place, I’m not too clear on where all the bitching about the story having been “butchered” and “ruined” is coming from and am frankly quite puzzled by it. Obviously, I can understand those who read and enjoyed the manga are going to be biased in way of any changes to the story that SHAFT might be making, but I myself think that the show is highly entertaining so far; the animation is top-notch, the characters are interesting and Akira turning into a werewolf was by far one of the most badass things I’ve seen in a while. But clearly, a show like this is for those who haven’t read the manga and are simply in it for a good time. Oh, well.

  17. This anime is really good…
    Diferent from the manga:YES…

    But that isnt really bad at all… 🙂
    It can be faced like another face of the story/anime/manga… 🙂
    Which can be really good.. 🙂

    So far im LOVING this anime… 🙂
    please, keep uploading this anime.. 😀

  18. The OP song actually has the same tone from Guitar Freaks & Drummania V song entitled Friends (in Katakana by the way). I’m not sure if it’s the same song, since I don’t have the extended version for it.

  19. I dont like all the changes they made from the manga. It makes the story seem dumb and sets up too many wtf moments that make no sense at all. Plus changing the queen of vampires into a wimp that cant fight was a dumb idea. In the manga she has a strong character and would slaughter weak vampires like the one in this episode with ease!!!
    Just hope the story gets better and starts making sense.

  20. Well, I love the show, especially ep2. Based on that episode, I think it’s Shinbou’s best. The episode direction is just stunning: the visual and aural rhythms, the use of music, the story flow. I’ve read and enjoyed the manga, but I don’t think it was so good it couldn’t be improved. And it seemed to me to get pretty slow and aimless after a while. Anyway, I prefer shoujo to shounen and am very happy to see as much emphasis on the romance as possible. As for the OP, it’s definitely my favorite of the season so far. The music is good (an updated 80s song), the visuals excellent (flowers, scenes, and dance), and the way they are put together is wonderful. Mina’s dance looks a bit awkward at first viewing, but she is going faster than a human could, and that takes some time to get used to. The OP is made for the long run, it seems to me.

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