The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Dance in the Vampire Bund

Title: Dance in the Vampire Bund
Genre: Drama/Action
Company: GENCO/SHAFT
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 7 Jan 2010 – 25 Mar 2010

Synopsis:  After countless centuries of secrets and subterfuge, Vampire Queen Mina Tepes announces to the human world the existence of vampires.  She then establishes a vampire haven off the cost of Japan where vampires can live in limited coexistence with humans.  However, there is severe backlash to this action from both the human and vampire underworld.  Can Mina Tepes’ guardian Akira protect his queen, or does he have more to fear from her than anyone else?

The Highlights
Animation: Like most SHAFT anime, barely any, though whatever is there looks more consistent than usual.
Music: Doesn’t particularly enhance anything and isn’t memorable in its own right.
Characters: Decent… but forgettable.
Shinbo: Must have taken a bit of a vacation on this one.

Now here is a show that is infamous for pushing the envelope as to how much nudity a preteen girl could show on modern television before fading into obscurity quickly afterwords. Dance in the Vampire Bund is a stylish and sexually charged tale about a lolita vampire establishing a vampire haven off the coast of Japan. It’s not your typical vampire anime, but that doesn’t make the series any more compelling either. From the characters to visuals to the story, nothing is strong enough to carry the anime through anything but mediocrity.

Though Dance in the Vampire Bund is willing to push people of their comfort zone with its stylishly gratuitous fanservice, it fails to turn heads with anything else. The show has decent but forgettable cast that go through a decently scripted but forgettable turmoil about vampires in civil war that comes to a decent but forgettable finale. The anime fails to have anything in between that jumps out and kicks the audience out of the show’s usual monotony.

For some reason, the usually imaginative and often neurotic Shinbo is oddly tame with this production. I would have thought that directing a show about a vampire loli would have gotten Shinbo‘s creative juices flowing but his genius is largely absent. Sure, there are several of his usual flourishes, whether it be abruptly cut scenes, views of characters posing in odd angles, and scenes that simply meander. However, the anime strangely relies a bit too much on the source material, and there’s not enough of Shinbo doodling over it with his paintbrush and LSD.

Ignore all the vitriol Dance in the Vampire Bund gets across the internet. It’s most likely a begrudging bunch who were expecting a Bakemonogatari and getting something totally different instead. Dance in the Vampire Bund is by no means a bad show; it’s just a “meh” experience.

The Rating: 5
5/10

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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