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[ café reviews ]


Kyuketsuki Miyu
(Vampire Princess Miyu)
"Ayatsuri no Utage"
(A Banquet of Marionettes)

Distributed by: Soeishinsha and Pony Canyon (Japan), AnimEigo (North America)
Length: 35 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: Original Japanese dialog (VHS/LD), subtitled (VHS/LD)

Based on the manga by Kakinouchi Narumi. Screenplay by Aikawa Noberu, directed by Hirano Toshiro and produced by AIC. English version directed by Michael House.

[ plot summary ]

volume 1

Reibaishya Himiko has been hired by the father of a missing high school student. Several students have gone missing from the school without a trace, although in his daughter's case, someone had spotted a strange looking doll where the girl had been. A doll which later disappeared. Could the girl have been turned into a doll? Himiko, thinking that perhaps one of the Shinma might be responsible for the disappearances decides to take the case. For where there are Shinma, the mysterious girl vampire is bound to follow.

[ capsule review ]

Japan's traditional entertainment culture is often characterised as "minimalist" in approach. In many forms of Japanese theater, there are often scenes consisting only of subtle gestures. Episode 2 is in many ways, art imitating life imitating art. Using a bunraku (a 200 year old style of Japanese large-scale puppet theater) theme, a very traditional story of two women fighting over the same man is told, albeit under decidedly untraditional circumstances. Once again, it's the story and manner of presentation that captures your attention -- not the technical elements, which are on the sparse and interpretational side. As Himiko investigates a series of mysterious disappearances, a story of forbidden love emerges. We're also permitted a brief glimpse into Miyu's personal desires, and sense of loneliness. But, as with many Japanese plays, we have a bitter-sweet ending for our players. Again, the music is an integral part of this episode. Traditional-style music is incorporated very effectively. Worthwhile viewing! - AN

Episode 2 continues the story of Himiko as she finds out more about the mysterious girl vampire she had met earlier. The animation quality is the same as for the previous episode, and the music continues to be excellent. This episode's music has a more traditional feel to it reminiscent of Japanese theatre.

This episode's story continues to develop Miyu's character giving us some insight into her personality and showing us that she is still very much a young girl. We also get some idea about her determination in returning the Shinma to the Dark. (Ranka's character is also featured in the Manga series for VP Miyu). - JYN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: 4 stars 4 stars N/R
Direction: 4 stars 4 stars N/R
Acting: 4 stars 4 stars N/R
Animation: 2 stars 2 stars N/R
Music: 5 stars 5 stars N/R
Translation: N/A 4 stars N/R
Overall Rating: 4 stars 4 stars N/R

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Page last modified 1999.04.28