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New Vampire Miyu
(Shin Vampire Miyu)

Epilogue: The Past Lies Behind a Door!
(Yume (Kako) ga Nemuru Tobira)

Story and Art: Toshihiro Hirano and Narumi Kakinouchi
Publisher: Akita Shoten, Studio Ironcat
Volume Information: Vol. 1 1-929090-08-0
Date of Publication: 1992, 1999
Length: 26 (224) pgs (+12 pg illustration gallery)
Format: English Translation
Difficulty: N/A


North American manga jacket

Before Miyu became the guardian of the Japanese Shinma, she'd lived as a normal human young girl. As a small child, she often heard an unknown voice calling her to awaken. Two Western Shinma, Lemures and Larva watched her with the intent of putting her blood to rest before it has a chance to awaken. However, Larva acted too late and instead became Miyu's first victim. Ravaged by an uncontrollable thirst, Miyu turns to her mother mother for help...

Japanese manga jacketThere's something a little unusual about Masashi. After disappearing for about a month, he was suddenly found in the mountains. However, Masashi had changed during that month and wouldn't answer questions as to why he'd disappeared and would instead laugh happily. Despite regular doctor visits and blood transfusions, Masashi remained anaemic and failed to get better. But that wasn't the only thing unusual about him, for rumour has it that he also never ages...

capsule review:

Remotely hinted at in the OAV series, this short side story at the end of the first volume of the graphic novel provides a hint more detail into Miyu's past. And more than the story of returning another shinma to the Dark, it is this slight look into Miyu's character that catches the reader's interest, especially those familiar with the OAVs.

With Masashi's story told amidst Miyu's personal history and memories, a weak parallel can be drawn between Masashi's parents' actions and those of Miyu's mother. However, unlike Masashi, whose dreams and thoughts are unknown, Miyu's memories and thoughts are clearly expressed.

Kakinouchi's artwork continues to be very expressive and makes effective use of empty space. Her characters' eyes are especially expressive indicating the characters' emotional state. However, the translation in this side story was somewhat looser and in one instance a change in verb tense resulted in a change in conversation topic. From "that is lovely" to "that was lovely" the focus changes from something at hand to an event that just occurred. This change combined with less specific conversation earlier results in the true meaning behind the scene becoming much less clear. Despite this one point however, Miyu's story is intact, and it is her story that is much more important overall.

Of interest in the North American release is the inclusion of a short illustration gallery at the end of the graphic novel. Including cover illustrations from the individual releases as well as a few pictures from the Japanese manga releases, it provides a nice "extra" for readers who enjoy Kakinouchi's drawing style. While it's unfortunate that the illustrations are black & white rather than colour, inclusion of colour pages (4 colour pages are included in the Japanese release) does increase costs. An illustration book would be more worthwhile for those truly interested in the artwork.

All in all this first volume makes an intriguing beginning to the Western Shinma story arc while also providing an interesting side story on the main character of the series. While many questions still remain about Miyu and Larva both, undoubtedly it is the cliff-hanger ending of the main story that holds the reader's interest. Onward to the next volume and more story!
- JYN, 2002.07.25

café rating (english translation):


3 stars

[3 / 5] - Fairly minimal story of sealing away another Shinma. It is the history behind Miyu and Larva's past that makes this story worthwhile.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - Backgrounds are often quite empty, but the characters are cleanly drawn. There is a short image gallery at the end in the North American release.


4 stars
[3 / 5] - One section where a change in verb tense changes the meaning of the scene. The rest of the translations are quite accurate.

Overall Rating:

3 star
[4 / 5] - Maintaining a very sombre tone, this story does a nice job of wrapping up the first volume.

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