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Kyuuketsuki Miyu
(Vampire Princess Miyu)

Episode 1: Kiba wa Shitteiru

Copyright: © 1997, Hirano Toshiki, Telebi Tokyo
Length: 25 minutes
Rating: NR, Suggested for Mature Audiences
Format: Original Japanese Dialogue (VHS, LD, DVD)


TV VHS 1 jacket

One of the students of a local middle school has been found by a fellow student in the park. However, Yohko's death wasn't entirely normal, clear signs of a bite mark were left on her neck. Could it be that vampires are real and that there's one out on the streets?

Machiyama, a bright, young student who'd found Yohko's body in the park, also saw a young girl walking away from the park at that time disappear in a mist. The next day, a new transfer student joins his class and he quickly realises that Yamano Miyu is the same girl he'd seen the night he found Yohko's body. Could Miyu be the one who killed Yohko Kamimura?

However, Yohko had two close friends whom she hung out and shoplifted with. While hanging out at the local convenience store, the three girls spotted Maiko Yanagihara, their teacher, shoplifting as well. From there, the three girls gave little "gifts" to Ms Yanagihara, little items that they'd stolen. But then the next girl is suddenly found dead in the same park as Yohko. Who or what is behind the unusual killings?

capsule review:

I have to admit, I'm a fan of the occult and horror in general, and really enjoyed the original Vampire Princess Miyu OAVs. So when the TV series was being released on video, I'd started picking them up. However, the original OAV and the TV series are not the same. Not to say that the TV series is bad or anything, but it isn't the original OAV.

The opening scenes of this first scene start off interestingly enough with some good music and atmosphere introducing Miyu and clearly setting her apart from normal humans. With glowing golden eyes and the ability to disappear into mist, there can be no doubt that she's not human. Machiyama's character design strikes viewers as that bit too smug and annoying. The know-it-all who takes pains to make sure that everyone knows he's intelligent and is bored with the world in general. I have to admit that watching Machiyama watch Miyu is a bit like watching someone being stalked although who's stalking whom...

Although the story starts off interestingly enough, unfortunately the direction and the voice acting don't come together very well resulting in a lack-lustre episode. Normally stories tend to be limited in the first episode due to character introductions as well as initial story set-up, but that isn't so much the case in this first episode of Miyu. Rather, while we are introduced to Miyu, Larva, and Shiina, the remaining characters strike viewers as being ephemeral and belonging only to this one episode. Truly there is a strong sense of "shinma of the week" to this episode. The story could happen anywhere anywhen and it wouldn't do anything. Very much a filler episode, it doesn't do much as an introductory episode to the series.

Reading through the liner notes, this first episode indeed has nothing to do with the rest of the 25 episodes and was created as a pilot and is meant strictly to introduce the main characters of Miyu, Larva, and Shiina. Likewise, there are a number of other comments regarding the ending of the episode, which explains the why's of certain events. In that sense, episode 2 looks like it will be the true beginning for this series.

The choppy rendition of events and the overall lack of flow further weakens this episode. The voice acting doesn't help matters very much either. There are times when the seiyuu feel uncomfortable with their characters and their lines come across as just that, lines. While decently acted, I'm finding Larva's voice a bit difficult to get used to in this first episode. Nagasawa Miki, who portrays Miyu on the other hand, while generally okay at portraying her character occasionally comes across as bored. A problem when portaying a quiet, a withdrawn character.

The animation is very typical of TV series. With lots of stills and pans, and limited shots, the animation is somewhat limited in scope. However, there is some nice detail shown in the background of the still shots. Also, the animation isn't very smooth either. I foung some of the character designs a bit unusual when it came to people's expressions.

The music is a mixed bag. With some interesting moody melodies including an interesting opening theme, it does a good job of setting the atmosphere. However, it is generally only effective in combination with the animation. While I do like the flute melody, and the overall minor key to most melodies, it's not grabbing me enough to want to pick up the soundtrack.

Overall, this makes an okay beginning introducing the main characters and the basic "Guardian of the Shinma" concept. However, this first episode serves little purpose beyond introducing the main three characters in a "defeat a monster a week" story line. Neither particularly unique nor interesting, it does little to stir interest. Given the slow paced story development, there is the possibility that this episode will prove to be too lethargic for some people and end up boring them to sleep, particularly if they aren't in the mood for a slow show. Definitely a one shot episode, it doesn't make for a strong introduction to the series.
- JYN, 2001.05.28

café rating (original japanese):


2 stars
[2 / 5] - Very much a stand alone episode with a basic premise. It's a "defeat the monster of the week" story.


3 stars
[3 / 5] -


3 stars
[3 / 5] - Subpar for usual Japanese seiyuu efforts. Some of the characters sound decidedly like they're reading their lines.


2 stars
[2 / 5] - Lots of stills and pans, the animation is pretty typical TV quality stuff.


3 stars
[3 / 5] - Generally good at helping build atmosphere. Interesting opening and closing themes which suit the overall feel of the series.


[ N/A ] - Based on the original Japanese version.

Overall Rating:

2 stars
[2 / 5] - Not a great way to start the series since this story isn't going places. If it were in the middle, it would have been a filler.

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Page last modified 2001.05.28