Vampire Princess Miyu TV Vol. #1 (of 6) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, August 11, 2003
Release Date: Monday, August 11, 2003
What They Say
Evil Shinma - shape-shifting monsters and vampires - roam the Earth on a mission to unleash their darkness upon the Human race. Miyu was born a Vampire Princess, charged with the responsibility of banishing Shinma from the Earth.
Stranded in the twilight between human and demon, she has the power to offer humans the gift of eternal happiness with one bite, yet is herself destined for perpetual solitude
Sharing a dark journey through the weakness of the human heart with her only companion, Lava, Miyu lives an endless and lonely quest as both the hunter and the hunted.
You may have seen another Vampire Princess Miyu disc floating, but this one is slightly different as it is based on the TV series.
I listened in both Japanese and English and didn’t hear an problems with the standard stereo presentation. I particularly liked the incidental music used in the fight scenes which adds a little tension to the scenes.
Opening music, which is beautiful if slightly melancholic, is “Shinma No Kodoh” by the ever delightful Kenji Kawai. The closing song is “Miyu Hassen Ya” which is equally beautiful and has a feeling of hope to it, so I guess they represent to sides to Miyu life.
The video was good, with zero defects, clean lines and rich colours. Despite looking very hard I couldn’t find any of the problems that have been reported on some of the R1 reviews of this series, so I guess the R2 release has come up trumps.
The box is a very nice black and blue presentation, the front cover has Miyu and Lava in a what looks to be an adorned mirror (I think). The rear has Miyu, the plot line, three stills, one from each episode and the credits. No insert was enclosed and the disc itself is a printed version of the box cover (nice).
A simple menu with a background of Miyu and Lava (a cropped version of the front cover picture). In the centre we have the menu options of Episode Selection, Extras and Language setup. All links worked and no dead ends were encountered.
Very limited, just the original Japanese opening titles and a short gallery of sketched Shinma.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first episode is starts with a girl (Yoko) lying dead on the ground, eyes wide open and two small fang marks on her neck. Then the credits roll and rather unusually the plot is narrated for our pleasure (so no FF through the credits).
Then we meet Miyu as she joins a class at her new school, although one of the boys (Machiyama) thinks he recognizes her from the scene of the murdered girl. Of course Miyu isn’t at school to learn, she is tracking the Shinma that is killing the girls who have been blackmailing the class teacher (Miss Yanagihara). The rest of the episode centres around Miyu trying the find the Shinma before it kills again, and Machiyama following Miyu (he thinks she is the killer). The finale is a showdown on a roof top where all the bad characters get their comeuppance.
The next episode starts on a train, we find a very attractive women sitting alone, and she meets an equally attractive man. We are not sure what happens next but this scene ends with a women’s sobbing echoing in the dark.
The scene cuts to Miyu at another new school. She gets invited out by a group of classmates who take her into town. Whilst enjoying the day Miyu comes across the attractive man from the first scene, and it’s obvious Miyu suspects him of foul play. A confrontation between Miyu, Lava and the attractive Shimna ensues and it is during this time we find out what terrible things the Shinma has been doing to the women he has been kidnapping from the train.
In this second episode we learn three new things- 1. Miyudoesn’t have any friends 2. she is much older than her teenage body represents 3. Lava use to be a bad Shinma himself. I also get the feeling that the group of girls that Miyu associates with at school will be a staple addition to future episodes, a sort of “Scooby gang”.
The final episode starts with a young man (Kouichi) having a terrible nightmare about a mask that hangs on his wall downstairs. It’s not long before Miyu and friends are introduce to the Mask. We learn that Lava has met this Mask before, a long time ago in Africa, and he doesn’t understand how the Shinma Mask does what it does. In the showdown Miyu finds herself unable to banish the Mask and so it is left to Lava to finish the job he started a 100 years previous.
This series has promise, but we will have to wait and see if each volume is going to be just a seek & destroy formula, or whether some other plot line will be introduced.
In summary - It’s early days yet, but I see no reason not to buy this if you want to start collecting a good looking vampire series.
Japanese Language,English Language ,English Subtitles ,Original Japanese opening,Gallery of Shinma
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 21” Sony Trinitron monitor, ATI 9700pro & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones.
Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 2 - Europe
Released By: MVM Entertainment
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Vampire Princess Miyu