Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: B-
- Extras Rating: B
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: TOKYOPOP
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Vampire Princess Miyu
Vampire Princess Miyu TV Vol. #1
By Abraham Chinchilla Jr.
April 26, 2002
Release Date: August 28, 2001
I found this disc as I search through a row of DVDs at my local Blockbuster. The fact that it was anime, helped me make my decision. The series seems to be very good so far. Let's take a look at some technical specs of this disc. This series also seems to be one of the newest and first releases done by Tokyopop.
I watch this disc in it's original Japanese language. A typical Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The audio comes out nicely though. The music in this series is really good, I will note. The English language is also done as a DD 2.0 track. The dub acting isn't too good, but the audio itself is decent. No drop-outs could be spotted.
The video is nice. This show presents many dark colors, but there was little artifacting and cross coloration. A bit to nitpick about this release is that Tokyopop has "spliced" the three episodes together, removing openings and closings (Episode 1's intro, Opening, Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Closing, Preview for Episode 4). This is very bad, but it seems Tokyopop has corrected this in volume 2.
The cover art is presented in a black Alpha case which suits this sort of series. The front has a nice picture of Miyu, the main character, and her dedicated "bodyguard" Larva. It's very nicely done. The back has a synopsis of the show, and a few short summaries for each of the three episodes. The insert features the same artwork from the front cover and there is a special booklet which has the Japanese cast and also features the "designs and comments of Kenji Teraoka" in which he discusses the designs of the scary creatures featured in this series, the Shinma.
The menus are nothing special. They are simply static menus with background music playing in the background. The episodes have no chapter stops except for "Episode 1", "Episode 2", and "Episode 3". I'm not very happy since the video has locks which prevent me from using the "GO TO" feature! This IS fixed in volume 2, though.
The extras are very minimal. I've already mentioned the special insert, but we also get an art gallery which consists of 11 pieces of beautiful artwork. Some of them are Japanese Laser Disc covers and some artwork may be a little spoiler-ish.
This series is very interesting, and I'm really liking it. I have not seen the OVA series yet, so this is my first Miyu exposure. A few people have told me that the TV series at time is more darker than the OVA, but I can't really decide that yet. Basically, a young vampire named Miyu is hunting in the Human world for shape-shifting demons known as "Shinma". She takes disguise a high school student. She is accompanied by a bodyguard who use to be an evil Western Shinma, Larva (Tokyopop have renamed him "Lava" in the English dub and the subtitles, but the subtitle spelling is fixed in volume 2), and a cute pink bunny Shinma named Shiina. From what the first three episodes make the show seem, this series is a "monster (or "Shinma") of the day/week" sort of show. Which is fine, hopefully a bigger plot is formed later on in the series.
In episode 1, we are introduced to Miyu and other members of the main cast. Miyu takes disguise as a high school student, and is suspected by another student, to be a vampire. He investigates during the episode, as his favorite teacher is continually tortured by three (or actually two, since one has been found dead) girls. The teacher, Maiko, only has one friend that she can trust, her pet Iguana. The iguana is actually a Shinma and is using Maiko. The teacher is targetting the girls who found her shoplifting one day. She's worried they will tell, so she wants them dead.
In episode 2, Miyu makes friends with a few girls from her class, one being Chisato, a very cheerful and "cutesy" girl. Another Shinma also appears, as the form of a male artist, who kidnaps young women and "collects" them.
In episode 3, an old mask begins to haunt a young man in his sleep. Miyu finds out the mask is actually a Shinma. Larva also seems to know the Shinma as well. But, soon it seems the Shinma's intentions were not for evil, as he returns in the boy's dreams.
The series, as I have said, is very interesting, and I look forward to watching more. Don't worry about Tokyopop's mistakes, since they are surely corrected in the future DVDs. If you like the more horror and goth anime series, you may enjoy this one.
Philco 21" TV, APEX AD-1500 DVD Player