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Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 10/10/2002

Shido is a vampire who runs a detective agency which specializes in supernatural cases, particularly when it involves breeds who prey on human hosts. Assisting him are Yayoi, a special agent who "sponsors" Shido by letting him drink her blood; Riho, a teenage girl who lost her family to a breed attack; and Guni, a tiny winged creature whom Shido met many years back. Shido has sworn to protect humanity from the breeds, for he was once human himself...
NightWalker is a fairly short series along the lines of "Phantom Quest Corporation" and "Geobreeders". Here we have an agency specializing in supernatural cases, the twist lies in the fact that the person in charge is actually a vampire himself.
NightWalker is episodic in nature, and just about every installment can stand alone. Shido and his team tackle all kinds of breed possessions -- from people who've willingly sold their souls to demons to innocent victims whose bodies are "snatched" from them. The only reason you're supposed to view the series in proper sequence is Riho, because somewhere in the series she asks Shido to turn her into a vampire so they can be together forever. Shido obliges, and Riho becomes his vampiric companion. This is actually one of the high points of the series. Riho's transition from human to vampire is portrayed with such mixed emotions that it makes you think. At first Riho is excited and happy at having attained eternal life and youth, but after a while she starts to realize that she can no longer exist in her old world... since she can't really be out in the sun and blood is about the only thing she can consume. Riho drops out of school, says goodbye to her old friends, and falls into a sort of semi-depression. While it's true she promised Shido she would not regret her decision, it had never occured to her it would be so difficult.
Shido's character reminded me somewhat of Kenshin Himura (from "Rurouni Kenshin") and Vash the Stampede (from "Trigun") in the sense that Shido is extremely adept at what he does, yet he does not abuse that power and as much as possible avoids hurting others. He walks the night with the purpose of protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
The art and animation are excellent. The character designs are very attractive and the action sequences are quite exciting. Nightwalker also takes your basic idea of what a vampire is and modifies it. We see Riho venturing out on a rainy day because the sun is obstructed by thick clouds; Shido can go out before the sun completely sets, wearing his dark glasses; all the vampires use their own blood as deadly weapons -- with it they can vanquish other dark forces. I should mention that there is some upper body nudity (exposed female breasts) as well as slightly yaoi (homosexual) themes because Shido's old flame and fellow vampire Cain just won't let him be.
All in all, NightWalker is a pretty good pick. It does not glamorize the vampiric life, nor does it extol it. It simply presents the two sides of a coin, making you think long and hard of what's really worthwhile.
NightWalker is made up of 12 episodes released in 2 DVDs.

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Review Title:
300 Minutes
General Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Comedy, Horror, Mystery
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