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Vampire Princess Miyu (TV)
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 08/08/2004

Synopsis:
Miyu is a child-like vampire burdened with the very daunting role of the guardian. As so, it is Miyu's eternal duty to send stray Shinma back into the darkness from where they came from. For centuries, Miyu has travelled all over Japan hunting Shinma who would wreak havoc in the human world. Two loyal Shinmas assist and accompany Miyu -- the handsome western Shinma Larva, and the rabbit-like Shinma Shiina.

Review:
Although the Vampire Princess Miyu TV series is a follow-up to the OAVs, it does not really pick up where the other left off. In this installment, Miyu decides to settle down in a city and enroll in a school where she makes some friends. Miyu's student life is actually a cover for her quest to find and banish stray Shinmas, albeit she does seem to have adapted a more human personality. If the OAV Miyu struck one as a cold and detached presence, the TV Miyu is compassionate to an extent and somewhat vulnerable.

Vampire Princess Miyu TV progresses in a rather disjointed manner with a repetitive monster-of-the-day, or rather Shinma-of-the-day theme. Miyu discovers a Shinma, hunts it down, and fries it with her fire powers. What sparsely binds most of the episodes together is Miyu's developing friendship with her classmate Chisato, which eventually becomes the focus of the series as it reaches the climax. By Miyu's side is Larva, who has also evolved into a more communicative character, taking off his mask from time to time to offer his insights on various situations that Miyu would get into. Larva's more active involvement in the series is a definite plus for bishounen fans such as myself, since we get to see a lot of his handsome face throughout. There's also Shiina, who looks like a cute pink bunny with the exception of his bizarre right eye which can see things that others cannot. A rival is introduced in the person of the snow demoness Reiha, who is obssessed with following Miyu around and challenging Miyu's status as the guardian.

Aside from the Shinma-of-the-day and friendship themes, Vampire Princess Miyu TV also takes time to expound on both Miyu and Larva's pasts. We find out how they ended up together, how Miyu started on the path of her destiny as guardian, and so forth. While I found the series to be quite interesting in general, it was not so exciting that you'd pop in disc after disc just to find out what was going to happen next. It took me a several months to finish everything (I started watching sometime last March), since the redundancy would compel me to take a break every so often.

The visuals are good, although not as flawless and refined as the OAV's. There were some inferior in-betweening jobs but as a whole the series can be considered well-animated. The English dubbing is nicely done as well; I was just a bit disturbed that Larva was always referred to as "Lava". The music and sound effects are not as somber and eerie as the OAV's but they fit the more emotional themes and characters that the TV series imparts.

The Vampire Princess Miyu TV series is admittedly an above average production, despite its shortcomings in terms of presentation and pacing. It would have been better had they deviated from the Shinma-of-the-day routine and came up with more gripping, tightly linked episodes. A decent watch at most and perhaps a nice treat for those who can't get enough of Miyu.

 
Miscellanies:
For the prequel to this 26-episode TV series, check out the Vampire Princess Miyu OAV series.
 

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Vampire Princess Miyu (TV)
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Review Title:
Vampire Princess Miyu (TV)
Alternative Titles:
Kyuutseki-Hime Miyu
Type:
TV
Episodes:
26
Duration:
650 Minutes
General Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Aired:
1997-1998
Suitable For:
Teens
Genres:
Action, Drama, Horror,
Supernatural, Vampires
Scrapped Princess
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4. Wicked City
5. X the Movie