DVD Review: Vampire Princess Miyu – The Complete Series

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Does MVM’s complete series release of Vampire Princess Miyu stand the test of time? or does it fail in comparison to modern anime releases? Find out in our DVD Review of Vampire Princess Miyu – The Complete Series.

Synopsis:

Born of vampire and human, doomed to remain trapped in the body of a teenager forever, she is the Chosen One: mankind’s last defence against the forces of Darkness. With her once-greatest foe, the Shinma named Larva, as her sole companion, she stands eternally poised at the bridge between two worlds. She is charged with the duty of tracking down supernatural beings who seek to harm the human race and banishing them back to the dark realms from whence they came. (via MVM Entertainment)

Our View:

Vampire Princess Miyu, also known as Kyuketsuki Miyu, tells the tale of Miyu Yamano, a vampire who has the appearance of a 15 year old girl but the powers of a demon. With her companions Larva and Shiina she defends humans from the forces of darkness, also known as Shinma, however despite being a saviour for the humans; she still has to feed off human blood.

Miyu feeds off human blood by either attacking victims of Shinma, under the pretence of offering them release from their torture, or hunting carefully selected prey in various locations. It’s here where the story begins and it’s where we find ourselves seeing Miyu being introduced into a new school, and her next feast.

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Unlike the traditional animé shows, which progress a story over several episodes, Vampire Princess Miyu tells each story in ‘episodic’ format – basically each episode is a new story, with only the main cast of characters, Miyu, Larva, Shiina and Miyu’s school friends, returning for the new episode, with each episode running in exactly the same layout as the previous one. Think Pokemon but with vampires and demons and you’ll get the idea.

Even though the story is told in ‘episodic’ format, crucial pieces of information do transcend over the course of the series, such as the ever developing friendship between Miyu and Chisato. This friendship, which is considered forbidden by Larva, creates ultimate consequences for Miyu and her friends, which results in dangerous results for everyone that’s involved.

Extras:

Each of the six discs included with this UK release of Vampire Princess Miyu comes with extra features, however don’t expect variety as each content is the same with the only difference being the included artwork.

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On each disc viewers will find the original Japanese opening for the show as well as character artwork for each of the demons (Shinma) shown in episodes on that disc.

Overall:

To some Vampire Princess Miyu might seem like an iconic classic anime series but in reality it’s a slow, dreary experience that is made painfully worse by the English Dub. To start with each episode of the show moves along at a snail pace, with Miyu inevitably fighting a Shinma at the end of each episode, while these fight scenes spice up the show the fights are over before anything happens – with no real drama or violence taking place on screen. Furthermore the animation used to create these scenes feels old and uninviting, even by late nineties standard.

The included audio tracks doesn’t make the series much better either, as both audio tracks, which are presented in 2.0 Stereo, feel lifeless and empty, with no passion or enthusiasm from the voice actor and very little in the way of background music to entice viewers. While the Japanese Audio track is the most enjoyable to listen to, the English Dub is, put simply, terrible, with the main cast being ‘robotic’ in their voice acting, despite this the best voice acting comes from support roles that only appear for a few episodes, with familiar voices such as Lara Jill Miller, Steve Blum and Rebecca Forstadt making appearances in the show.

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It’s not just the Audio that has issues, as the subtitles also has its problem. The DVD subtitles not only change colour, form Volume 2 onwards, but the text size of the subtitle itself changes, sometimes even halfway through an episode. This isn’t MVM Entertainments fault, neither is the voice acting, as MVM have used the original DVD Masters provided by TokyoPop, which leads me on to the interesting ‘fun fact’ of Volume 1. When TokoyoPop released Volume 1 on DVD they removed the opening, ending and episode previews from the first three episodes of the series, making it a feature-length-presentation, and this has been mimicked on the UK release. This is because MVM are using TokoyoPop original DVD masters – however this ‘quirk’ was fixed on later volumes and is seen as a ‘historic’ event in Anime production.

While the voice acting is ‘questionable’ and the subtitles ‘amusing’ the series has an interesting story to tell and one that can be rather enjoyable if watched to its conclusion. Furthermore the DVD quality of show is impressive, as the picture looks sharp – which is surprising considering its age and its not a High Definition re-master. For the most part though Vampire Princess Miyu has an interesting story to tell, but with its old animations, poor voice acting and slow approach to story telling it will only apply to fans of the series, with most new anime fans finding it hard to adapt to this ‘older style’ of anime.

Score: review-stars-2

Vampire Princess Miyu – The Complete Series will be available on DVD from the 15th April 2013.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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