Anime with the Monk: A “Dance” worth watching

Greetings everyone! Welcome back to another “With the Monk” column with your host, Miroku! Last time, I reviewed a two part movie put together from a 6 part OVA. This time (in keeping with the season and the upcoming holiday) we are reviewing a 12 episode series that, though short, had excellent animation style and rather nice storyline though it draws a bit from a current pop culture obsession. Which one, you may ask? Why vampire romance stories, of course! Now then, before you go clicking the back button, let me just say that this paticular series entitled “Dance in the Vampire Bund” IS NOT one of those “twighlight-er” series. Vampires don’t sparkle and they can’t march about in the daylight WITHOUT any form of protection from the sun. Rather, it is the story of a seemingly average high school student named Akira Kaburagi. Somewhere near the age of 17, he suffers from a case of amnesia and can’t properly recall anything past a year and a half ago. He attends classes and is pretty good friends with everyone, even having a bit of a “sweetheart” relationship with his fellow classmate, Ms. Yuki Saegusa. Everything is normal in his world until the day that a strange young girl comes to his high school looking for him. Upon meeting with him, some of his memories flood back to him with a violent shock that nearly knocks him comatose. He realizes he knows her and recalls a promise he had made to her when they were both younger. It is here that he also learns that she is the princess of vampires who, the night before, had revealed herself and the existance of vampires to the world on a Japanese discussion show. She reveals to him her plans to create a Bund (a sort of coastal city) in which she wishes to invite all non-radical vampires to come and live there lives within without fear of discrimnation or danger of harm. She then reveals that Akira is one of her most trusted knights and asks him to join her, once more, in her efforts. Reluctantly, Akira agrees and joins the princess as her bodyguard and, through the process of protecting her, recovers more and more of his lost memories, rediscovering his ancient blood abilities as a member of the Earth Clan (Aka: Werewolves)…

It’s actually a very well written animation, though it deviates a little from the original story by manga artist Nozomu Tamaki. There was SOME controversy with the series which was originally going to be edited for U.S. shores due to some suggestive themes in the series. However, Funimation released the 12 episode series in it’s entirety with no edits, which is just the way this monk likes to watch them. And the epsiodes with questionable material were few, with explainations and plot twists that work to make it make sense when you get to the later episodes. This series takes the best of modern monster lore (from authors like Anne Rice and Sherrilynn Kenyon) and spices them up in the best way the Japanese know how. So, with that being said, I would definately recommend giving this series a swing and watch/purchase the entire series. It’s defiantely a must have for anyone whom is a fan of vampires, werewolves, and the supernatural romance stories. And, as always, thank you for visiting us here at aniRAGE.com! Make sure to dropback by again to see what other series, movies, manga, or whatever else we have to show case for you, and we hope you had a Happy Halloween!

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