There aren’t many shoujo shows available in the UK just now, and being a big fan of the genre, I was happy to see that MVM decided to bring this title out over here. Vampire Princess Miyu TV is a remake of the older OVA series made back in the 1980’s. It focuses on a young girl named Miyu, a vampire whose been assigned the task of being “The Guardian”. It is her job assigned by fate to rid the world of evil demons known as Shinma who pray on humanities weaknesses. Accompanied by Larva her protector (a former Shinma and the obligatory series bishounen) and a small pink Pokemon like creature (albeit with a giant single bloodshot eye), she battles the Shinma. There are several other cast members; a snow witch named Reiha and her talking doll (who are constantly after Shinma themselves, interfering with Miyu’s hunts), aswell as the friends Miyu makes after going undercover at a school to expose a Shinma.
The show itself works on a simple “Monster Of The Week” type premise. Every episode apart from the final arc focuses on a particular Shinma and its evil deeds, and Miyu’s efforts to thwart it. The Shinma themselves tend to hide their true form throughout the episodes (normally as a human), and only expose themselves (and their grotesque shapes) for a final battle against Miyu. The encounters tend to be short, and the Shinma rather useless against Miyu’s magic and her companion Larva’s weapons. However the true damage is normally done to the humans involved with that particular Shinma’s plans.
The plot is very unforgiving on its mortal participants and death or severe psychological trauma is often inflicted upon them. Miyu however being the “good” vampire she is, occasionally takes the blood of those psychologically damaged, bringing them “infinite happiness”.
With the series following an episodic style, it would be easy to dismiss Miyu has having no underlying plot. But the final five episodes complete the story in a wonderfully epic way, delivering one of the finest plot twists I have ever seen in anime.
After seeing the ending you can easily go back and observe how the finale ties in with a few events throughout the series, which upon first sight appeared inconsequential.
There are complaints to be levied at the series too though. The first being there isn’t really much character development of the main cast. They all tend to focus on a set personality and follow that throughout the series. Only Miyu and Reiha really show any signs of an evolving personality, and I felt those developments were minimal at best. A lot of the cast don’t get the screen time I felt they deserved either, Larva in particular deserved to appear more than he did (although he does get a two episode arc devoted to explaining his past).
Some of the episodes in the show do fall on the side of dull, the plot seeming to drag a fair bit on occasion leaving me wanting the episode to end faster than it did.
What you have in Vampire Princess Miyu is a series of Japanese supernatural stories, all fairly dark and bleak, but with no over the top gore and only mild horror.
Miyu is an interesting enough lead character to hold your attention, and the supporting cast while lacking depth all have something to bring to the story. Some of the episodes (particularly ones that deal with Shinma who aren’t technically evil) are wonderfully put together and entertaining. The final story arc is a satisfying end to the series too, keeping in with the main trends while rounding things off fairly well. I enjoyed the series throughout despite its flaws, and as long as you aren’t expecting a happy story, you will too.