It’s not everyday that you hear about Mamoru Oshii being behind a new anime production. You know, the guy behind the original Ghost in the Shell Film, Patlabor ovas, and so many other things? The guy who I dedicated an entire month’s worth of content to last year? So, of course I was excited about Vlad Love when it was announced. Mamoru Oshii hasn’t worked on an anime since The Sky Crawlers film in 2008. That’s just crazy to even consider how my life has changed since he hasn’t produced any new anime. Especially since Vlad Love isn’t something that you would expect from him at all considering his love for military things and also saying how bad they are through story telling. So, surprise! I didn’t like it. Can you tell from the title?
Vlad Love’s idea is at least funny and very modern for what stories are like these days. Well, at least somewhat. It’s a yuri comedy series centered on a cast of very interesting characters. A blood donation enthusiast by the name of Mitsugu Banba finds and falls in love with a vampire girl on the street named Mai Vlad Transylvania. Banba offers Mai some blood and to stay at her house and Mai does. With the help of Banba’s insanely attractive and very eccentric nurse Chihiro Chimatsuri, a night school of various characters of different skills, genders body shapes, and sizes appear to feed Mai blood every night and go on crazy adventures. So, fun times. Sounds like a good series. Except it wasn’t.
First of all, what is lacking is the execution of the story. It feels so old and strange considering how it all came out. I mean, the idea behind it was Mamoru Oshii didn’t follow any anime trends because he assumes that most modern anime do not mean anything or have anything of substance behind them. I just want to mention here that out of touch is exactly what the show is. There are some fun moments like the first episode for the most part or the cosplay contest or where Mai and Banba’s dads met and it turns out that Banba’s dad is a vampire hunter. Other then that, it’s just full of episodic stories with thatcharacters don’t change and movie references from very, very early cinema to Interview With a Vampire as the finale episode. Maybe fun for some people, but blah.
That’s partially for where the main failure of this show came for me. Not just reference humor that I blatantly hate, but reference humor for all sorts of things and then pointing them out. I wish the show would have just let all of these references happen and never explain them. You know, the kind of jokes that work without knowing the reference and knowing the reference makes it even more funny. Instead, the overly enthusiastic movie club president shouted all the references in front of your face or the school nurse would have done it. Is there something wrong with just having the references happen more organically and if the viewer knew them, they get a bit more? This feels like Big Bang Theory or something where the show wants to announce as many references as possible to show you how smart it is. Its overly pretentious for no reason at all.
What I don’t mind for comedy series is progression. I don’t expect any progression at all, I just want to see these cooky characters doing cooky things with something tying down the comedy or causing it to happen. I do not even mind these characters being one dimensional at all as long as they are funny. I hate this cast. I liked Banba and Mai for the most part, but there was a point where the show wasn’t about those two as much anymore and we were left with these people. The annoying club members who yell out their personalities to let you know what they are, the ones that are so proud and feel like they have to share everything immediately or “I am good at this”. Not even a second of thought was put into any of that. These aren’t characters, but popsicle sticks that simulate characters on occasion.
I also hate most of the visual designs of the show. For instance, most of the talking comes in from characters popping out of the scenery in their own frames for lip flaps. It’s very cheaply done and I see nothing fun about the art style at all. Especially since so many comedy series these days are well animated and directed following what Kyoto Animation did with Nichijou. Because of that Vlad Love is just so lazy. It even takes live action footage of a city and puts a filter over it in an attempt to hide it. In fact, so many parts of Vlad Love are like that as well because it’s a very cheap and flatly produced series. It really was a miserably put together series on the cheap budget possible here and it’s just so annoying. I hate it. This show was a frustrating watch all the way through and I don’t know why I stuck with it.
If there is one thing that I’ve learned while watching anime or being a consumer of media, it’s that you don’t have to like or enjoy everything a creator does. Especially with a creator that you enjoy a lot of and this was an example of that for Mamoru Oshii. I don’t get why this exists at all. It’s badly, overly pretentious, detached from everything we’ve done on purpose, and was the most nails on a chalkboard thing I’ve seen for a while. I am surprised that I’ve even got anything out of it at all. I didn’t even mention the comment on Korean Comfort ant women anywhere, because there was nowhere to put it except here. Yikes. Isn’t that I honestly can’t give it a big enough recommendation to avoid it, forget it existed, and that’s all I have to say about it. It’s awful. I know that will make people say they want to check it out, but I really hope no one does. I don’t get why some of the people I follow like it.https://storage.ko-fi.com/cdn/widget/Widget_2.jskofiwidget2.init(‘Support Me on Ko-fi’, ‘#29abe0’, ‘P5P07UUQ’);kofiwidget2.draw();
I watched the first episode last week, and I know what you mean. I’m surprised you could watch so many episodes. After about ten minutes of the first one I declared the series a dud and only finished the episode to be polite. Once it was over, I deleted the series from my watch list.
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Yeah, I don’t know how I got through it either honestly. It’s just one of those things that I just ended up doing because it was Mamoru Oshii and no other reason.
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You are a very dedicated fan!