Vampire Princess Miyu (1988): Cute Vampire Mysteries

The Different Hirano Saga

So yeah, this ova is a little bit different. Especially since it doesn’t have any mecha in it in any sort of way. It’s just a pure sort of vampire mystery so he didn’t work with Obari or the other great people I mentioned before. This time, it’s a more personal sort of work with Hirano working with his now wife, Narumi Kakinouchi. That’s pretty adorable honestly. So what best way to end a short period of horror ovas with something that is 100% no doubt a horror focused on some vampire mysteries. Different vampire mysteries than usual though it does make me question that it may have influenced Call of the Night at least a little bit. Hmmmm.

I know that there is a tv adaptation of Vampire Princess Miyu that is two cours in length. True enough. I’m going to be honest, I don’t know anything about that one then whatever you can find on the internet. This one is just four episodes in length. Four pretty standard sized tv episodes with at least a little bit of length in them. Something which I kind of like because we get some cool and well animated sort of vampire stuff different then one would expect and then we leave. The power and wonder of ovas is not to be tampered with because its good. 

The Episodic? Adventures of Miyu

The concept of Miyu’s episodes are simple enough. Miyu is a teenaged looking vampire girl who, with her side kick Larva, defeats shinma (god demons) that have wondered the earth and have led to the death of her parents. So she battles the shinma out of revenge. Following Miyu to keep the story a bit more grounded, a very attractive spiritualist named Himiko dares to follow and stop Miyu at every last turning point even if it’s the last thing she ever does. Well, at least that is what the first episodes would let us believe. Perhaps if this was a normal tv lengthed episodes this would be monster of the week and just be very good. 

Well, I guess there is another show for that named the same thing. In this case, episodes 2 and 3 show very different sides of Miyu than the confident and powerful Miyu that we first run into. Episode two revolves around a boy named Kei who doesn’t want to live in this world anymore. So its a bit of a fight between Miyu and the shinma, Ranka who turns people into dolls. A bit of a love spot over a hot boy and it makes Miyu much more believable as a character because it makes sense for someone who looks her age to be that shallow. Ranka, of course, wins in the end and Miyu vanishes them both into darkness. I really found that episode just a lot of fun in goofy ways.

The last two episodes are a bit different even if you could believe that the third one follows the episodic nature that the show set out to do. Especially when looking at who people are and whether or not they could stay the same despite their appearances changing over time. The last episode is kind of the creepiest sort of last episode that could be thought of. At least I think so. Especially when it questions Himiko’s own sense of humanity as apparently Himiko and Miyu were the same age at one point and Miyu hasn’t changed because of the vampire blood in her. There is a possibility of that blood hitting Himiko too, so a perfect creepy note to end on. 

The Horror of being the Unknown

As one could tell with my quick summaries of the four episodes, the biggest theme in Vampire Miyu is self doubt and not knowing who we truly are. At least that is what attaches itself to me. For instance, the obvious horror of people being taken over by Shinma at what seems like whenever they feel like it. One day, you could not wake up again or be turned into some sort of doll. What about the humanity that people used to hold when they are a Shinma now? What were people in their past, do they remember, and do they matter? The answer is not as clear as one would think it would be and that’s a good note to leave that.

Especially with the ending note of Himiko’s journey. While Himiko is a poor and traveling Spiritualist, she has seen the world beyond that so many people have ever seen before. She is the point of view character for us in this strange world we wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. We thought she was an outsider throughout her four episode journey of her encounters and arguments with Miyu. Then she discovers that she might not remember who she actually is or whether she can be who she is or who she thinks she is for that long.  At the end of the day, she could become a different being, a vampire. Maybe that unnatural world has been waiting for her the entire time. A perfect, uncomfortable note to end this short ova on. Beautiful. Chef’s Kiss. 

Wrapping Up A Human? A Vampire? An Anime!

So that is generally all the ideas that I placed into Vampire Hunter Miyu on a textual and writing level. On a visual level, it looks really pretty. Well, the backgrounds are basic most of the time, but I love everything else. It has a great visual aesthetic from the character designs, which are very cool and attractive, to the displays of power. The monster designs are great too. It is a really well thought out series on all fronts and nifty too. Some really interesting bits of psychological themes and ideas for them here too. Some cool bits of characters and other ideas for them too. So can see and appreciate all the good work put into this four episode ova. I need to find the series somewhere and find out all the differences. 

8 comments

  1. Great review – definitely know what you mean regarding themes of identity etc. I remember the OVA had me pretty curious about the manga also.

    I’d be keen to hear what you think if you find the TV series too – the tone is at times very different, but Miyu’s character is probably one of the biggest differences for me. At times very much the same – at times definitely not. And Larva actually speaks (comparatively) often in the TV series 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Only the ova was on retro crush unfortunately.

        Yeah, so many things that aren’t available to a wide range of people either and it kind of hurts even if not everyone is going to watch those. Hmm

        Liked by 1 person

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