Miyu is a thirteen year old vampire who hunts down wayward demons (Shinma) that kill humans. Though she is a vampire, she does not kill, but sends her victims into a world of their wildest fantasies. She is almost totally alone, with her faithful Shinma servant Larva being her only friend.
The four part anime series of Miyu was noticeably short, with a major cliff-hanger which I don't want to spoil. These videos describe the story of the spiritualist Himiko, who finds the young vampire girl Miyu during one of her house calls. Himiko follows Miyu through some of her battles with the Shinma and even tells Miyu of her emotional disgust to the way she treats her victims, all leading to a closer bond between the two. Himiko comes to find that Miyu is the heir to the royal throne of Shinma, and the large number of Shinma were let loose when Miyu and her mother tried to evade Miyu's desolate future. Now Miyu is granted eternal life, to return the Shinma, then when her job is finished, she will be able to rejoin her parents.
A dark and mysterious series, with subtle characterisation, exquisite art and a great soundtrack by Kenji Kawai, Vampire Miyu is unusual for an anime in its sedate pace and sparing use of action; in fact it is often staged very much like a Noh drama. Beautiful and profound, this OVA is definitely on the must-see classics list of almost every otaku.
Among the world of humans forces of darkness lurk in the night. Known as Shinma, these evil spirits were banished long ago to the nether regions but have escaped to the earth realm. Now preying on an unsuspecting populace of humans to fulfill their wants and needs, the Shinma intend to become the rulers of this realm and indeed would, if not for the one called Miyu. A vampire in the form of a middle school girl, Miyu, along with her companion Larva, hunt the Shinma, sending them back to their former existance while feeding on those who the Shinma have entranced beyond recovery. But when not fighting this shadowy force Miyu herself lives among humans, going to school just as a normal girl her age would. Which brings up the question; what is Miyu's true agenda on Earth? And what will happen to her once all the Shinma have been vanquished?
Like many series I've been anticipating, I'd heard a lot of mixed things about the Miyu TV series. Now that I've seen it, I can understand where a lot of them were coming from. Miyu TV, like its OVA predecessor, is an acquired taste. Essentially, this series is very much like the OVA version; Miyu settles into a place, builds a few tentative friends, finds a shinma and destroys it, and then leaves. While some argue that this formula brings the show down a great deal, I'd say that while that could be the case, I can't see much of an alternative for this particular show. Really my only gripe so far (about halfway through the series) is the rather absurd sequence during some episodes where they reveal the shinma, and have it freeze-frame on the beast with its Kanji name beside it...what is this, a Sailor Moon youma?? The animation is every bit as good as it was in the OVA, and there are no stylistic differences at all between the two, which helps for fans of the old. The music is also just as wonderful as the original; both opening and ending songs are wonderfully elegant and the BGM is perfectly suited to the dark atmosphere of the series. While some people complain about Shiine, the little rabbit thing that Miyu carries around with her (actually a Shinma like Larva...what a surprise) I've found him/her/it quite unobtrusive. It's used sparingly and not made out to be some kawaii little annoying mascot; quite a nice change, but it does raise some questions about what it's doing in the show in the first place. People who disliked the OVA Miyu aren't going to like this show any more than the original, and there will be those fans of the old who won't warm up to this, but give it a try nonetheless. Just don't expect any kawaii mascots and idol singers; this isn't a happy show and you know the rules, anybody with a pure heart usually ends up dead.
OVA available subtitled or dubbed through AnimEigo. TV series currently only available fansubbed.
Shin Kyuuketsuki Miyu