Shido is a private detective (and a vampire) that takes cases that primarily deal with strange murders. These cases all have one thing in common: the Night Breed. The Breed are a distant cousin of the vampire and their thirst for blood and penchant for violence are unparalleled. Shido broke away from his sire, Cain, and has pledged himself to rid the world of the Breed. His partner, Yayoi, works for the police and helps out in the investigations...she also offers him a 'snack' from time to time. Their genki teenaged secretary Liho is infatuated with Shido, but doesn't know his dark secret, although she does wonder why he never drinks the coffee she makes for him.
Unbeknownst to Shido and company, Cain's planning something as the number of Breed in the city increases...
MELODRAMA ALARM! MELODRAMA ALARM! Everybody run, it's another cheesy detective vampire series! KYAAAH! NICK KNIGHT IS AFTER ME!!!
...I'm sorry folks, I don't know what came over me. Seriously though, this series is actually better than it sounds...for sledgehammer melodrama, nothing beats Weiss Kreuz, and that's a good thing for most people. While we do get treated to our share of angsty scenes with Shido brooding over his past, it's a lot less heavy-handed than in other series with similar themes (and as we all know, there are enough of them out there). Shido himself is actually a lot more fun to watch than the average brooding horror/fantasy/drama protagonist, as he actually has a sense of humor and isn't dead serious (pardon the pun) all the time. The secondary players are also fairly entertaining, like the cheerful and buxom green imp Goonie, who has a tendency to offer advice and criticism from inside Shido's rather ample mane. Liho is a little annoying at points in the first few episodes, but she does get much better after that point. The music is also quite good, the opening and ending songs are both very sexy and dark.
Unfortunately, there isn't really much more to the series...everything is sadly rather typified and cliched. The animation is decent for a recent TV series, but nothing special. It also seems that the real story isn't going to show up for a while now as I'm about 8 episodes in and things are still pretty episodic. This is obviously aimed at the same audience as Weiss Kreuz, and as such has no shortage of fan(girl)s who sing the praises of Shido and company, but I can see many people finding Nightwalker to be either boring or just too melodramatic for their palate. Personally I far prefer it to Weiss, but your mileage may vary of course. If you fall into the somewhat select audience for this type of series, waste no time in checking Nightwalker out as you'll probably love it (and Shido) to bits. If, however you go for more silly or complex stories, you might want to pass this up for something else. Recommended.
Herself the Elf sez: As yummy and cool as Shido is, I gotta agree with Carnage here. It's pretty fun and I'd definitely say worth seeing, but Nightwalker isn't anything new or truly fabulous. If you want a REALLY good vampire show, go pick up the Mosquiton OVA. Nightwalker is sort of like Mosquiton's younger and less cool little brother...and I think it's obvious that the makers of Nightwalker were trying to cash in on Mo-chan's success. Oh well, I'm not going to complain about more bishounen being animated...^_^
Available from US Manga Corps.