Dance In The Vampire Bund

Title:Dance In The Vampire Bund
ダンスインザヴァンパイアバンド (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Shaft
R1 License - FUNimation
After millennia in hiding, Mina Tepes, the Princess of the ancient covenant and ruler of all vampires, wants change. Using the vast wealth of the Tepes line, she has paid off the entire gross national debt of Japan and in so doing, gained the authority to create a "special district" off the coast of Japan that is to become the future haven to vampires the world over!

Now, on the eve of the landmark press conference announcing the existence of vampires to the world, terrorists and rival factions are plotting to assassinate Mina Tepes before she has a chance to make her world-changing announcement. (Source: ANN)

New series set to air Jan 7th, 2010
12 TV episodes (~24 min)

"Bund" is German for "alliance", "coalition", "federation" etc.
Read the translated manga online at Mangafox.
Episode Details 
pic1, pic2, pic3, 1893
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 9 7 9 7 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:2158#1552]
Dance in the Vampire Bund explores Mina Tepes, the ruler of all vampires, creating a land in Japan for her kind to settle in and attempt a peaceful coexistence with humans and tries restoring his relationship with Akira Kaburagi, a teenage boy who is actually a werewolf part of a clan that serve as Mina’s guardians and whom lost his memory a year earlier before the start of the series. While these developments take place, Mina and Akira do come at odds with human and vampire terrorists attempting to interfere with Mina’s plans at coexistence between vampires and humans.

Before I comment on other stuff with Vampire Bund, I suppose I need to address the elephant in the room in regards to its controversial content regarding the sexualization of Mina. While Mina is a centuries-old vampire, she normally takes on the form of a prepubescent girl. While there are plot reasons for her to take this form that are revealed later in the series, Vampire Bund does often sexualize her for fan service shots as she can be seen nude or in states of undress at a number of points in the series and she usually teases Akira while in her nubile form to his annoyance. A fun fact with all this is that Funimation, the anime’s American licensor, had originally planned to release a censored version of the series to home video due to concerns with its lolicon content, before negative fan outcry led them to change their stance and release the series unedited in America. Outside of this, the anime also explores a shotacon relationship as a secondary female character in the series has an attraction to a prepubescent boy she babysits. With all this touchy content, I certainly wouldn’t recommend younger and more sensitive audiences to dabble into Vampire Bund and I will personally admit I was often uneasy whenever the series chose to sexualize Mina.

Putting aside that touchy baggage, the main attraction to Vampire Bund comes in the form of Mina’s character. Outside of the series sexualizing her, she is portrayed as being hardened, authoritative, and usually ruthless when engaging in affairs to either aid her kind or mercilessly dispatch those that threaten relations between humanity and vampires. At the same time though, witnessing the touchy relations between humanity and vampires has worn on her and she comes to appreciate her bond with Akira as one of the few parts of normalcy she can have in her life away from serving as her kind’s ruler. Having these facets to her character makes witnessing Mina’s developments engaging to see and give her both strong and sympathetic traits that give her a solid amount of dimension.

In addition, the series does offer some interesting takes on typical vampire lore. Some traditional elements are retained such as their vulnerability to sunlight, connections to Vlad Tepes, a vampire class system, and being served by were-creatures. However, vampires in Vampire Bund are not vulnerable to other traditional weaknesses like garlic and holy symbols, nor are able to command bats. Unique takes on vampires offered in the series include a class of fangless vampires who willingly removed their fangs and the idea that a vampire’s true form varies on the type of character they have. Plus, vampires within the series are shown to employ modern technology to their advantage in varying capacities such as creating a serum that can reverse vampirism in humans recently bitten, a special lotion that grants vampires temporary resistance to sunlight, and a chemical that interacts with vampire blood that makes vampires into suicidal bombers.

As far as other story and character elements go within Vampire Bund, they are a bit of a mixed bag. Other characters lack the dimension given to Mina as many simply fill specific character types and roles given to them. The series attempts to give Akira depth as he is shown to be trying to recover parts of his memory lost before the start of the series, though he otherwise mostly fills the “nice guy” character type willingly serving under Mina. Beyond serving as a human observer to Mina and Akira’s bond, Yuki has little else that sticks out as a character. The student council president and Mei Ran have some interesting personalities or developments, but lack the screen time to make too much of an impact on the series as a whole.

As far as the story goes, Vampire Bund is divided up into several story arcs that go into Mina establishing her bund for vampires, dealing with a vampire terrorist group set on threatening her goals, and dealing with a trio of vampire nobles. The plot is pretty straightforward as far as developments go as they serve to challenge Mina and her allies with handling humanity’s prejudices, the vampire terrorists, and the trio of nobles in question. However like many anime based on ongoing manga titles, the series does end inconclusively as there are several lingering plot elements left unanswered that include the motives of the mysterious vampire terrorist organization and the secrets of the vampire “true blood legacy”.

Visually, Shaft was at the helm with animating this adaptation of Dance in the Vampire Bund. Character designs were given a good deal of visual detail and does have show a wide range of facial expressions and clothes with characters, most notably Mina who has plenty of clothes she is shown to wear throughout the series and showing the widest range of expressions due to the dimension of her character. The series does play around with a number of visual gimmicks to get around lack of regular fluid animation such as flashes between animated frames, close shots on certain body parts like legs and lips, or transitions between camera shots and perspectives. The results of this are hit-or-miss as instances of this are effective at conveying perspectives between characters during conversations and key scenes, while others appear to be stylistic choices to attempt having the series stick out yet being more a distraction than enhancing the viewing experience of the series in any way.

Overall, I’d suppose Dance in the Vampire Bund is a mixed bag for me. While Mina is an engaging character with the amount of dimension she has and the series lore offers some different takes on traditional vampire lore, many of the other characters lack the presence that Mina brings to the series and the plot is pretty standard fare as far as developments go. Not to mention the ecchi and lolicon content offered up with the series is likely to turn away many fans from considering even seeing it. In short, your mileage will definitely vary with how well you regard this series.

Last updated Thursday, January 23 2020. Created Friday, April 09 2010.
Unevaluated 10 10 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:2158#1393]
I first started watching this a couple of weeks ago. At first I wasn't sure. but now that I've taken my time and studied the characters in this Anime I feel it is really well done. Of course I'm a avid fan for anything Vampire. So I will tell you you need to cjeck this one out it you haven't.

Last updated Monday, March 22 2010. Created Monday, March 22 2010.
Rent 9 9 9 9 7 8 Silence [series:2158#2939]
All episodes watched.

Dance in the Vampire Bund had an interesting start, and I was hooked enough to see this series through, despite some uncertainties in the middle. But the final episode nailed the coffin shut, and I am afraid that this is not a very outstanding show.

I was fine with game show idea: it is rather original and interesting. However, I was not impressed by the transformations that took place. Nonetheless, this is part of the premise I can accept and move on from. The second episode took me by surprise with the proper introduction of Kaburagi Akira, though on retrospect, it should not have been a shock, given the interconnected history of vampires and werewolves; you can hardly mention one without the other. Anyway, I was taken in by the powerful hook.

As the story progress, we are exposed to the political manuevering of Mina Tepes, and her relationship with Akira. This is where my feelings for this series start to become ambiguous. According to the setting, Mina Tepes should be a very seasoned politician, apt at manipulation and deceipt, especially making use of her innocent appearance. Most of the time, she carries out the role well, despite showing a cute side when her personal feelings are involved. But that's ok. I liked it. However there are times when she is excessively heavy handed, or irrational. For instance, her kidnapping of the minister's grandson, or her showdown with Akira (it was like a showdown for the sake of having a showdown).

Towards the end, more incomprehensible things turn up, so I came into the final episode waiting for an explaination. However, the whole Inheritance thing remains obscure to me: what's with all the bodies, what's the blood, etc. The behavior of Mei Ren is totally screwed up: if she is with telomere, how did she end up being one of the 3 assasins? If she wants to kill Akira, why wait for the final showdown, instead of stabbing him in the back before he became aware? The subjugation of the 3 families is totally lame.

In the end, Vampire Bund could not come up with a coherent story. The last episode is very apparently rushed. Hence the entire series suffered as a result. Yet another let down this season. Rent-

Last updated Saturday, April 10 2010. Created Wednesday, January 13 2010.
Watch 9 10 8 9 Xenoknight [series:2158#2967]
watching now... 8 eps watched...

Ep 8: Once again (with a remixed intro and new end-credits), this title takes another step up the ladder of excellence. It's been a bumpy road so far with epic moments here and sub-par moments there, but episodes like this one (and more to come - wishfully speaking) proves that this anime is by no means a sleeper. The first half of the ep has Mina and Yuki finally coming to terms in their respective thoughts and feelings for Akira (among other things). If I had it my way, I would want an entire season dedicated to the romance element and have another whole season for everything else because I love watching the main characters work out their emotions. The second half has Mina being her G'ed out self attempting to clean up a certain mess that required her immediate attention. Expect old reunions, some action, good story, and increased levels of ecchi lust. Mature is an understatement at this point. Fantastic ep...

Ep 7: My God - this ep was an adventure and a half. Seemingly like the last episode of the series, things get explosive with multiple events and jaw-dropping scenes. The first half was really confusing, but Akira's past incident in finally brought to light and some major players step forward to justify Mina's recent actions. The attack on the church is not for the faint of heart! The weaknesses of sub made itself abundantly clear in this ep. With most of it being frustration on my side of things (and undoubtedly many others), the encounter between Mina and Akira was practically ruined thanks to the heavy reading (required to understand) on the bottom of the screen. They were speaking pretty fast which negated the quality of the amazing conflict between the love couple. I figured I could watch it twice - one only reading the subs and the other only watching the action where I would connect the two mentally. In the end, I can only tell myself that this critical scene will be MUCH better in English dub. The end result of the bout has Yuki's heart smashed, an old flame rekindled, and the establishment of the Bund! Many things happened and we've still only scratched the surface as to what Mina plans to do now. This ep was crazy good except for the one ruined critical scene. Ridiculous ep...

Ep 6: A very interesting turn of events. Akira's understanding of the current situation has left me with mixed feelings. The political game has increased and the Bund is on the verge of completion, but the princess has another hurdle to tackle - Akira. From one extreme to the next, he now steps forward and confronts her actions in recent events. The outcome is rather unfavorable for both parties. Yuki's status is official confirmed (my prediction in ep 3 was wrong at least), which is both good and bad news depending on your predicted path for Akira. With a fearful blow in this title's standing, Akira's response to the princess is one that will involve many unspeakable truths and hardships (for both them and me). This is not what I was expecting for the halfway point and now I'm worried for the future. Position-changing ep...

Ep 5: Now that's what I'm talking about. This ep had more to it then one might imagine: loyalties were shifted, trusted foundations began to crumble, weaknesses became apparent, and doubt began to run rampant. The most powerful moment of the ep was most likely when Yuki and Mina had a few moments to speak to each other regarding Akira and past developments. It was certainly an eye-opener for the series as I was able to pick up on 3 different directions this title could take to resolve the issue. I also liked how Yuki was calculating/sizing Mina up (her opponent from a harem standpoint) when she teamed up with her during class. These two scenes alone are enough to elevate Yuki's status to "G" rank. Meiren was again able to turn Akira's sticky situation around for the better. On the flip side, Mina's political battles aren't going as well as she planned and drastic measures were taken to protect her "investments", if you will. The final moments of the episode brought several things into perspective. Let's just say that Yuki isn't going down without one hell of a fight. If only Mina didn't call him at that moment... Incredible ep...

Ep 4: Mina does things her way and holds a press conference for the world and those who are against her existence make a move to silence her once and for all. As interesting as it all is, I hope they can reassure us with a second season, because for only 12 episodes, they're wasting a lot of time. Good ep...

Ep 3: Another great episode. Mina joining (and having her way) with Akira's school was something else. She manages to destroy Akira's school life, get the entire school to chase him as per a bet, and drops the biggest financial bomb the school board has ever seen. OWNED! Mina Tepes is one bad-a** b--ch! The appearance of Meiren hopefully will stir a "certain element" to development in the near future if you follow what I'm saying. The flashback with Akira and Yuki when he just recovered from the accident, (depending on your point-of-view) showed that Yuki isn't as innocent as she wants everyone to believe. Speaking of innocence, it looks like Mina has more blood on her hands then she cares to admit to Akira. It will only get better from here. Great ep...

Ep 2: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy S---! I'm in big trouble with this title. Was that really only episode 2!? Holy F---! Words are pointless. This title is an instant candidate for promotion and I already know it won't take long to confirm the reasons why. The intro music is epic. Absolutely Indescribable ep...

First Impression: The game show carried on for far too long. Though the characters were interesting, the episode didn't start until about the 60% mark. Basically, they were trying to figure out if vampires are real or not. It's not the kind of first ep that I would've wished for this title, but things got better once it got serious. Mina Tepes is a scary individual and her being the princess and rightful heir to the vampire race was something to think about. Her maturity and demeanor don't match her stature and that only put more fuel in the fire of my curiosity. I'm sure this anime will far exceed my expectations and I can't wait for more. Good ep...

Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Sunday, March 07 2010. Created Tuesday, January 12 2010.
Watch Stretch [series:2158#628]

(All episodes watched):

This show began well with a ridiculous gameshow "investigation" of the question of whether vampires really exist. This seemed to put an original 'spin' to this show, which was seriously needed given the plethora of anime vampire titles that are already available. Once things got serious, however, the originality seemed to melt away and I couldn't help being strongly reminded of Vampire Knight, what with the conflict between noble 'pureblood' vampires and lowly, murderous ones. This trick allows there to be both sexy, mildly frightening yet admirable vampires, and scary, detestable ones--but of course it's been done before. So, basically one argument for and one against originality on the part of Dance in the Vampire Bund. The jury was still out on this show.

So, people with lots of money and power want Vampire Queen Mina Tepes dead; these vampires are transformers of a sort; this teen idol guy has met her before (before his memory loss, that is); and he's got a bizarre secret of his own. Okay... but what makes this show unusual? Although it's enjoyable, I just don't feel particularly intrigued. Nothing radically different has happened in order to grab my attention. Nothing radically different and plausible, that is. It seemed that an effort was made to convince me that maybe vampires really could exist, but then they go and transform into chamelions or spiders, which seems too freaky for me to take completely seriously. Sort of like saying 'oh, did you know that Frankenstein can time travel as well?'. On the other hand, the animation was kind of neat. Mina might be an interesting character but idol guy doesn't seem to have much of a personality, perhaps due to his memory loss.

Episode three was fun as Mina messes with all sorts of people, pulling strings behind the scenes then humiliating people with the results. This was definitely original; on the other hand, it left me confused about what the drama:comedy ratio of this show is supposed to be. Being a vampire, after all, is Mina dangerous or not? Where does she get her blood? Episode four was likewise fun as an assasination plot against Mina is foiled at the last moment. Since the 'rules' that vampires live by (for example, how much sunlight hurts them) vary from show to show, and the overall scenario of Mina and her opponents hasn't been thoroughly explained, the revelation of the trick used to infiltrate the assasin lost something. Was some sort of telepathic brainwashing employed? Why is a stock of bombs kept on hand? Nevertheless, it was a fun episode which I enjoyed.

In episode five Mina must deal with a betrayal by a politician and strange people are infiltrating the school. Mina and her loyal people are clearly being painted as the good guys here, even though they are vampires. This show is now seeming fairly fun and interesting, but I'm still not getting all that clear a message as to where the story is going (which is not necessarily bad, if the makers know what they are doing). I guess the main question that the series as a whole brings to mind so far is 'will Mina and the good vampires get their haven or not?' rather than something like 'will she fall in love?' or something personal like that.

Episode six puts things back on a more interesting track. Mina may have some dark secrets to hide, while Akira cooperates with the still human students at school to root out the vampires. They come to a surprizingly clever plan, then fall for an obvious trick. Still, this is seeming a fairly original story compared to other vampire animes. The snappy ED song was fun at the end of the episode. Episode seven felt like it ought to have been the final episode. I guess the feud between good and bad vampires (and corrupt politicians) will be the main topic from here on, but it almost feels as if everything that the series has been building up to has been played out and it will have to start from scratch. The fact that this episode seemed to come out of the blue is indicative of how confusing the general plot of this show is. It did end in a kind of thrilling way, but where will things go from here?

My impression of Dance as a whole is of a show with some neat and interesting elements but a kind of disjointed plot. You can follow it without much trouble, but it would have been more enjoyable if some extra care had been taken in putting it together. It kind of feels as if the manga was cut to pieces and then pasted back together to form the anime script without taking as much care as the mangaka presumably did. It seems as if some things that should have been included are missing and some which weren't really essential are present. For example, why wasn't "stigma", the artificial blood vampires now feed on, explained until near the end of the series? Or what exactly Mei Ren is? Episode eight begins the second arc, which looks like fun but with the usual problems. Episode ten begins yet another, and it's hard to see one pleasing climax to the series as a whole. All of a sudden the fiery Mina takes on a helpless and pitiful personality--that didn't make sense, even given what had happened to her. Wouldn't she have responded by kicking ass if this had happened in a previous arc? Or at least maintaining her dignity in order to deny her enemies the pleasure of seeing her feeling humiliated? Fortunately fights remain fairly cool even if the plot is confusing.

I heard a mention that the idea behind Dance was to attain high ratings by combining two popular genres, vampire action and lolicon. Mina's "purity inspection" in episode 11 was disturbing, for all the wrong reasons. It was the sort of thing which probes the boundaries of what is acceptable in non-hentai anime. The concluding episode was OK, but again would have been better if some additional storytelling skill had been employed. There was a betrayal, but the link between the two people involved was never made clear so it didn't seem particularly surprising or shocking. And what was the deal with Mina's 'double'? Was she a twin, or a clone, or what? We are repeatedly told that Mina is priceless as the last female in the royal birthline, then this? Don't add bizarre twists to an already confusing plot if they aren't going to be explained. There was a definite hint of a possible second season, however. For all the problems I had with this show, I think I would probably watch.

Last updated Tuesday, May 04 2010. Created Monday, January 11 2010.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:2158#1573]
Analysis : 9 Episodes

Thoughts so far
  • Episode 1 was so BADLY done I almost put it down. An attack from a Vampire Gecko? Bah.
  • Episode 7 was so well done (Except for Animation! WTF Shaft, you pulled another Bakamonogatari?) It felt like an End of Series episode but it's only the middle.
  • Hmm after 9 episodes it has gotten very dark and deep. I need to watch this slowly.

Character List

  • Mina - Queen of the Vampires but looks like a gradeschooler
  • Akira - Werewolf and Mina's personal bodyguard.
  • Yuki - Normal girl who loves Akira.

Last updated Monday, March 22 2010. Created Friday, January 08 2010.

Other Sites
Official website
Dance in the Vampire Bund 公式サイト (Japanese)

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