Dance in the Vampire Bund Episode 4: The episode not-so-subtly called ‘Interview with the Vampire’
Katt: Man, I was getting so comfortable with this series being subbed by Thursday afternoons–this week, it’s Saturday morning and I’ve only just gotten to watch the latest episode. Way to throw off my schedule and make me do homework on a Thursday afternoon instead of blogging…mind you, the homework was playing a video game, but still! That was the time when I was supposed to be in a Dance in the Vampire Bund mood, but nooo. Okay, enough rambling on my part. Time to suck it up and write an entry.
See, this is what happens when the plotline goes back on course; I am at a loss for what to say. With the changes that SHAFT made in the first three episodes, I could pinpoint an element and go, “Oh! That’s something new!” Now, I just found this episode kind of redundant because I felt that the game show exposure in the first episode was intended as a replacement for the press conference from the manga…but now Mina’s gone ahead and done that press conference anyway. Wha? Not only is including this seemingly unnecessary (to me; I know many will disagree), but the plot has backtracked and now I am wondering more than ever just how much of the manga’s story SHAFT intends to fit into this short 12-episode series. But okay, admittedly including this press conference has introduced a few interesting elements, so I’ll try to look at those, starting with a new intriguing character…
Juneau–apparently the head of a family very devoted to the vampire princess, Mina. He is, of course, a vampire himself. He definitely comes off as quite the asshole with his immediate dismissal of the werewolves as unimportant and unwanted, and there is an immediate suspicion brought on by his sudden decision to visit the bund unannounced. Add to this the fact that he had a bomb in his possession and that it was one of his men that stole it, which all leads up to an assassination attempt on Mina’s life. Naturally anyone would be distrusting of him at this point; however, Mina doesn’t seem at all concerned. She has an unwavering confidence in Juneau’s loyalty, even if she doesn’t appear to be much of a fan of the guy. So who should we trust: the questionable facts, or Mina’s perception of him?
Aside from the introduction of Juneau, we get a little bit of insight into a few other aspects of vampire society–specifically, the culture of the bund that Mina is trying to create.
What’s below the bund?
Here’s a lovely bit of foreshadowing for everyone: when Akira tosses the bomb down the elevator shaft, we get a brief glimpse at another world. It looks like…well, it looks like our world, basically. Admittedly the buildings look like they belong in an earlier time, but the sense of it being a city beneath the sky like any other–except, as I just said, Akira had just thrown a bomb down an elevator shaft and somehow it ended up exploding in the sky of this city. This is obviously the underground and a place where a sky should not exist; what’s going on here?
I loved this concept when I read it in the manga and I love it now. <3 The fangless are vampires who abstain from drinking blood. Nothing special, right? Plenty of series of different media have this concept in them. What I love about it is that these morally-driven vampires actually rip out their fangs to show their dedication to not killing. On these “children” vampires it isn’t that startling an image–they just look like kids who have lost their teeth–but on adults it’s twisted in a really neat way. A completely reverse of the main vampire image; no wonder Akira mistakes them for humans. In addition to not killing to maintain their humanity, these fangless also band together in nuclear families to add to their human experience.
I was kind of disappointed that we didn’t get to see (yet, anyway), the lifestyle that is completely opposite to these fangless as we do in the manga. There is a major contrast made between the fangless and the mass of vampire-like vampires who live lives of excess, sexuality, and violence.
The ambiguity of Mina
While these aspects of the bund give rise to theories about what the main intent behind its creation was, it all really comes to down to what Mina is planning the bund to become, who she really is. And that is something that we, and Akira, don’t really seem to know yet because we are getting so many mixed messages. In this episode alone, we see the sweet Mina who shows kindness and admiration towards the fangless, which leads Akira to suspect that the bund was made to prevent their persecution, though she denies that that is the case. The harsh Mina that we see when Mina addresses the public and deals with the political side of things gives rise to other theories. She seems heartless and can’t possibly be doing this for the people who obviously deserve the label of ‘good’. Understanding Mina is the key to understanding the nature of the bund itself.
Katt sank her teeth into Dance in the Vampire Bund episode 4…8/10
Katt’s blood craving for Dance in the Vampire Bund episode 5…7/10 (I really can’t tell what to expect next anymore, so we’ll just say 7)