Dance in the Vampire Bund Episode 12 [FINALE]: Let’s toss a bunch of new plot elements in at the last minute!Monday, April 12th, 2010
Katt: Gotta love how I said that I would for sure blog the final two episodes of this series…and then skipped episode 11. Go me! And I notice that I have a tendency of not blogging the most exciting episodes of this series. Well, since episode 12 is the finale, it’s guaranteed to be interesting!
In these final two episodes, so many the plot twists were squeezed in. I have to wonder whether it would have been better to have cut down on the drama a bit and focus on one major plot point, maybe reaching a solid conclusion? Maybe? Instead, we’re introduced to a few bizarre turns and even bigger questions – and then given the ending line, “And the pledge would remain unbroken for the rest of their story,” essentially laughing in our faces and saying: yeah, they get their happy ending but you don’t get to see all of the crazy stuff that happens before they get there! Assholes. I digress, though… I liked how certain things were handled and was annoyed at other things, so this final blog post will be used to vent my opinions on different aspects of this final arc and, specifically, final episode.
The role of Mei Ren
Mei Ren, Mei Ren… I still can’t decide what to make of your role in this anime. At first I thought that her addition was pretty neat, but that was when her mysteries were yet unknown to us and to Akira. Once those mysteries were exposed, I kinda lost interest. Because she was nothing more than an anime addition, her story only had the chance to be heard in these last two episodes (actually, only in the last episode, really). It was extremely intriguing, had a lot of potential for both dark and heartwarming value. We only got to see snippets of that potential in her monologues and very brief flashbacks – what a tease!
Her role as Rozenmann’s assassin/Mina’s double’s servant/agent for the Telomere was overwhelming. It felt like they were trying to cram a whole lot of explanations into one little character, and as a result left us with even more questions than they would have if they kept Mei Ren out. Oh, and let’s make her a beast person too, just for good measure. If they had given her more time to develop all of these many, many sides of her, then fine - but no, she got two measly episodes!!
Akira’s last ~hidden memory~
This. Oh my lord, this. WHY? It is just so…was it really necessary? Really? If they were going for the “Akira and Mina lived happily ever after” ending, then it would have been perfectly logical to have ended on the note of Akira saving Mina from the harassment of the Three Clans/her arranged marriage. Instead, they introduce a random twist in which there are two Minas and Akira (and Mei Ren, apparently) is the only person with this knowledge. And in the end, both Minas still exist, leaving this sudden issue completely unresolved. I will only accept this ridiculousness if they intend to make a sequel to this series; if not, this plot twist is superfluous and just plain annoying!
Mina’s dealings with the Three Clans
What I did undeniably love about this last episode was Mina’s attitude throughout the whole ordeal. She remained incredibly composed while watching the spectacle of Akira’s final battle, only faltering towards the end when her hand was shown to be quivering. She still manages to steady herself, watch the conclusion, and then address her bretheren with that cold, powerful vampire leader attitude of hers. My favourite part of this is when, after she walks away with total composure, Mina breaks into an eager run towards the entrance where Akira will be arriving. A big part of Dance in the Vampire Bund is establishing which Mina is the true Mina (and I don’t mean that in the ‘there are two Minas’ way – I’m ignoring that plot twist), and this simple, excited action says it all to me.
The concluding promise
I said it at the beginning, but I’ll say it again for good measure: HELL YES THEY DANCED IN THE VAMPIRE BUND! …Yes, the silly inclusion of the title within the characters’ actions makes me happy. I’m a dork, I know.
In all seriousness, the ending was nice in a cheesy way – which isn’t always bad. It fit the path that they took with this anime adaptation, following it through with a narrator focused on Akira and Mina’s fairy tale-esque romance. The added metaphor of the butterfly loving the flower came back nicely in the closing scene, as well, showing us that Mina isn’t an emotionless flower who can never return the butterly’s feelings; both she and Akira are butterflies, capable of returning each other’s affections and basking in love for their remaining days. Yep, I think that this ending calls for a big awwwww~
Katt sank her teeth into Dance in the Vampire Bund episode 12…8.5/10
Katt found, overall, Dance in the Vampire Bund’s blood tasted…7.5/10 – I think I would have preferred it so much more had I not read the manga previously. The expectations really messed with my enjoyment of the series.