They're silhouetted ominously, so you -know- they're evil!
Katt: Five episodes in and I’m still not sure what to make of this series. It’s keeping me entertained, that’s for certain, but I still for the life of me can’t understand what SHAFT is doing with this anime adaptation. At first it was all about twisting things around, then in the last episode they seemed to be going onto the manga path, and now, while still mostly following the manga, there are odd changes being made that I just don’t know what to think of. But okay, I’ll bite – I want to keep watching to see where they’re going with this. But you’re certainly making my blogging duties very difficult for me!
Main points in this episode: vampires have without a doubt infiltrated the school and are shaking things up, and Mina’s true personality is growing in its ambiguity. Mina is so hard to read that she’ll get a section of her own in this entry, while the rest will be dedicated to looking at the development of the vampires-in-the-school arc of this story. And of course, it’s only natural for me to start by looking at a character~
?????–The mystery vampire girl who first appeared in episode 3 makes another appearance in this episode and I am as perplexed by this as I was when she first showed up. She is one of SHAFT’s added elements that did not exist in the manga, so I have no leads on how to look at her. Thus far she is just a nameless student at Akira’s school who has exposed vampires’ true weakness: hard candy to the face. Now I know what sort of ammo to keep handy when vampires become a threat in the real world. That aside, she is looking to be on the ‘good’ side (although good and bad are, at this point, just as ambiguous as Mina’s personality) based on how she 1) helped Akira out when Mina’s welcome at school was being threatened, and 2) saves the day when Akira and Yuki were in some serious gonna-get-eaten-by-vampires trouble.
So what of these schoolboy vampires?
It feels like ages since we saw Nanami getting ravaged by a gang of vampires…buuut it was really only a couple of episodes ago. Nonetheless, there was a distinct lack of follow-up on that matter until now. As it turns out, Nanami’s prolonged absence of school has provoked some scarily-accurate rumours that she was bitten by a vampire. These rumours become a truth when some photos are anonymously sent that show Nanami being attacked in the student council room; however, this attack is being blamed on Mina’s presence and that is something that has yet to be proven. These vampires causing mischief have yet to be shown as allied with any of this series’ main players.
Hints are starting to appear here and there, though, as to who these vampires are. We are shown a scene in which one of the feeble students in Akira’s class is invited to join a sketchy group of classmates who I can only assume have something to do with the bad vampires who have shown themselves on school grounds. Added proof? The vampires who attack Akira and Yuki later on in the episode are wearing uniforms from their school, which implies that these vampires are fellow students; methinks that they are the same ones who are off recruiting the weak-minded to join them.
Akira’s boy-buddy is shown to be very anti-vampire in this episode, though who could blame him when he was one of the first to see those incriminating photos? To him, Mina = vampire, vampires = attacking students, Mina = attacking students. Better suspicious than sorry, I suppose. While on the topic of Akira’s friends’ attitudes to vampires, Yuki’s stance has yet to be determined. She’s shown to be more welcoming than most people when she offers to be Mina’s partner in class while everyone else shies away. At the same time, she and Mina have an undeniable rivalry brought on in large part by their mutual fondness for Akira–which sounds kind of pathetic, but the Yuki’s added suspicion towards Mina for Nanami’s absence gives it another layer, makes Yuki less one-dimensional. She isn’t only about Akira.
At the same time, though… that scene! While it’s hard to help having a fondness for Akira/Mina, SHAFT’s added Akira/Yuki development is much loved by me! They are really working to flesh out their background a little more and to make their interactions less contrived. The scene where they’re drying their clothes after escaping the vampires was so fabulous for a whole bunch of reason. I mean, the sexual undertones was part of it, but also for the way that Yuki reacted when Akira looked at her. In the second episode, she grew angry when she thought Akira caught sight of a panty-shot; in this scene, there was a strong sense of comfort. Awkward, sure, but at ease all the same. Getting to know him for his new self, the self who is a werewolf who associates with vampires, hasn’t changed her view on him; if anything, she seems to think even more highly of him. Her crush felt like it was just dropped in the manga, and I am so pleased that that hasn’t been the case here!
Weighing in on Mina’s persona: the good and the bad
(+) Her oh-so moe cooking scene – Mina’s innocent side always makes her come off as a good guy, and this scene makes Mina looks sooo sweet and innocent. She doesn’t know how to cook at all, and yet she’ll try to her hardest just to make something good for Akira!
(-) She stole Akira’s ring – While it was probably out of jealousy and not some grand evil scheme, it still isn’t a very nice thing to do! Yuki has been quite kind to her, and this cruelty of showing off how she is now in possession of Yuki’s token to Akira is very harsh on Mina’s part.
(-) The “vampire way” of doing things – Mina’s conversation with the prime minister is very menacing, mostly for her warning that if things don’t go her way when she is nice and diplomatic, then she’ll move on to doing things the “vampire way”, implying that vampires are not good creatures at all.
(+) Remorse – After her meeting with the prime minister is over, however, Mina shows a great deal of remorse when she calls Akira. It comes off as though all of her threats are just acts and that the true Mina doesn’t want to be so cruel. Oh, and calling Akira is another of those reminders that Mina can be quite innocent and vulnerable.
(-) …Um, did she just kidnap a young child?! – It’s quite self-explanatory why this is bad.
A lot of topics opened up in this episode and basically none have reached any conclusions: Who is that mystery girl? What are these vampires doing in the school? Is Yuki actually a romantic rival? Is Mina good or bad? We’re going to have to keep watching to find out!
Katt sank her teeth into Dance in the Vampire Bund episode 5…9/10
Katt’s blood craving for Dance in the Vampire Bund episode 6…9/10