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Dance in the Vampire Bund 1 – Misfired Mockery.

OK, this was what I expected:

But this is what I got instead:

Needless to say, I was not happy with what I got. I know it’s the only the first episode and Shinbo directs it, but the apparent over-mockery didn’t escape my eyes. What the first episode served was to make a snide social commentary about Japanese talk shows with a game-like format and obviously staged events and guests pretending to give a shit or that they are actually as surprised as everyone. All these people serve as icons on TV that fit a certain stereotypes to please the audience mindlessly following everything going on without giving any thoughts or reflections. I got one thing to say:

It IS the internet age now.

Irrelevant? Maybe. But irrelevant was what I called out after the mayhem broke loose and Mina Tepes declaring her vampire venture. Perhaps the whole thing serves as a wild, childish party full of ridiculousness and absurdness, hence the entire setting to get to the point. But after watching over 17 minutes of a commentary on the mindlessness of Japanese shows that provide psudo-knowledge to its drone-like audience that laugh on expected social/cultural cues, I could not take any of the revelation seriously.

Of course people here actually called it bluff right on the set – something that the average Japanese entertainer would rather die then doing. The blunt attempt to foil the atmosphere and perhaps to turn the mockery around on itself fails poorly and makes the entire event even less interesting. What really fails here is the view from behind the camera – the distance that’s put between the actual viewer (us) and the events because of the format (anime rather than live TV), makes it a ridiculous watch. After all, you can do all the symbolisms (Shinboisms) in texts, backgrounds and interesting backdrops, but having a character actually yelling it out on stage can really backfire. To me, it wasn’t just backfiring – it was fucking it all up. It was like setting up a magic show and then having one of the assistants yelling out: “Hey audience, it’s fucking fake!” And then attempt to recover by completing the magic with some twists.

I haven’t read the manga and have no interest to know how it is in the manga because I’d rather read it later only if I become interested. I’m basing my thoughts on the TV show. Perhaps the talk/game show is serving as the backdrop of absurdity that may be present in the manga. But with the reality-style camera rolling and the live-witness reporting, the super-surrealism attempt simply fails in my eyes.

After all, it’s just an anime. 2D works that do not have the power of real life events, no matter how hard the director tries to present it.

I hope episode two will be much better. it’s better to drop the over-pretentiousness and just get with the story.

Anime3000’s thoughts

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