It has come to my attention that when I began this missive last year, I made a major omission. I began this blog with vampire stories because they were some of my favorite anime and yet I skipped over what had been one of my most favorite vampire anime. As I look back now, I believe I know why I skipped it. I began watching back through the series this week and realized that despite the story being interesting and the characters being intriguing, the overall feeling is more than a bit slimy. I am talking about Dance in the Vampire Bund, and the difficulty I have with the this anime is that it is loli-con pure and simple and stops only a hair’s breadth away from kiddie porn. If you don’t know what “loli-con” is, for goodness sake, DON’T GOOGLE IT! Ask someone who watches anime and they will tell you. Having said that, there is no way I could ever recommend this selection for anyone regardless of age. I present it here for the sake of completeness and also because, in spite of the cringe factor, the story is compelling. I will not include any offensive images or graphic content in this review but there is no way to discuss the story without referring to things I can’t really approve of. You have been warned.
The story centers on the Queen of Vampires, Mina Tepes, and her body guard/love interest Akira-kun. While Mina-hime is hundreds of years old, her body is that of a girl just beginning to enter puberty. You can already see the problem..right? Add to that her ability to change to her “true” form, a beautiful young woman just leaving puberty and her propensity for nudity in both guises and you have a fairly serious moral quandary in the making. Does the character’s true age being measured in three digits make up for the fact that, for all intents and purposes, she is a middle school girl who spends a large part of the time naked in the presence of a much older, though still teenage, young man?
Much of the bad rap that anime receives as an art form is related to controversy of this nature (and tentacles too…tentacles are bad). Any type of media that objectifies very young or otherwise vulnerable individuals or groups and presents them in a light designed to promote exploitation, is immoral, no matter whose standards you use. This is why actual child exploitation is against so many laws. It makes you wonder why I would even bother to review something like this. Can this type of anime be considered some sort of a gateway drug or enabler to allow expression of those feelings rather than to inhibit them? Add to this, the fact that the story is engaging, the artwork is uniformly excellent, the characters are likable, and soundtrack is even good. Now you see my problem. I enjoy the show but there are some parts that I really feel the need to shower after watching. (Some parts I just fast-forward through) Ah well. This is probably the only time I will ever review this series and I don’t imagine I will watch it again any time soon. I don’t encourage you to watch it but at the same time I can’t fault it for anything other than it’s moral issues. I am not going to put links to legitimate viewing as I ordinarily do but I will tell you that it is available on most streaming sites.