Dance in the Vampire Bund

Dance in the Vampire Bund often left me feeling…uncomfortable. Funimation ended up releasing an edited version for the American anime audience. If the version I watched was edited, the full version would leave me feeling very uncomfortable.

Vampire Bund opens with Akira, the stereotypical highschool student, suffering from amnesia. The world is in an uproar: vampires, or what claim to be vampires, have revealed their existence. There is also a new girl in school who seems to know Akira and look like the self proclaimed Vampire Princess…

Vampire Bund has a lot of political intrigue and layers as the Vampire Princess, Mina attempts to build a small nation for vampires to live within.  Vampires in this anime have very strong emotions and desires, often sexually oriented.

That said, Mina has the body of a 10 year old girl as the anime often emphasized. Granted, she is centuries old, but the per-pubescent nudity- and scenes of grown men rubbing an anti-UV lotion on her left me feeling dirty and uncomfortable. The lolita fetish was in high swing.  In fact, in a few early scenes even Akira mentioned how weird it made him feel. The anime pushed this uncomfortable view a bit too hard. There is even a scene of a highschool girl feeling up a young boy.

Vampire Bund is a political love story about different worlds and the not so different desire for friendship and companionship. Vampires have very long lonely lives, especially those in the Tepes family. That’s right. Bund ties everything back to Vlad Tepes.

The story is a bit slow; that’s to be expected for a story that focuses on political intrigue.  Moments of action are well placed to keep things moving. Vampire Bund suffers mostly from the tired plot device of amnesia in the case of Akira and the focus on the high school setting.

Another one of Mina's...uncomfortable viewer moments

The animation often breaks down. Characters are drawn with different styles and look inconsistent across scenes. This anime looks like a vampire in sunlight compared to the likes of Bones and Studio Ghibli. This is unfortunate consider the subtle plot and good characterization.

Oh, I didn’t mention: Werewolves are evolved wolves; vampires are evolved humans. Vampires aren’t monsters in the usual sense- they are a branch of the human tree.

Dance in the Vampire Bund has a good story and refreshing view of vampires if you can get around the uncomfortable feeling of pedophilia that streaks the anime.  Mina is older than she looks…but she still looks far too young. Of course, that also has a point in the political games vampires play; one that helps Mina keep to the path to a life she wants.

Dance in the Vampire Bund challenges us to look at social norms and sexual expectations. Vampire lore has always been streaked with sexual themes. This anime doesn’t look away.