Talkshow of the Vampire Bund

So. Dance of the Vampire Bund 01 is a talkshow. Since this is Shinbo(kastel) I guess this is to be expected. I already had my reservations about it, but this pretty much solidifies my worst fears about it.

To be clear, I’m not a hater of Shinbo’s works, but there are some times I wish he doesn’t try so hard to give everything an original spin. I have been following the manga way before the anime project was announced and I am quite a fan of it, so I guess I am pretty appalled and weirded out at how he kicked off the show.

It’s true in the manga the vampires publically announce their existence on national TV, but it was done via official means, with press conferences and statements by the vampires and the government. Now instead, Shinbo decided to make them appear on some trashy Japanese variety TV programme to lure out a wild vampire and make a great big mess out of it. I don’t think that will translate to good PR for the vampires at all. In fact I just think the whole exercise is an excuse for Shinbo to use cheap cuts and cinematography, with the second half of the episode descending in to cinéma vérité style.

While I didn’t like it at all, I guess fans of Shinbo will probably like it better. I am just hoping this doesn’t happen for the rest of the season. DitVB is a nice manga, and I would like to see it being given a proper adaptation. Then again, I guess Shinbo can get really creative with the censorship….. time will tell.

45 Comments

  1. Haesslich Said,

    January 7, 2010 @ 11:12 pm

    I don’t mind toning down the fanservice (which often got to the creepy ‘people get off on THIS?’l levels), but they fucked up so hard the first fifteen minutes that I may not continue it… and judging by comments from people who didn’t read the source material, they won’t either. This should enrage the fans and dissuade the curious from watching.

    It’s like they took all the usual random SHAFT stuff and combined it into the first fifteen minutes rather than spread it out over thirteen episodes. Exactly the sort I
    of stunt I was afraid they’d pull.

  2. Shin Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 3:31 am

    So it’s pretentious?

  3. Czarina Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 7:41 am

    I also agree with you.

    Dance in the Vampire Bund is a really nice manga, even with its rough edges and fan service, but for a mature audience it was really good.

    But now reading all this…..I honestly think I will just watch the first episode just to cry about it. For some reason, i got a feeling this will an ugly trainwreck that will be cut short before the big blast.

  4. Mentar Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 8:01 am

    No, I fully agree. This was disastrous, and Shinbo deserves to be flogged for it. It totally contradicted the source in atmosphere. I hope he gets a clue and they allow for a proper conversion of the source material.

  5. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 10:02 am

    @Haesslich: I agree. This will probably turn away most of the “judge-book-cover” type people. I wouldn’t say this is a whole season’s craziness put in to one episode… this is not even crazy, rather stupid.

    @Shin: “Pretentious” is probably not the word you are looking for if you’ve watched the episode….

    @Mentar: Heh, we’ll see in the next episode. I’m already marking the first one a goner.

  6. Ryuzaki Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 10:55 am

    I lured in by the title and the brief explanation of the plot on Wikipedia, though i admit the first ep of the anime was well, very bad, I’m still looking forward to the next eps,hope they’ll learn and not mess up the plot from the source material because it sounds like this has the potential to be a great anime.

  7. Haesslich Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    Shin: Think if K-ON was drawn like Fist of the North Star for episode one, and had people literally beating one another to death onscreen in the most un-moe manner possible, including a lot of hardcore bloodspray and eyeball-explosion-in-slow-motion sorts of acts depicted on screen for the first fifteen minutes of the episode…. only to shift at the end towards Yui wanting to start a band and looking like a moeblob.

    In other words, it was completely out to fucking lunch.

  8. Shadow Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

    My opinion probably differs because I have never read the manga, but I didn’t find the first episode that bad. It wasn’t the best thing this season, but I admit it was…different.

  9. Kah Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

    I am really liking this show! Haven’t read the manga, but this first episode has been alot of fun to watch. :D

  10. Haesslich Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

    Here’s what I ended up thinking towards the end…

  11. Haesslich Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

    http://twitpic.com/x625i

    Here we go – if a picture’s worth a thousand words…

  12. Haesslich Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    http://twitpic.com/x62oi

    This is more what I was expecting. Thanks for nothing, SHAFT – wasting one whole episode out of 12 total for this…

  13. Jason "moofang" Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    Hmmm, so in short, Shaft being Shaft yet again?

  14. Ice Block Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    This is actually SHnY Ep00. The cat being interviewed and the in-episode commercials sealed the deal for me. Expecting good things starting next episode.

  15. Cho_Hakkai Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

    I really hope that this ep 1 of the anime is just a teaser and that ep 2 will follow the manga faithfully.

  16. Haesslich Said,

    January 8, 2010 @ 11:08 pm

    Ice Block: except Haruhi had 24 eps to play with. Losing one of 12 to this is extremely wasteful, and unlike Haruhi it doesn’t even feature the characters of the anime until the last few minutes. Imagine if Ep 0 of Haruhi had focused on some random characters who weren’t with the SOS-Dan for the first fifteen minutes, but instead was about the janitor of a nearby bike store who we never see again.

    That’s what this was. Nothing even close to Haruhi ep 1, not in content or even situation. Ep 0 was a risk as it was with 24 eps; this is more jackassery of Shinbo rather than an unconventional setup. Especially when one whole ep of 12 was lost. Imagine Bakemonogatari if there had been no webcasts to finish Tsubasa Cat promised, and the first ep was about the trains if the town with no Araragi, his sisters, or Senjougahara.

  17. anon Said,

    January 9, 2010 @ 12:35 am

    @Haesslich: Are you trolling or just really stoned? Haruhi S1 hat 14, not 24 episodes… also, considering endless eight, i’d say they wasted way more of S2 than Shinbo would ever dare to.
    For me, this episode was not wasted at all, but well done for what it was and interesting and entertaining to watch. The alternative of sticking close to the manga and starting with the confession scene would not have been any better, introducing two minor characters who don’t even appear again until the beginning of the school arc…
    Everyone unhappy with this episode, take it as an extended promo video and wait until next week for the real episode 1.

  18. Haesslich Said,

    January 9, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

    anon: I’m counting the theoretical S2 as part of S1, given how they reaired all of those eps and THEN got to new stuff. SHnY Ep 0 at least had Mikuru, Kyon, Itsuki, and Yuki in it with Haruhi showing up at the end, so even if it was confusing as hell you got to see the characters and some of their tics before they were really introduced (Mikuru cowering, Yuki’s expressionlessness, Itsuki’s creepy manner, Kyon’s… insolence), whereas we can expect to see almost nobody in this gameshow ever again, with the exception of Vera.

    Besides, they didn’t have to stick with the confession scene – the scene with the press conference wouldn’t have been bad – especially with how they proved vampires existed. It certainly would’ve been more entertaining than this… but then again, I’m not one of the people who find reality TV very entertaining.

  19. Ice Block Said,

    January 9, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

    @Haesslich
    No no, I think you misunderstood. What I was saying was that this was a parody of Ep00. You can see they tried hard to copy the bad camera effects, in-episode commercials and the horrible OP (splash screen in this case). What tipped me off that it was indeed a parody was that girl interviewing Shamisen.

    Anyway, I don’t really think you need to worry about time/episode constraints. This is SHAFT after all, sequel(s) will come.

    Plus, I believe whatever scenes you manga readers feel like they skipped (the first chapters and whatnot) will be covered next week. If anything, Bakemonogatari should have taught Shinbo that sticking to the source is the best way to go.

  20. Haesslich Said,

    January 9, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

    Ice Block: Then it’s worse than if they’d just gone in a random direction – that means this was `4 minutes of SHAFT being SHAFT and doing stupid things instead of adapting the source material… or in other words, Shinbo being an asshole who blew the budget and space for one episode on something which has shit-all to do with the main story. And the fact they did it all here shows Shinbo didn’t learn his lesson about adapting source material, not if he wasted airtime and animation budget on this.

  21. Haesslich Said,

    January 9, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    15 minutes, even.

  22. Ice Block Said,

    January 9, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

    @Haesslich
    Blew the budget? Really now? More like, he reused the crowd scene several times and stuck still frames on the interviews. And again, I don’t think we need to worry about “running out of episodes”. This is SHAFT, not KyoAni. A sequel will come in six months.

    Plus, I don’t think this was wasted at all. Manga readers may not like it so much, but it sure works to draw in several of those who hastily dismissed the show for being “pedo porn”, Twilight shit, etc. It also managed to introduce the series’ concept/definition of vampires and their motives/objectives.

    tldr: You worry too much. Wait for next episode IMO.

  23. random Said,

    January 9, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

    I liked the episode, precisely because it’s different. It’s doubtless not for everyone, but if you’ve seen enough anime to get tired of the usual cliches and gimmicks, different is good.

    So, good job, SHAFT.

  24. Randerith Said,

    January 9, 2010 @ 11:30 pm

    The only thing I disliked about the first episode, being a huge fan of the manga, was that they kind of forgot to introduce the main character…

    In the manga, the main character was introduced brilliantly. But here, all we see introduced is Hime-chan, her servants, and random minor characters.

  25. Haesslich Said,

    January 10, 2010 @ 1:08 am

    Ice Block: that assumes this show doesn’t tank. Assuming that they’ll have a sequel and will be able to waste episodes on filler which gas nothing to do with the series or the mood and feel of it is wrong-headed and shows an acceptance of mediocrity that should be appaling.

    If you’re familiar with the source, this doesn’t fit the mood of it at ALL. If you weren’t, then the transition to the ‘serious business’ of a vampire state suddenly appearing and the resulting attempts to kill it and it’s leader (not to mention the things which will happen to everyone else) will be jarring. Twilight seems to be more of a fad here than Japan, so I don’t see that as a factor for Shinbo. The loli stuff is easy to remove. But a silly game show which doesn’t introduce the main character?

    I wonder how many of the people who started this expecting a light comedy drama will feel when the action/horror kicks in. It gets bloody even in the first chapter, and vampirism here us drawn less like Shinobu of Bakemonogatari and more like Alucard of Hellsing.

  26. Mappy Said,

    January 10, 2010 @ 2:31 am

    This is the studio that gave us Negima!? There are people who are surprised that it is deviating this much from the manga, already?

  27. Haesslich Said,

    January 10, 2010 @ 8:17 am

    Mappy: There are times when deviation works (like SZS or Hidamari Sketch). There are times which it doesn’t work (Negima!?) and times when they seem to know that deviating too much (Bakemonogatari) means something which bombs, so they restrain themselves.

    This is starting to look like they’re going the Negima!? route… which is bad for fans of the Negima story, and apparently didn’t catch on all that well in Japan with non-fans of Negima either. They WERE able to adapt Ala Alba right (stuck to the story, the character designs) and that seems to have done well in Japan… which shows they’re not completely incapable of following a script closely.

    Now, if they’d done something along those lines for Vampire Bund, I’d have been very happy. And so would quite a few other people, to judge by the comments I’ve seen elsewhere.

  28. RK9 Said,

    January 10, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

    Randerith: Akira did appear in the episode though very briefly. He was the guy who was asked for an opinion on vampires on the street. It was kinda hard to miss that since Mina started getting all excited but ended up in tears(kinda).

    Anyways about the first episode, I watched it twice first alone and the second time with a friend and we both agreed that even though more of this would not be a good idea nevertheless it wasn’t a bad way to start off the show. Not as good as the way the characters were introduced in the manga but since this is the first episode I’ll forgive them. You guys are jumping the gun too much. Give it till the third episode at least. Not like there’s much better to watch this season other than Durarara!!

  29. Randerith Said,

    January 10, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

    RK9: I know that Akira ‘showed’ up in the first episode, but he was not introduced properly. People that started to watch the episode without prior information about the manga would assume that he is just another random side character. And the answer he gave to the question of whether or not he believed in vampires was a bit extreme if you ask me.

    I’ll still watch the entire series since I want to see how much it deviates from the actual manga and whether they will be able to incorporate these new ideas successfully. But, just like Negima!?, this anime is starting to look off pretty bad. Well, we still have Durarara!! =D

  30. Haesslich Said,

    January 10, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

    Randerith: Indeed. Plus, the way the mood will change from this to the darker parts, especially showing the type of magnificient bitch that Mina can be (a contrast to her appearance) is likely to throw people who became fans of this ‘lighter, softer’ style into either a rage, or into cries of betrayal… while the ones who were in it for the naked Mina will be upset with having little of Mina this ep (or the way she got introduced to the readers of the manga), and those who are on teh fence… well, if they WANT to watch Japanese game shows, they can just change channels.

    And indeed, there is Durarara. Maybe there’ll be ONE adaptation that doesn’t suck this season – maybe two if Hidamari Sketch Hoshimittsu doesn’t get its art budget chopped.

  31. arigatou Said,

    January 10, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

    Expect in the DVD version that the 15mins of endless eight boredom is cut and replaced with the actual scenes that took place before the last part of the episode.

    So the Vampire Princess has code geass against all low level vampires.

  32. Don Quigleone Said,

    January 11, 2010 @ 2:18 am

    Better series have started with a bad first episode, so I’d give it a few more episodes.

    I haven’t read the Manga or anything, so I thought the opening at least was unique. And to console you guys, the Anime that stick [I]too[/I] closely to the manga usually end out mediocre.

    I think it can go either way

  33. Haesslich Said,

    January 11, 2010 @ 6:25 am

    Don: Honey and Clover stuck close to its source and turned out damned well. Toradora stuck close, and aparently turned out decent except for the pacing problems and the anime-original eps in Ep 3 and 4 (although I’ll take that over going anime-original in ep 1). Hidamari Sketch x365 was mostly manga-guided, and turned out better than S1 did. The two Negima OAD’s (Ala Alba being the most recent) stuck to the original story and were lauded for being superior to the Negima adaptations which came before.

    When there’s a good story in the original material, following it tends to make for a better anime than not – most of the ‘mediocre’ animes which ‘stuck’ to the original story were executed poorly… or had poor stories to begin with, which were licensed only because someone threw a lot of money at the producers.

  34. OverMaster Said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 1:37 am

    If you want the manga, go read the manga. Think of this as an alternate universe kinda thing and evaluate it on its own terms.

    Personally, I would like to congratulate SHAFT for once more proving they are the only anime studio left with enough stones to pull this kind of non-gimmicky, highly polarizing and utterly entertaining stunt and succeed at it. Take notes, KyoAni.

  35. Mappy Said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 2:17 am

    Hasselich: I’m just saying, when it comes to tv series, this is a studio that has only ever considered making the latest season of The Shaft Show. Even last year’s bizarrely popular Bakemonogatari was a distillation of (almost) everything they’ve done before. I’m expecting Arakawa Under the Bridge to be a SZS/Bakemono-style slideshow fest, already.

  36. anon Said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 2:17 am

    Haesslich, why so butthurt? i’m even more convinced now that you’re just another fail troll… comments like “This is starting to look like they’re going the Negima!? route” make you look rather stupid, as is judging any show from shaft by just the first episode.

  37. Winter 2010 Impressions – Dance in the Vampire Bund | Jinx! Said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 8:01 am

    […] said, it’s not without weaknesses. I came to the same conclusion as Kurogane – why the hell would vampires announce their existence in a shitty talkshow? If I was even […]

  38. Haesslich Said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 10:40 am

    Overmaster: Doesn’t that kill the whole point of adapting a series if you’re making it an AU? It’s like saying that, if you’re porting one game from a platform to another, that it should be completely different and treated as something else – which isn’t good for fans of the original story/game. If it’s a spinoff, they need to declare it up front, rather than present trailers which LOOK like they’re going to follow the manga storyline and then do a 180 to present something like this game show.

    Note how badly the Negima anime bombed in Japan, and how well the more faithful Ala Alba did in comparison. I mean, if they’re taking out the action and the horror, then they might as well call this “TWILIGHT: the ANIME” and be done with it. You can do original properties after all – and the last time I looked, the reason you adapt existing ones (manga or novel) is to try to entice fans of the series over to it so it’ll have a built-in fanbase and be relatively free of risk… or because the source material has enough in it to possibly get new fans onto the property if you move it to another medium.

    Mappy: Then what’s the point of using this, versus going with another season of say.. Maria+Holic (which I will note has no declared sequel yet, which puts a hole into the ‘they’ll automatically get another sequel, so there’s no issues with wasting episodes here’ theory).

    anon: I’m upset because the trailers promised one thing, and this is another. Sorta like how the Haruhi S2 trailers promised more (and with fan hopes of Disappearance being animated) than the real S2 delivered. Basically, they took the story and so far have failed to deliver on what they’d hinted at in two trailers. Beyond that, if the first episode’s there to set the mood of the story and introduce the characters to the audience (so you don’t waste valuable time in the next 2-3 episodes doing so), then they failed miserably at both goals here.

    By the way, I love the way you hid behind ‘anon’ there. Nice way to stand up for your opinion.

  39. Mappy Said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 10:56 am

    They can use whatever source they like. In the end, the series looks and feels exactly like every other show they’ve made. They might experiment around the edges with the new source material, but that pretense of variety doesn’t mean they aren’t going to serve up more of the same.

    I’m not saying that they don’t make anything that is good, but there is a point where hammering a house style into everything you make with the subtlety of a brick in the face starts to become somewhat boring. I’m willing to be wrong about this as we’re only one episode into this show and they could take it anywhere.

    I also feel there is a bit of payback-time going on with the Bakemonogatari haters, as well….

  40. Haesslich Said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    Mappy: That’s an interesting theory – have the people who hated the original for being closer to the source (yet SHAFTified) get something as completely different as a “Now for Something Completely Different” skit from Monty Python, so they can resent THAT instead.

    Personally, I am rather worried if this is the direction they intend to go with the material… which, nine out of ten anime series I’ve seen (or most any movies/TV shows), the first episode is representative of. If they keep going their own way and basically focus on something other than the original premise, this has the potential for a trainwreck which makes a Sunrise anime seem like a mild disturbance in the Force.

  41. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 11:52 am

    Difference is, Sunrise shows are usually meta-entertaining way more than their show itself are!

  42. Ice Block Said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

    @Haesslich:
    The trailer promised manga material eh? Then it’ll come sooner or later. Learn to be patient — high mastery of this skill can save a few braincells and hundreds of calories a day. If the manga’s plot and atmosphere are still not present in the next few eps, then gg. Let’s wait patiently until then.

    Anyway, it’s not like it’s been a very long time since some studio pulled this kind of “trick 1st ep” off. IIRC there was Druaga S1 and Ga-Rei Zero last year (or was it 2008?).

  43. OverMaster Said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

    Negima?! failed on its own lack of merits, not because it followed the manga’s lead or not. The XEBEC Negima also failed because it tried to ape the manga plotline in a half assed way (not to mention the hideous animation). I quote Chiri Kitsu, “If you’re going to adapt it, either fully adapt it or go with a fully different approach, otherwise it just gets irritating!”.

    This, on the other hand, has worked fine for me so far, so I’m okay with it. But I guess purists can never be satisfied.

  44. Haesslich Said,

    January 13, 2010 @ 10:58 am

    Ice Block: Note that the studio who did Drauaga is no longer with us. While SHAFT isn’t in danger of imminent death, this is not a good precedent. Nor did Ga-Rei Zero do spectacularly well, IIRC. Not a glowing recommendation of this approach; Haruhi Ep 0 at least came from the source material (filming the movie) even if putting it at the front of the series was a risk, and we got the characters from the show… y’know, in the show.

    OverMaster: I think the only successful anime-original ep in the original XEBEC was the Sayo story; otherwise the whole Asuna plotline at the end was… eh. That and chopping out Kyoto arc wasn’t exactly an inspired choice; Negima!? didn’t even follow the manga, and I’d have to say that without the story from the manga that it was similarly ‘meh’… and managed to chase away fans who would otherwise have followed it, no matter how mediocre the art, if it had been more like what they were used to. That’s the point of doing adaptations, or so I understood – tap an existing fanbase.

    If they keep going in this direction, though… well, it’ll be either a really sharp shift to the more dramatic scenes (plus, if the relationship between Mina and Akira is to be played up, they actually have to APPEAR in the show together), or else we’re going to lose them to anime-original filler.

  45. Mappy Said,

    January 14, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

    OverMaster: That’s exactly what I meant. One version of Negima was tacitly faithful and was a disaster, but the Shaft version was an unwatchable abomination, like a distillation of everything that is wrong with the studio. Yes, they might have made canon-conscious ovas that worked, but those 26 episodes stand out like a huge carbuncle on the arse of the franchise.

    And with episode 2 of DitVB showing only a very few signs of divergence from being the latest season of The Shaft Show, I’m starting to believe we are, indeed, watching a contemporary Negima.

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