Normally, I wouldn’t touch a vampire anime with a ten-foot wooden stake. I feel it is a badly overworked genre, as there is seemingly little more you can bring to it, unless you want to see tons of impalements and neck biting and spurting fountains of blood and other unpleasantness. However, when you are confronted with the title of “The Vampire Dies in No Time” (“Kyūketsuki Sugu Shinu”), it deserves at least a few minutes of time from your busy day, especially as you want to see how they are going to make a full series of it.
In this world, vampires are very real and a very real menace. Nefarious, violent and a true danger to society, you need brave vampire hunters to go out and dispatch them. One of them is the famed vampire hunter, Ronaldo, every inch the image of a fearless vampire slayer. He has been tasked with destroying the amoral vampire, Lord Draluc, and rescue a human boy he kidnapped for whatever immoral purposes he has in mind. Oh, the humanity! Well, closer to “Oh, the huge manatee.”
Striding forth with his overwhelming bravery, Renaldo sallies forth into the castle. However, upon entering the castle, he accidentally kills Draluc. Huh? I…I just hit him with the door and… It turns out Draluc is pathetically weak and he turns into a pile of ashes whenever he is struck or skewered or bonked. He can revive in a few moments, but this is not the power of an all-mighty vampire lord. Oh, the kid? That little monkey snuck INTO the castle (which he does after school. Every. Single. Day.) as Draluc has an incredible variety of video games, which little bratty kid plays for hours on end. In trying to puzzle things out, Ronaldo ends up destroying the castle, much to the distress of the boy (all those video games, gone) and Draluc, (all those video games, gone) who now has no place to live.
He has to move in WITH Ronaldo, bringing along his familiar, an armadillo named John, and starts to help Ronaldo on his cases. The series is their life together.
Wow, talk about the ultimate Odd Couple. We also learn that Ronaldo, who is trying to pen the latest volume of his vampire escapades, is a bit of a fraud. These two roommates have endless run-ins with the Vampire Control Division, which is headed by Ronaldo’s older brother, and the Vampire Hunters’ Guild, staffed with the biggest collection of perverts you will find anywhere this side of a harem comedy, and Renaldo’s book editor, who is patiently waiting for the next installment, yes? Well, maybe not so patiently waiting.
Even the vampires who come to town to do their vampire duties aren’t much better or smarter. Yes, some of them can be a bit on the scary side, but they eventually showcase that they are not all that and a bag of chips. They are definitely not superior to the hunters who try and track them down.
I really liked this show, and, like everyone else who has watched it, I have a warm place for John. He is both cute and charming and when he gets hurt or pushed around, you want the person doing the dirty deed to get their just desserts. John may, in fact, be the smartest creature in the room, but when you can only say ‘nu’, it does get hard to express yourself.
Now, since Draluc gets turned into ash like 20 times a show, you may feel it is a drag point and might hurt binging. Quite the contrary. It is fascinating to see what turns him into ash and how many times it does happen (PS, do NOT turn this into a drinking game, OK? You take a shot every time Draluc goes down. You may not make it to the end of the episode) and the binging helps with the multiplicity of problems and adventures that crop up. My only hesitancy to binge is that this unfolds in a most intriguing manner and there really is no need to rush through it.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Art isn’t everything)
Plot 8 (It’s a rehash, but done with a good angle)
Pacing 8 (Moves along sprightly)
Effectiveness 8 (Good use of back histories)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Bingeability 9 (You can, but I say not that heavily)
Overall 8 (Vampire hunting was never so perilous)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Watch over my son.