Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kindaichi Case Files Special: The Case of the Vampire Legend Murder – review

Director: unknown

Release date: 2007

Contains spoilers

The Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo series has been a long running manga, and has spawned both anime and live action versions. This particular incarnation was one of two TV specials and was based on one of the manga case files.

It centres on Kindachi Hajime (Matsuno Taiki) a young man who seems a little lazy and slovenly but is in actual fact a genius and ace detective. In this he is travelling with Kenmochi Isamu (Kosugi Jurota) and Nanase Miyuki (Nakagawa Akiko).

crap bat bottle label
The start of the episode sees them having dinner in the Ruins hotel. Miyuki seems disgusted with his general manners and Isamu seems intent on getting drunk on the vampire wine (my interpretation of the crap bat on the bottle, anyway) that the hotel’s one staff member, Minato Aoko (Mitsuishi Kotono) brings up. Outside a stranger approaches through the rain.

the abandoned hospital
The episode then cuts back. The three are looking for a hot spring but apparently are lost and the rain is torrential. They reach a village that seems abandoned and take shelter at the front of an abandoned hospital. Just then a coach pulls up and offers them a lift. The driver is Hirakawa Toru (Nakao Ryusei), the owner of the ruins hotel, and his one passenger is Nekoma Junko (Higashi Saori), a journalist. As they pull away we see figures in the hospital.

Hiiro arrives
 At the hotel, which is dilapidated to say the least, we meet other guests. There is Futugami Ikuku, a doctor, and her companion Kaitani, who have come because of a letter sent to Ikuku. A last minute arrival comes in and scares Ikuku, he is the stranger we saw and is called Hiiro Keisuke (Ikeda Shuuichi). Miyuki goes to take a bath as Toru tells the tale of the vampire in the village.

the vampire
It seems that 100 years before a vampire came from Transylvania to Japan and killed at least one person. The family lived in the mansion that is now the hotel. Six years ago an incident occurred in the mansion again. The owner of the hotel died leaving his daughter who had a heart condition. She was admitted into the abandoned hospital to try to cure her. The villagers found her in the mansion, her neck bitten and staked her. Her body, they discovered, had been drained of blood.

Miyuki bound
The girl was called Yuria (Hisakawa Aya) and her portrait bears a striking resemblance to Miyuki. Miyuki, meanwhile, has been grabbed by the vampire and wakes bound in a room where she sees Ikuku on a bed and the vampire coming towards her, she passes out again. When she is found she has two punctures on her neck and Ikuku is dead. Everyone has an alibi and the phones are down. It’s up to Hajime to solve the crime…

bath of blood
 This was alright, given that I am not au fait with the series. We get a ruined, gothic hotel, a murder mystery, a bath of blood and a convoluted solution that I am not going to spoil. However, it isn’t the best anime I have ever seen and because it is the average length of an OVA – 45 minutes – it seems a little rushed in places.

All in all it deserves an above average 6 out of 10.

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