Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Vampire Heaven – review

Director: Seta Natsuki & Yao Kawahara

First aired: 2013

Contains spoilers

The TV Tokyo series Vampire Heaven was somewhat twee; a twelve part live action drama that centred around a vampire, Sakurako (Aya Ohmasa), and a human, Hayato (Yûta Hiraoka), falling in love.

The show itself seemed low budget, with limited sets and a goofiness around the characters that reminded me of Western kid’s TV.

vampire world
The basic story is that Sakurako lived in the vampire world with her friend Komachi (Tsubasa Honda) but the evil Count (Eisuke Shinoi) had demanded that Sakurako become his concubine for a period of time. She submitted to this but Komachi dragged her away and they ran from the Count, making their way from the land of the vampires to modern day Tokyo.

from dusk till dawn
There they really were fish out of water but, luckily, they were found by café owner Aoi (Noriko Eguchi) – who, we discover later, is also a vampire living in the human world. She gets comic relief character Kentaro (Satoshi Tomiura) to let them stay in his flat (he quickly learns their true nature after the two girls get drunk and let it slip – despite hiding their nature from humans being one of the vampire rules), Aoi also lends them money and then has them pay the debt off working in her café. The Café is called the midnight Café and is open from dusk till dawn!!

Yûta Hiraoka as Hayato
Hayato is a musician who works in the café and he and Sakurako fall for each other. However when a vampire loves a human the desire to suck their blood becomes greater than normal. The girls discover that playing music calms their bloodlust, unfortunately the Count has sent his henchmen after the girls and he wants his revenge.

Eisuke Shinoi as the Count
The series has frequent reference to various vampire rules and we discover that a stake through the heart is (generally) deadly – the Count seems to survive it once, though he is incapacitated for some time following. He seems most concerned about one specific stake they have, when it would appear any stake will do. He also has the ability to remove his heart so it can’t be staked, this is something the other vampires cannot do.

fangs on show
Sunlight is deadly, though it takes a while to kill and apparently wearing a scarf, shades and carrying an umbrella is protection enough. Right at the end of the series the following lore is thrown in as a conundrum: if a vampire and a human, who are in love, kiss then the vampire becomes human but the human may die (there ends up being a series of things that could happen, rather than just dying). The vampires cast no reflection (unless their reflection is accidentally caught on camera, which happened in at least one scene).

venturing into the sunlight
The show looked to be on a budget but it occasionally showed fantasy based romance shows on TV in the series’ world that were cheaper looking and more wooden than the actual show. The (male) vampires all insisted on wearing capes – when they weren’t trying to fit in to the human world. There was some double crossing within the series that spiced the storyline up a little but, ultimately, not a huge amount happened. Fan subs are out there on the net.

All in all it was ok. 4 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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