Shin

Vampire Princess Miyu OST

  • Composed/Arranged by:Kenji Kawai.
  • Vocals: Saeko Suzuki& Miki Nagasawa
  • Published by: Tokyopop

    3 Shinma brothers and a magnificent score
    Vampire Princess Miyu OST
    Weird introduction eh?

    Well, there’s a reason for this. Every once in a while Soundtracks have an everlasting impression on me, and Vampire Princess Miyu was one of these. I could sum up this Ost in one word: Melancholy. Because that’s what you have when you listen to this soundtrack. The soundtrack is dark and sad in nature which fit’s perfectly the series. Every episode on the TV-series has a somewhat dramatic ending and this is represented in most of the tracks(not all, but most of them).. Most songs are rather short(usually not more than 2 minutes) but somehow it never seemed to bother me. The quality of the intrumentation and composition makes up more than enough for the lack of length.

    Kenji Kawai is the acclaimed composer of this music and it’s a shame some people just doesn’t seem to get enough recognition for their works. Kenji Kawai is one of them. Being also responsible for his tremendous score for Ghost in the Shell, it’s easily to see why this man is so damn good. But back to the soundtrack now, in particular to a few songs that needs mentioning.

    In good anime tradition, the opening song is sweetness and it’s prepares pretty much the mood for what’s to come. It resembles a sad lonely girl sitting on a tree with somebody telling her story when traditional Japnese instruments are kicking off the song to progress to more intensified drums and a chorus of voices and then getting slower again. The vocal part is done by Kasahara Hiroko which also did vocals for Armitage III. I love the opening and it’s definitly a song you will keep coming back to..
    Quite simply a perfect opening song to the series.

    Now back to the title of my review. Some of you might remember one of the last episodes with the 3 Shinma brothers coming into a town. The beginning of that episode made a deep impression to me and that’s mainly because of the song that did go along with it. Track nr. 28 and called The Wind of Killer(Sappuka), it’s one of those villain songs you just can’t get out of your head. It was played several times when there was an upcoming battle with Shinma’s, but especially in that particular episode the song became appearant and stuck in your head. Even though the song is rather short(1.28 only) it never fails to amaze me. Dark, gloomy and the feeling bad things will happen lead the overtone here.

    Another song worth mentioning is track. 30 called Distress(Kunou). It’s another one of these dark in nature songs that represents the whole mood of the series with the Shinma’s and Miyu’s own world. Despite the rather repeating melodie, the songs never grows old on you. Track.3 Karma(Shukumei no Katarushisu) is another one of these songs that belong in the same sad and emotional attached category.

    Another thing I want to mention is the Flute. Many songs use the flute as instrument and song 12 “Melodie of Sorrow” is an excellent example of that. This instrument is used in quite some tracks, and mostly with great results, it gives an additonal edge to the already emotionally charges songs. There are plenty more songs on this soundtrack worth covering, but I’m not good at doing very long reviews, so I conclude my review here.

    Final thoughts: if you’re a fan of the series, get this one. For all others, people have different tastes, but if you somewhat like dark, melancholic or sad soundtracks you will adore this one.Truth to be told, Kenji Kawai outdid himself on this score, no discussion about it. While some songs might be less impressive, the majority makes up for that and you won’t regret buying it. A worthy Ost in everybody’s collection and still easy to find.

    Overall Rating : 9,5/10

  • By Edgar

    New Vampire Miyu volume 1

    New Vampire Miyu volume 1 review

    Art by – Narumi Kakinouchi
    Story by – Toshihiro Hirano
    Japanese publisher – Susperia (Akita Shôten)
    English translation – (Studio Ironcat)
    Volumes – 5
    Genres – Shôjo, Horror, Romance

    Review is based on volume 1
    Miyu is both Vampire and Guardian of the Japanese Spirit Realm. Larva is her devoted servant, and assists in her vigil to keep a balance between the Dark and the normal world. When stray Demon-gods, or Shinma, seek to feed upon and destroy humans, it is Miyu’s power combined with Larva’s that returns them to the Dark. But unlike Miyu, Larva is not Japanese. He is actually a powerful Western Shinma whose original mission was to destroy Miyu. A transfer of blood bound them together instead, and her would-be assassin became her greatest ally.

    However, Larva’s brethren have now travelled to Japan with every intention of returning Larva to their ranks and conquering their competition. Larva’s blood relation Carlua is particularly anxious to destroy Miyu, but not before the Japanese Vampire Princess is punished for the transgression of having enslaved a Western Shinma.

    Imagine Bram Stoker’s Dracula: A being of unimaginable power, including the ability to withstand sunlight, which roams the land in search of blood. Now imagine that such a being was a brown-haired, golden-eyed thirteen-year old girl charged with the task of returning wandering Shinma to the dark and defending the gate to the Japanese Spirit Realm. That’s the premise for New Vampire Miyu, and it’s a welcome move away from the mostly comedic titles that are currently available, and towards a more eerie and spooky world where the dwellers of the dark live amongst humans, sometimes without incident, and sometimes with deadly repercussions.

    Miyu is an attractive character in that her beguiling, child-like appearance is both truth and lie. More than her small stature, there’s a lack of maturity in her decisions and action which give the impression of a young innocent — not something you usually think of someone who takes pleasure in burning her enemies to cinders. But the nascence is there and proves to be her weakness on more than one occasion. Her powers may echo that of the ancient guardians, but Miyu is still vulnerable to her emotions. For that reason she has great need of Larva, who is a fascinating being himself for balancing carefully on the fine line between father-figure and paramour. He is the sage, stable force in Miyu’s existence who protects, teaches and loves her. That he’s blessed with the allure that seems common property of all vampires in literature and bishônen in manga simply widens his fan base. Together, they make a somewhat taboo but enticing couple, and it is the threat of their being separated that eats at the reader’s heart during this first volume.

    New Vampire Miyu is categorised as horror, but it’s also a wonderfully gothic romance, illustrated in one of the more beautiful manners I’ve seen to date. Many of the panels are sketch-like, with little tone — primarily line work. My personal favourites are the wider panels that have layered faces or limbs meant to communicate movement. It’s accomplished not in an exaggerated form as in most comics, but in an ethereal manner that is decidedly delicate and romantic. It’s not pristine or perfect, but it carries a large emotional impact. Sadly, however truly beautiful the art may be, it’s difficult to give it full appreciation since the layout as a whole often leads to confusion. Many times — especially during fight scenes — the action is unclear. It may be very pretty to look at, but it doesn’t do what it’s meant to: tell the story.

    The key to unlocking this problem could have been the dialogue, but unfortunately that’s also hard to follow on occasion since the speaker is not always easily discernible. The dialogue is also somewhat disappointing considering the wonderful idea the author had to work with. Part of the reason is the run-of-the-mill writing itself, but the other part of the problem is how the dialogue translates. The way something reads in Japanese does not necessarily have the same effect in English — even if it is a literal translation — so by English standards some of the writing comes across as stilted or clichéd. Admittedly though, the characters and story are engaging enough to overcome most of the verbal shortcomings.

    And once again, the art in New Vampire Miyu is splendid. Studio Ironcat managed to successfully reproduce the beautiful tones and ink washing from the original, and topped off the volume with a lovely gallery of individual issue covers, and attractive start and end pages. If not for some terribly blatant errors and a silly omission, it would have been quite the accomplishment, but this volume was slightly marred by blurry pages, missing words in some of the speech balloons, and — perhaps the strangest complaint of all — a lack of page numbers. These faults were not the death of the volume, but they were certainly distracting. Hopefully they will not be present in the proceeding volumes, and corrected in future printings of the first.

    Ultimately New Vampire Miyu has all the makings of a great manga series: awesome characters, gorgeous art, an exciting story, and a nice presentation, but this volume has a few too many flaws to qualify as more than good. I eagerly look forward to the next instalment, but considering the price of the volume, it’s not a necessary addition to the manga bookshelf unless you’re a fan of vampires or horror in general.

    Language – Threats abound but there is little to no vulgar language.
    Violence – Where there are vampires, there’s blood — and plenty of it goes flying in this volume. However, it isn’t as graphic as some other manga — no decapitations or tearing of limbs…
    Nudity – None.
    Sex – None, though there is a great deal of erotic subtext and a few eyebrows may be raised by the close relationship between the very child-like Miyu and bishônen Larva.

    By Raven

    Work in progress... not home!
    Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.