Kousaburo Kuki is a no-nonsense man's man who's good with his fists, and with the ladies. Currently residing in the seedy underbelly of Paris, his best friends are prostitutes and his life seems uneventful -- that is, until a friend is brutally murdered and he finds himself entrapped in a twisted nightmare of conspiracies and creatures of the night known as vampires. With the CIA and other organizations after the woman he is sworn to protect, Kuki must risk his life to find the truth, lest he end up dead from a vampire's bite!
StoryI'll admit, when I turned on Vampire Wars I expected something really stupid. It surely would have something to do with vampires fighting humans or something contrived and generic, and would be an utter waste of time. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered I was wrong! In fact, Vampire Wars ends up having a very interesting plot, namely about where the vampires came from, why they are on Earth, why they suck people's blood, etc. Obviously I won't give it away in a review, but let's just say it was very unique and original, to say the least. Prior to finding out those tidbits, it does indeed seem like a random action/gore fest, with lots of guns, blood, and violence. But the plot does end up being interesting, and worth a watch! Especially with only 45 minutes to waste. I will say that there were elements of the "story" that I wasn't a fan of, such as the random sexual elements thrown in. Unlike other horror OVAs, this one didn't actually show sex, but, for example, when a random female messenger comes to tell Kuki a message, they just randomly end up having sex! Although the point of this I guess is to point out how manly Kuki is, I felt it to be a little bit too random. Also, like many of these OVAs, it ends incomplete, so you don't get to see a conclusion. Regardless, the story still did end up delivering. AnimationFor 1990, the animation was not that bad. The only complaint I would have is that the layering effects of people and backgrounds seemed to be very shallow, so it didn't look as 3D as it could, and was flatter than normal. Also, during shadowy/dark scenes, sometimes the edges of the screen would just fade into blackness, which I thought was also cheesy. But besides this, there was nothing about the animation that I could really complain about. Character designs were decent, with thick shaded lines and minimal shading. The depiction of the vampires was a bit different than normal, with a strange glowing effect around the hair and eyes. Rather than choosing the stereotypical dark haired Dracula lookalike, the main vampire had flowing blond hair. The OVA took place mostly at night, so many dark shades were used for the colors. General colors were earthy tones or neutral shades, but also lots of dark blues for the night scenes. No CG or special animation styles were used. One thing to note is that there is quite a bit of graphic violence. Except for the ridiculous amount of blood spurting from a bite from the vampires, it was fairly realistic and well done (non-cheesy). SoundDefinitely not the best feature of the show, but then again, music usually isn't for most series. Typical 80s sounding keyboard fare, fairly heavy on the cheesiness. Literally average, hence the average score. Voice acting was decent and fit all the actors. CharactersAs far as the character roles, each person fit theirs well. Kuki was a very testosterone driven male, and it was very obvious when he would randomly have sex with people. Although I found this to be unnecessary, it definitely made it obvious what kind of person he was. Other characters had to come to terms with a trauma, and were very convincing. Secondary characters were a bit more weak, seeming shallow and 2 dimensional. Indeed the best character was the lead vampire, who, due to plot events, ends up being rather surprising and interesting. Due to the length, there isn't much more to say about the character development. OverallVampire Wars, at only 40 minutes, is a decent OVA to watch. The plot, while somewhat generic at times, still ends up being rather interesting because of its explanation of vampires and where they come from. Especially with a rash of vampire related series out there that suck, this makes Vampire Wars especially worth a watch. Granted, the animation isn't anything compared to the recent series released, but it still is decent. The average audio and somewhat weak characters do knock the score down, but nothing that is unbearable. All in all, I think Vampire Wars is worth a viewing if you like violent action flicks, vampires, or just need something to fill 40 minutes worth of time, this is a decent enough viewing to pick up.
As a young misguided teen I went through a phase of anime interest, which lasted my final school years, when I would purchase renowned Manga's that were genuinely well made films - the likes of Akira, Ninja Scroll and Spirited Away, still take pride of place on my shelf. However, during those foolish days I came across Manga 'The Collection' - a bunch of films, short and long (and series) supposedly worthy of being re-released and dubbed in English. The majority of which are rubbish. I know this from experience as I was gifted a 'collection' dvd in the form of Violence Jack which has various brief trailers for the others in the collection (most of which had intense music from Japanese techno-rock group The Mad Capsule Markets, a clever ploy indeed). If only I had the foresight to be content with the trailer of 'Vampire Wars' as it is a far greater piece of work than the actual title.. Vampires, NASA and Monsieur 'Cookie' To start, we see two groups of people gunning each other down next to a launch site, loads of overkill with machine guns, puppeteering swiss cheese corpses to dance the night away. The only detail offered is that when one woman acts as a kamikaze bomber, she screams "VERISWALDI!" then we see two blokes on the phone, equally puzzled and then the bland title sequence. Enter Kuki, an ex-KGB operative/terrorist/mercenary... original. He's a 6ft, 250lb jerk who swigs rum straight from the bottle, treats his so called best friend like dirt and is an avid client of the ladies of the night who stroll the streets of Paris. He randomly encounters a famous actress known as 'Lamia' and gets caught up in a war between the CIA and W.I.N.G (western intellegence network group) that puts Lamia in danger. This in turn adds another war of sorts as a Vampire tears apart Lamia's bodyguards, does some freaky moves and spouts pure nonsense. "..and dont worry i havent interfered with you or molested you or anything..." An infamous, fumbling line when Monsieur Cookie rescues a confused Lamia. Sweet Jesus is this film bad.. It's sentences like that which make you question the accuracy of the translation, if not the intention of the writers. Its a shame because most of the dialogue is delivered rather well with convincing French accents and real, emotional purpose. Even a prostitute/telegram lady is professional enough to divulge top secret information as she unbuckles her garters. The language is appalling for the sake of being rated an 18, with lines including "you're a real sick sh*t f*ck" and another about a mans sexual inadequacy that prompts him to brutally punch a hooker square in the face, which by the way is watched in slow motion as her face absorbs a fist and ejects teeth and spurts of blood - this shockingly, is in the first 10 minutes. Oh and lets not forget the distressed call girl who ends up violated by a spiked dildo, the act may not be on screen but theres clear aftermath visuals thanks to an axe wielding maniac who bears no significance to anything at all. Despite some over the top, disturbing imagery, the actual fight scenes aren't bad, with special effects like reflections off the broken glass shards and jets of the red vino on tap. *Intended Spoilers* I must go to great length to dissuade any who are considering this by letting the rest of the story speak for itself. After Kuki is persuaded (tortured) to help out W.I.N.G he comes up with his new code name "if he's called Dracula, how about calling me BAT" and then jumps out of a window all willy nilly regardless of his previous electrocution 'therapy'. He goes on to try and protect Lamia - who ends up seconds away from being bitten by a sparkling blonde haired chump of a vampire in a green suit.. (Twilight stole a bit of cinematic genius there!). This guy halts Kuki's gun, paralyzes him, then leaves. Lamia hides out with her auntie who has bad news - turns out Lamia is an alien - don't you hate it when that happens? With a blood test proving she has 'alka-chloride e2' in her system, she breaks down in tears screaming along with her auntie, instead of being confused as hell. In time, this revelation makes her super horny for mr cookie and then she gets caught in a trap thanks to the misguidedness of his friend whatshisface who barely says 2 words the whole film. Kuki is then captured also by the jolly green vamp and regaled with a fascinatingly stupid sub plot. Are you ready for this? Once upon a time there were two groups of people - those that believed in technology & Science and others in spiritual energy/God. They both transcended life on their home planet and reached the stars, creating space cruisers and finding immortality through their silly respective ways. One day the leader of the spiritual blokes (Veriswaldi) crash lands on earth and resides in the mountains of Transylvania, in a coma, waiting to be restored with the alien blood of.. you guessed it. Apparently vampires are very nice people who only suck the blood of the innocent to remain immortal for short periods of time, whereas this special blood is well.. special. So Chocolate Chip (Kuki:) hears this startling tale and instantly believes it, and with the aid of his new chums, attempts a final rescue for Lamia - who's being transported to America for reasons unknown. She gains magical powers, kills some guys with her super human strength, heals a shot Kuki and agrees to awaken this Veriswaldi geezer. Then as the plane flies off into the sunset, Monsieur Cookie declares his love for Lamia... despite knowing her for all of 2 days.... THE END! That little ending is surprising in 2 aspects - 1) it leaves a whole lot of unanswered questions and 2) surprisingly makes for a joyous occasion - as you no longer have to watch such nonsensical drivel! As you'd imagine from an hour long anime with an insanely ambitious story about vampires and aliens, characters are wafer thin, the story is rushed and even the music is only capable of rising above elevator standard. Not 5 minutes go by without someone shouting the odd expletive, getting shot to ribbons or saying something brain punching-ly stupid. I just saved you an hour of your life in exchange for 5 minutes, you're welcome.
This is far from being bad but can't really reach the good tier. As far as the story goes, if you are not braindead, it is not confusing at all and makes perfect sense, afterall, even if you didn't pay attention one of the characters will spill out everything to you little by little. That being said, even though the story is kinda of interesting (after all is layed out), what we are shown in this OVA are not those parts so it really does not grab your attention. The animation is average but the character design is well done. The characters are not likeable at all, you really don't care about any of them. Overall this is not a total waste of time but I would not recommend it to anyone.
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