Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense, Anime & Manga, Animation
Better than I had hoped!
V. Sorrell | 08/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm confused about so many reviews bad-mouthing english dubbing. Since when was American English so horrible? I admit, some translations are terribly done, but overall, I prefer English dubbing. Japanese is okay, but I don't speak it, so some voices are too high pitched and too similar to other characters for me to distinguish. If you like the voice actor for Kenshin (TV series) you'll like the english dubbing, he does the voice of Shido the vampire detective. It would have been better if they had the Japanese track as well, but they didn't put it in for some reason. If you want Japanese dubbing you will have to buy the two separate volumes. This volume contains all 12 episodes. The only dissatisfying thing about this series is that it ends too soon. Its kind of like Outlaw Star where they say "SEE YOU SOON" but never do. It makes you hopeful that there will be more, but there never is. Still, they are still awesome in their own rights. Shido is a 300 year old vampire. He started life as an aspiring HUMAN doctor of the 1700's. In his "youth" he is much like any normal vampire; living in Transylvania, killing towns full of people, devouring his family, that sort of thing. But then he comes to a realization and is tormented by his crimes. He flees to a city where he takes up detective work. He solves cases involving nightbreeds, demons who live in the darkness and have a taste for human flesh. They also have a desire to live in the world of light and will take any body they can to do so. Shido works with an urban fairy and a beautiful special agent (Ya Yoi) to solve the crimes. His "secretary" is a young college girl (Riho) who has a crush on him. She jumps to conclusions and it is hilarious to see how she reacts when she is jealous. When Cain, the vampire who turned Shido into a vampire, comes to the city, he proclaims that the Golden Dawn is coming. A time when all nightbreeds and vampires will be able to walk in the daylight. He has also come to reclaim Shido. There is some vampire homosexuality here. Shido tries to fight against the coming Golden Dawn and to resist Cain's hypnotic trots down memory lane, but in consequence Riho meets "an untimely end" (there is a surprise here). There is no real conclusion, perhaps the lesson is that some things cannot be stopped. The Golden Dawn has begun and in a way Shido has come to accept it. What's surprising is that in some cases you sympathsize with the nightbreeds. This series is interesting in that it shows how even evil has some good qualities, and that you cannot always judge someone by societies established views. The show ends on a slightly naughty scene, making it even better. All in all this was a great show! Most Japanese anime portrays vampires as the evil villanious element. It's refreshing to have them as the heroes and see things from their point of view. The music score is also great. I can't get the intro song out of my head. This collection is a steal for the number of episodes that you get. Buy IT!"
Good until I found out.
Cindy Gibson | Ontario | 03/16/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I really like this searies and with the two DVD set you get the whole series, but would have killed them to leave the Japanese audio track on it? The english voice acting is enough to make you run from the room! So if you want the only english virson of this show, buy this set but if you want the japanese then go for the two."
Why no love?
trashcanman | Hanford, CA United States | 10/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Nightwalker: Midnight Detective" is one of the definitive classic vampire anime titles out there. And when I say "out there" I mean inscrutably out of print. This is compounded by the fact that the only DVD set to be released HAS NO ORIGINAL JAPANESE LANGUAGE TRACK. This is unheard of. Thankfully, the English dub isn't terrible, but the fact that this remains such an obscure title has troubled me for some time. Aside from Hellsing and the Vampire Hunter D films, I can't think of a superior vampire-themed animated property. What a shame. Nightwalker combines elements of Western lore including classic noir with old-school anime partially influenced by Vampire Princess Miyu to create a show that has a style all it's own while remaining very familiar and accessible to newcomers. In a word: definitive.
The story is a familiar one in that it utilizes the now-cliche vampire detective motif that was originated by Forever Knight and eventually became a genre unto itself with shows like Angel and Moonlight. But Nightwalker stands apart not only because it is Japanese animation, but because it predates most of those series. The result is a stylish mix of genres that seems cliche by today's standards, but still stands tall as one of the best places to start for anime newbies with a taste for bloodsuckers. Shido Tatsuhiko is a vampire who seems taken with the idea that he still possesses a human heart although he honestly has no memory of being human due to the many centuries he has lived as a vampire. He opens up a detective agency where he teams with a seductive woman named Yayoi who works for an organization known as the N.O.S. (I don't believe the acronym is ever disclosed), which hunts down supernatural threats. As a reward for Shido's specialized help in solving cases, Yayoi offers her blood, though it would seem she gets quite a bit from the payment as well. Rounding out the main cast is the cloying sweetheart secretary Riho and Guni, an impish self-described "urban fairy" who resembles a tiny winged demon and often hides in Shido's hair to insult people. Comedy relief. Gotta love it.
The show is very episodic and each story typically consists of a demonic entity (known as Nightbreeds) taking advantage of a human weakness (greed, drug addiction, etc) and then possessing them, often with grisly results. Unlike the vampire detective shows that came before and since, Nightwalker delivers the goods. And by goods I mean beheadings, dismemberments, cannibalism, nudity, and all the stuff you won't ever see on network television. Ever seen a child eat his cat? There is some very disturbing stuff here to augment the social commentary about human nature, appearances being deceiving, and our capacity to delude ourselves. Shido's weapon of choice against the Nightbreed: his own blood. Now that is original. Vampires in the show seem to be able to control their own blood completely which makes Shido able to nip himself in the thumb and then draw blood out of the wound telekinetically and form it into a blade, whip, or even projectiles. Very cool. Add one of the most evocative opening songs of all time and you've definitely got yourself a winner.
Halfway into revisiting this old favorite, I anticipated a 5 star rating. It was even better then I remembered! But eventually, the disjointed nature of the series took a toll. Continuity didn't seem to be a big issue when this too-short 12 episode series was made. For instance, there are scenes where vampire characters are clearly walking in the daylight. This by itself is not unusual for the genre, but when a later episode has Shido watching an onscreen sunset in a movie theater and wondering aloud what it would be like to see the Sun in real life if definitely pulls me out of the story and makes me think "ummm...did you ever think about looking up the other day when you were out in broad daylight?". Another issue is the show's villain, Cain; Shido's sire and ex-lover. Talk about a one-trick pony. He essentially follows Shido around appearing here and there begging him to return to him and completely ignoring the fact that Shido is obviously disgusted by his murderous and arrogant ways. And he keeps prattling on about this "Golden Dawn" that never comes to fruition. A total waste of what would have been an awesome villain if they'd put some effort into his story. But hey, at least the yaoi fans can get a kick. Too bad that's all the storyline was used for.
Still, there's much more good then bad here. For a moment I was annoyed by the classic good-guy vampire dilemma of choosing between turning a character or allowing them to die. But considering this show predates most other instances, I have to cut it slack. The American in me also found it briefly bothersome when a young vampire who was turned only a week prior begins showing off in front of her friends after a funeral and saying pretentious drivel like "it must be nice to be able to die". Seriously? After a week you're brooding about that? Then I thought about it and realized that a newly-vamped teenage girl would do exactly that. At that age, people take their identity so seriously that a drastic change like that would very likely lead somebody that age to shove her new identity in her old friends' faces and say pretentious things about belonging in a different world now and the like. It's funny how Asian films and shows make you figure these things out for yourself while the American equivalents always feel the need to explain out loud every characters' motives so no subtlety is necessary. It's even funnier that I fell into that Western way of thinking and got annoyed when I had to use my brain for a second in spite of my long and torrid love affair with Asian films and series. The show's final episode may have been the strongest, but ended on a bit of a cop-out which bothered me. But on the other hand it avoided another anime cliche and ended the series in a very unique way for the genre; with two characters in a loving relationship so I'd call that an even split. Even if it is completely baffling. It's a show of ups and downs, but at the end of the night, it's a damn entertaining piece of work.
"Nightwalker: Midnight Detective" is a must for vampire fanatics and if you are already an anime-watcher, all the more. The series wasn't nearly as well thought-out as it could have been and if it had been given more time to grow out of the monster-of-the-week formula it could have been a true animated classic. As it stands, it is still an show I thoroughly enjoy, flaws and all, and I lament that there were only twelve episodes and that it has never received the recognition it deserves. The stylishness, adult nature, and in-your-face horror mixed with social commentary and a soundtrack straight out of a classic gumshoe flick add up to one of the most unappreciated titles in anime."