This might be too lolicon for some, but you can’t help but be impressed by SHAFT’s handiwork. This was the last time SHAFT would animate for nudity.
Production Company: SHAFT
Vintage: Winter 2010
Nipple sightings from other SHAFT produced anime:
Popotan, Shina Dark (OVA) , This Ugly Yet Beautiful World , Mahoromatic , G-On Riders , He Is My Master
Other notable / recently relevant (non-nude) mainstream anime from SHAFT:
Puella Magi Madoka Magica , Bakemonogatari , Ef , Negima?! , Nisekoi, [email protected] , Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei , MoonPhase , Natsu no Arashi! , Arakawa Under the Bridge
Aoi Yuki as Mina Tepes
Aoi Yuki is also well known for her roles as:
Yu Kobayashi as Meiren
Yu Kobayashi is also well known for her roles as:
Chiwa Saito as Yuki Saegusa
Eri Kitamura as Nelly
Rie Kugimiya as Hysterica
Shizuka Itou as Nanami Shinonome
Thoughts on the anime
It is surprisingly common to see a non-ecchi manga contain softcore porn levels of nudity or sex. For reasons I can only speculate, the “culture” of manga seems much more accepting of intrusive eroticism, even in stories that are serious and often times quite good.
What is less common is to see these steamy manga scenes survive the jump to anime adaptation. Every once in a while you’ll see a faithful effort where the nudity is kept in for a serious, non-ecchi anime. Shows like Sankarea , Zetman , or Kimi no Iru Machi .
But more often, nude scenes in manga are left on the cutting room floor when the anime is produced. A few examples out of many: Papakiki , Gokujo , or Cube×Cursed×Curious .
The Dance in the Vampire Bund manga is labeled ecchi a lot of places, due to a huge amount of shall we say ‘non-essential’ nudity, but I think that’s misleading. To me, an ecchi manga is one where the plot is really just a thinly veiled device for showing sexy lady parts as frequently as possible. That’s definitely not the case here, as the manga has a coherent plot that in no way is used as an excuse to say, have two hot girls blast each others tops off.
It’s interesting then that SHAFT keeps all the nudity for their adaptation, especially since most of it belongs to a character who’s default appearance is that of a pre-pubescent little kid. Sure, she may be 400 years old not to mention a fictional character, but little Mina Tepes makes Mikan from To Love-Ru look like a MILF in comparison.
I was very surprised to see this anime got the full Funimation treatment. I would have thought the American market would have run screaming from material like this.
The anime itself varies a little from the manga especially towards the end, but the core of the story remains essentially the same. If you’ve read Interview with a Vampire , it’s kinda neat picking up on all the influences with the story, at least initially. In particular, Mina Tepes’ young form feels like a nod to Claudia from the book.
The lack of financial success for Dance in the Vampire Bund coupled with the record breaking success of Bakemonogatari (which aired 6 months prior) changed SHAFT forever. No other company was a bigger champion of nudity in TV anime from 2000 to 2010, but once SHAFT hit it big that era was slammed shut. They’ve yet to do nudity in anime since.
That’s really a shame because SHAFT is one of the very few production companies that actually live up to their towering reputation.
Dance in the Vampire Bund was made just as SHAFT was starting to make it big, but you could already see the roots of their future mega-success. Ambitious swooping shots, high detailed environments, great character designs, sharp editing and a great soundtrack. Other than Mardock Scramble or maybe the first few seasons of Queen’s Blade , there haven’t really been any other compilation worthy anime to be equally impressive as productions.
It sucks that this would mark the end of a great chapter of erotic anime for SHAFT, but at least they went out with a bang.
Thoughts on the fanservice video
The first thing that comes to mind… “unintentionally creepy.” Yes, this anime did intend to be sexy despite it’s highly inappropriate material, and you can even kind of get used to it, but there’s still some weird moments (like the film countdown segments) that get even weirder in highlight form.
Adult form Mina has a much bigger share of the fanservice in the manga, so it’s a bit of a shame that we only really get to see her briefly in the anime.
Guess it has to be Mina Tepes, though I enjoyed hearing Yu Kobayashi (as Meiren) in a very different kind of role than what she usually does.