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Shido doesn't have to sparkle. Eat your heart out, Bella!
Nightwalker: The Midnight Detective (Mayonaka no Tantei Nightwalker) is a Twelve Episode AnimeVampire Detective series. It follows a repentantvampire named Tatsuhiko Shido in his struggle to covertly protect the citizens of his adopted city from other, less friendly creatures of the night. Also worth mentioning is the peculiar composition of the show - it's divided into two portions that don't feel quite alike, and look markedly different. Also it's based on a computer game that barely anyone has heard of. Even in Japan.Despite the other inconsistencies, the same writers work on the show throughout and the setting remains consistent. It takes place in a Japanese city where our Friendly Neighborhood Vampire Shido works as a private investigator, specializing in supernatural cases - particularly cases which involve a race of demons dubbed Nightbreeds. Joining him are Yayoi Matsunaga, an agent for a anti-Nightbreed organization dubbed the NOS; Riho Yamazaki, a teenage orphan (courtesy of Nightbreeds) who works as Shido's Girl Friday; and Guni, a little green imp with bat wings who often hides in Shido's hair.Antagonizing them is Cain, the vampire who made Shido what he is today, who still harbors feelings for him.So what happened with this show? It was initially planned as an OVA, but ended up becoming a TV series by means of tacking on lower-budget episodes to fill it out. Effectively, Nightwalker has two different animation staffs, but attempts to pass itself off as a unified production note Both halves were done by AIC despite this. To go even further, the game it's based on is an HGame - in fact, Nightwalker is the first anime tv series based on an adult gamenote earlier adaptations of this sort are all OVAs. (The game is Japan only (of course) and obscure even by those standards.) In comparison to the game, the anime series is a pleasantly Forever Knight-ed up Alternate Continuity of its source material.
Agent Peacock: Cain can overpower Shido without even mussing his pretty hair.
All Just a Dream: Episode 12, in which Riho's deceased parents return as nightbreeds, forcing Shido to kill them (again) in front of her. The psychological trauma causes Riho to give in to her vampire nature, and she murders Yayoi and Guni. just as Shido strikes the final blow to Riho, he wakes to discover it was all a hallucination caused by Cain.
Art Shift: From episode 5 onward the show has new character designs. This leads to . . .
Adaptation Dye-Job: Yayoi has dark reddish hair until episode 5, when her hair becomes black. Shido's eyes change from gold to blue and his hair gets a lot longer; Riho goes from brunette to redhead; Cain . . . "dye job" falls short of expressing how different Cain looks. Adaptational Attractiveness might be better.
The shift from lighter to darker and more intense colors may be the intentional result of a shift of tone in the anime, a visual way of expressing that the setting is becoming "darker", literally and metaphorically.
Body Horror: What happens when a Nightbreed possesses a human.
Call Back: Shido buys a silver cross pendant for Riho in episode 3, jokingly acting like it has power over him. It doesn't. In episode 4, Cain rips the cross off Riho's neck and gives her a mortal injury. After all, it's really just a trinket.
Canon Foreigner: Technically there are many, since the show is an Alternative Continuity of the game it's based on. Cain is the biggie, though - Shido doesn't even have a sire in the game.
Deal with the Devil: Episode 2, where an aspiring actress makes a pact with a Nightbreed in exchange for talent.
Death by Origin Story: Each of the protagonists have one. In Yayoi's case, her twin sister gave her own face to Yayoi to replace Yayoi's disfgured one. Riho's parents were killed by nightbreeds as well.
Shido was close to a little girl and a woman before he became a vampire, though the nature of his relationship with them is unclear. Maybe they were his wife and daughter, maybe his mother and sister... But after the woman died, the little girl didn't want to live on as a vampire, and killed herself by exposing herself to the sunlight.
Depraved Bisexual: Cain, resident dissolute hedonist. Obsession with Shido aside, the world is full of ways to get your evil jollies.
Door Closes Ending: In the final scene of the show, Guni hangs a "closed" sign outside Shido's detective office and shuts the door.
Drugs Are Bad: They make it easier for Nightbreeds to possess you.
Ironic Echo: "Because I'm a vampire." Shido says it after killing Riho's parents-turned-Nightbreed, as he believes he has to use his powers to protect humans. It turns out, it was also said by Cain as his justification for consuming humans wantonly.
Karma Houdini: The Nightbreed that is seen killing a high-school girl in episode 4 gets away scot-free.
Master of Illusion: Both Cain and Shido use illusions to mislead opponents, but Cain is much, much better at it. In fact, illusions and glamours are Cain's preferred methods for making trouble.
Plot-Induced Stupidity: Episode 6, Shido is stuck in the bottom of a well with a Nightbreed and a little girl. He tries "climbing" out, despite having shown some incredible leaping prowess in the previous four episodes. After three days of trying, he then decides to shatter the walls of the well, thus flooding it, and float to the top with the girl.
Actually, it's explained that Shido was weak (and . . . thirsty) at the time due to the fight that got the three of them stuck down there in the first place.
Plucky Office Girl: Riho is referred to as a tea-pouring errand clerk in episode 1, and that does, in fact, appear to be her main function. She endeavors to be more useful, but . . .
Shaggy Dog Story: Episode 6 sees Shido stuck at the bottom of a well with a Nightbreed and a little girl. The girl is sick and the Breed wants to eat her, and Shido is trying to control his vampiric thirst. Eventually they get out of the well, and the Breed is killed . . . but it turns out that the girl was actually a vampire and makes her escape before anyone can stop her.
Stalker with a Crush: Cain wants to have a good relationship with Shido, that's all! Of course, his idea of a good relationship revolves around them terrorizing the night together . . . and his methods involve destroying things that Shido holds dear until he gets the picture.
Transhuman Treachery: This trope figures into Shido's backstory. When Shido first becomes a vampire, he is immediately overcome by his new Horror Hunger and proceeds to slaughter the citizens of his hometown. He gets better after a while, but only in the most angst-inducing of circumstances: he finds himself kneeling in the town square surrounded by corpses and holding the exsanguinated body of his daughter/little sister/daughter-to-be.He reacts like one would expect.
Whip It Good: One of the several forms Shido uses for his blood weapons. Also, this is the only armament that Cain is shown to use. And that's very apropos.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: Slightly subverted. Shido thinks of his eternal life as a curse, being forced to see all his loved ones die, but Vampire-turned Riho promises she' ll always be by his side now so he won't have to feel lonely, leading to a rather sweet Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in the series.
Episode 5 focuses on a recently turned vampire Riho dealing with this trope. One notable scene is when she freaks out 2 of her classmates with her apathetic, almost envious reaction upon learning of another classmate's death.