"At one time, gods and demons were as one. They were sealed away in the distant abyss of memories. The hearts of the humans who feared the darkness brought this about. For the present, let's call these beings "Shinma". Now, they have awakened from their slumber, and gathered together. On the final night of that Gathering, when the Dark, the Shinma and the Humans meet, a young girl strayed into their midst. This is her story, and her name is..."
Vampire Princess Miyu (Kyuuketsuki Miyu) is a Japanese horror manga series by Narumi Kakinouchi and her husband Toshiki Hirano, as well as an anime adaptation by the same creators. The anime was originally presented in a 4-episode OVA (Original Video Animation) licensed by AnimEigo in 1988, and was later adapted into a 26 episode television series licensed by Tokyopop and released in 1997. The furigana for the title indicate the pronunciation as "Vampire Miyu" or "Miyu the Vampire" - the "princess" part of the name comes from the third kanji.The series as a whole narrate the adventures of Miyu, a vampire who's been appointed as the one in charge of hunting down the Shinma (god demons) who prey on humans and cross the barriers separating the Darkness from the human world. In her hunting missions she's usually assisted by Larva, a masked Shinma whom she once defeated and enslaved...
Miyu's mother, the Guardian fears the day when her child will be old enough to take her place. Specially considering that the ones who'll demand such a thing are the Shinma... who are merciless Eldritch Abominations.
Many of the victims of the Shinma are either children or teenagers. Same goes to many of the people whom Miyu exchanges blood with - almost always after they're subjected to this trope.
And I Must Scream: Episode two of the TV series. A bunch of vain women who want to be more beautiful consult a Mad Artist about that... and they end up turned into mannequins Something similar happens in the second OAV: If Uncanny Valley Girl Ranka captures you, she'll transform you into a mannequin and keep you inside her warehourse, immobile and listless but still very much sentient.
Anti-Hero: Miyu fights the shinma not because she cares about humanity or is a hero for the human race, but because it's simply her job and her fate. In fact, she often uses humans to trap the Shinma. Since she also hunts humans from time-to-time, you could make a case of her being a Villain Protagonist as well.
Break the Cutie - A pre-requisite for a blood exchange with Miyu. Lampshaded in the second OAV when Himiko comments on how Miyu preys on the very handsome Kei and Miyu unabashedly admits that she likes pretty people.
Catch Phrase: In the TV series: "Shinma, return to the Darkness!"
And to a smaller degree, "May you sleep well in eternal happiness..."
Chekhov's Gun: The good-luck charms that Miyu and Chisato get in the TV series. These are some Shinma trinkets that prevent Miyu to sense Chisato's Shinma inner power. Chisato herself didn't know what they were for until she finally awoke to her Shinma blood, which happens after her brother Tokiya dies.
Chekhov's Gunman: The artist who sold the charms to the girls. He's a very powerful Shinma in disguise, who knew what the trinkets were for and tricked the girls into buying them
Chick Magnet: Kei Yuzuki is so handsome that even Shinma women fall for him
Establishing Character Moment: Miyu and Larva have two in the first OAV. One, when they quietly watch the crime scene in Kyoto from afar and walk away. Later, when they pull a Big Damn Heroes to save Himiko from the monster, but Miyu then asks Himiko to stay out of the whole deal.
Himiko's inner monologue at the beginning of the same OAV counts too, and so does her What the Hell, Hero? towards Miyu for exchanging blood with Miyahito..
Evil Laugh: Subverted: In the OAV's, while Miyu's laughter is more like a soft giggle, it's still creepy enough to send shivers down your spine.
Expy: Garline from the TV series is an Expy of the OAV's Lemures.
Harmless Freezing: Subverted with Reiha and her ice powers. They look harmsless when in action, but they're NOT.
Hey, It's That Voice!: The Dub of the TV series contains several well-known voice actors and Actresses in guest roles, Many of whom are established Anime actors (like Steve Blum) and some never working on another one again. The English dub of the OVA's have Miyu voiced by Yoriko's actress.
Hime Cut: Miyu's hair, albeit it's brown and always worn up.
I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: Horribly subverted. A woman sacrificed herself to the Shinma to bring her husband Back from the Dead, but he Came Back Wrong as a servant of said Shinma and without any memories. Miyu noticed this and deduced that the now-Shinma wouldn't stop killing people and wreaking havoc unless he remembered his past, so while fighting him she showed him visions of his past and tried to make him remember. And he did... but since he was now a Shinma, he was shot to death by the police.
I Know Your True Name: In the OAV, Miyu can't seal her enemy away without learning and writing its name with magic.
Ill Girl: Subverted quite cruelly with Aiko from the OAV, who was thought to be in a Convenient Coma due to Demonic Possession, but Himiko later discovered that she summoned the main Shinma in despair after blaming herself for her parents's death, having survived the accident that caused their demises.
Kabuki Sounds: The second OAV and the flashback episodes of the TV series.
Kansai Regional Accent: The three first OAV take place in Kyoto and some characters speak in Kyoto-ben. In the first one, a pretty and young House Wife who's in an old textile store uses "o-kini" to thank the owner; the word is actually an abbreviation of oki ni arigatou, a kinda old-fashioned way to say "thanks" in the Kansai area. (But few seconds later... the poor woman is killed by the Monster of the Week.)
Monster Misogyny: In the first OAV, all of the Shinma of the week victims were female: two schoolgirls (including Miyahito's girlfriend Ryouko), a college student, an Office Lady and a House Wife. And we actually see two of the deaths on-screen : Ryouko's (the Shinma leaps on the girl and wraps itself around her, then it leaves and when Miyahito reaches for Ryoko, she falls dead in his arms) and the House Wife's (she's picking some silks in a store, the nearby window's glass cracks a little, and all of a sudden we see her dead on the floor.) Supposedly, that's because the little girl "commanding" the Shinma considered herself a vampire after her parents's death and her life sort-of "ended" when she made the Deal with the Devil, therefore the Shinma believed he had to kill other women since they had the lives that Aiko couldn't aspire to anymore.
Himiko: My happiness is not so trivial that it can be found only in a dream!
Pun-Based Title: The Japanese word for "vampire" is kyuuketsukinote Even though the word in English is more commonly used in Japanese; however it is normally written 吸血鬼 (literally, "blood-sucking Oni") in kanji. In the title, it is rendered as 吸血姫, with the 姫 ("princess") kanji instead of 鬼 ("Oni"), without prejudice to reading (this also results in Woolseyism in the case of the international title).
Really 700 Years Old: In both media, Miyu looks like a pre-teen girl not older than 13 but is actually an adult woman. Justified trope: the other Shinma specifically granted her eternal youth so she can take all the time in the world to catch the strays.
Secret Keeper: Miyu's friend Akiko from the OAV and the otaku from the first TV episode.
Shared Universe: Vampire Princess Miyu had two creators, who collaborated but had different visions of the character. One had more control over the anime, the other over the manga, and the OVA is a blend of the two.
Shoot the Dog: How Reiha views her killing of humans when they get in the way of her or Miyu's hunter goals. An example is when she kills little Kayo's brother, who is under More Than Mind Control: as the kid attacks Miyu, Reiha freezes him to death, and when Miyu is upset at that she lectures her.
Stepford Smiler: Kei Yuzuki from the OAV. He's polite, handsome, popular, from a rich family, and seems to lead an almost perfect life... but is terribly bored of everything and feels that he will never live up to his more book smart siblings. He hides it under his Sheltered Aristocrat facade, until he gets involved in Ranka's plans and later in her feud with Miyu.
Spin-Off: One of Miyu's 'victims' goes on to have her own series, Vampire Yui, which crosses over again during the New Vampire Princess Miyu manga. The Wanderer, another series, spins off from Yui. All were partially translated by Studio Ironcat.
Winter Royal Lady: Reiha, in the manga, out-ranks Miyu to the extent she has the right to kill her any time she feels like it.
Woman in White: Miyu's most iconic attires include short white kimonos, with either red (OAV) or purple (TV) sashes.
Ranka wears a white kimono in the OAV.
You Can't Fight Fate: In the OAV's, Miyu's mother tries to save her from being forced to become the Guardian. She fails.
Yamato Nadeshiko: Ranka, in the manga. She can pull off the look very well in the OAV's; in fact, she and Kei met for the first time when she was walking around clad in a white kimono.
Also, Miyu's mother in the OAV.
Yandere: Chisato, after her awakening as a Shinma. Arguably, Lemures was a male example... towards Larva
Your Vampires Suck: People keep trying traditional weaknesses on her, such as garlic, holy water, and others, and they never end up working. "Holy water. How nice." "I love garlic!" Of course, she is different.