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Manga / Don Dracula

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Don Dracula is a comedy horror manga by Osamu Tezuka that was serialized in Weekly Shonen Champion from May to December 1979. The series depicts the constant misadventures of Count Dracula, who moves to Tokyo along with his daughter Chocola and his faithful servant Igor. Every night Dracula goes after beautiful young women to suck their blood, but his plans are always undermined for one reason or other. To make things even worse, Dracula has to deal with two undesired stalkers: Professor Helsing, his long-time nemesis, who follows Dracula in Japan and tries to kill him and Chocola whenever he can; and Blonda, an overweight and ugly woman who became obsessed with Dracula as she was the first woman that he bit after his arrival in Japan.

There was also an anime series that was produced in 1982 and was scheduled to feature 26 episodes. Unfortunately, when the company that was sponsoring the anime went bankrupt, the studio was only able to finish 8 episodes. Due to a dispute with producing TV station TV Tokyo, only four of these were aired. (Screenplays had been completed up to episode 21 at the time the series was cancelled.) For unknown reasons, the missing episodes were broadcast in other countries, but remained unavailable in their homeland until they were released on DVD.

Despite the original series' extremely short run and the anime's Troubled Production, Dracula and Chocola remain among Tezuka's most popular characters, and can be seen in many of his other works, such as Undersea Super Train: Marine Express and Black Jack. Dracula and Chocola even made an appearance in the Game Boy Advance game Astro Boy: Omega Factor.

Don Dracula contains examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: One episode starts with Professor Helsing cornering Dracula and telling the vampire he no longer has hemorrhoids. Then, to his relief, Dracula wakes up.
  • The Chew Toy: Pretty much the entire premise of the series.
  • Cowboy Cop: Inspector Murai seems to be a parody of this.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Chocola. In one story, Don Dracula specifies that her mother was the most beautiful woman he's ever known, and that Chocola takes after her.
  • Death Is Cheap: Dracula and Chocola are turned into dust several times, but are returned to normal through special methods.
  • Defective Detective: Professor Helsing has cripplingly painful hemorrhoids, which pick the worst moments to flare up.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The one reason why Dracula divorced his werewolf wife and Chocola's mother Camilla is because she wanted to raise Chocola as a human killer and Dracula believes that killing humans outright is not acceptable. see Friendly Neighborhood Vampire for details.
  • Fish People: One story had Dracula and Chocola meeting a group of stray gill men from South Asia who were forced to leave the river where they originally lived because it became polluted. As expected in a work of Osamu Tezuka, that story featured many elements of Green Aesop.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Downplayed. Dracula and Chocola do pursue humans for blood, but they aren't really malicious vampires and do that more for instinct. This is especically played up with Chocola, who is friendlier than her father.
  • The Igor: The Igor of this series actually subverts this trope, as he is a Hypercompetent Sidekick and tends to be quite polite and sympathetic.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Blonda, as revealed in a flashback by her ex-husband.
  • Papa Wolf: Dracula really loves his daughter to the point that he puts himself in danger sometimes.
  • Reused Character Design: Professor Helsing is played by Dr. Fooler, and other Tezuka characters can be seen in small appearances in some stories.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Professor Helsing and Inspector Murai, though the latter isn't really after Count Dracula and just tends to bump with the vampire occasionally.