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Manga / Vampire Princess Miyu

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Miyu and Larva

"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) in 1988, and was later adapted into a 26 episode television series 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...

The OVA has the distinction of being the very first anime to be fansubbed, way back in 1989 by the people that later formed AnimEigo. They later outright licensed the OVA in 1992, and released it to VHS, Laserdisc, and (eventually) DVD, with an English dub produced in 1996. Tokyo Pop first licensed and released the TV series to VHS and DVD beginning in 2001, and it was rescued and reissued by Maiden Japan in 2012. The manga received an incomplete release in the US by Studio IronCat, who disbanded before releasing the whole series.


  • AB Negative: In the first OVA, both Aiko and her parents are implied to to have a "rare blood type". This turns out to be vital to the plot: they're injured in an accident, there's no blood of their type in the hospital, and the fatally injured parents ask the treating doctor to give their blood to Aiko so she will live. But poor Aiko gets so broken by the ordeal that she makes a Deal with the Devil with a vampire-like Shinma, kickstarting the plot of said OVA...
  • An Ice Person: Reiha has control over ice.
  • And I Must Scream: Episode two of the TV series. A Mad Artist Shinma poses as a beautician and convinces innocent women that he can make them more beautiful... and they end up turned into mannequins Something similar happens in the second OVA: 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.
  • Anime Hair: Most notably Miyu's Improbable Hair Style. How can she do that with just a ribbon?
  • 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.
  • Body Horror: Aside of dying at the hands of the Shinma, humans can be either turned into Shinmas or be enslaved by them. The results are NOT pretty or pleasing.
  • 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.
  • Catchphrase:
    • 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
  • Lemures wore a spiffy half-mask in his true form.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Chisato's older brother, Tokiya. His death triggers Chisato's awakening and Face–Heel Turn.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: 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.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Inverted: Miyu is the main character and she befriends others out of her own will, more than being lured out by them. Reiha from the TV series is a more traditional example.
  • Dissonant Serenity: OVA Miyu calmly smiles and speaks very softly as she burns Lemures to death as punishment for kidnapping and harming Larva.
  • Empty Shell: If you let Miyu drink your blood, your mind is in a Lotus-Eater Machine and your body ends up like this. She almost exclusively does this to to people who have more or less good looks and have had terrible losses they'd rather block out of their minds.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Miyu and Larva have two in the first OVA. 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 OVA counts too, and so does her What the Hell, Hero? towards Miyu for exchanging blood with Miyahito..
  • Evil Laugh: Subverted: In the OVA's, while Miyu's laughter is more like a soft giggle, it's still creepy enough to send shivers down your spine.
  • Face–Heel Turn Chisato, in the TV series.
  • Failure Knight: Miyahito, who couldn't save his girlfriend Ryouko from being slain in the first OVA.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Miyu sorta tries to be this in the TV series. Emphasis on sorta.
  • Good is Not Nice:
    • Reiha is not evil, but God can she be a bitch.
    • Similarly, Miyu's work is not to protect humanity but to keep Shinma out. Sure, sometimes she will help victims out and show empathy, but in the end her priority is not to give humans a hand.
  • Guile Heroine: OVA Miyu is not only a strong Dark Magical Girl, but also extremely manipulative.
  • Harmless Freezing: Subverted with Reiha and her ice powers. They look harmless when in action, but they're NOT.
  • Hime Cut: Miyu's hair, albeit it's brown and always worn up.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Miyu.
  • I Have Your Wife: In the OVA's, Larva is kidnapped by his Stalker with a Crush Lemures to force Miyu fight him. The other Shinma captured Miyu's parents and put them into a Convenient Coma to force her do their dirty work.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The otaku from the TV series, Akiko-chan from the OAV.
  • "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 OVA, Miyu can't seal her enemy away without learning and writing its name with magic.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Miyu. See Anime Hair above.
  • Ironic Hell Himiko chased Miyu around because she wanted to hunt the vampire girl down. Turns out she was the person with whom Miyu first exchanged blood, when she was a little girl.
  • James Bondage: Larva gets hit pretty bad with the Distress Ball in the third OVA.
  • Japanese Vampire: Quite the subversion, actually. See the main trope page.
  • Kabuki Sounds: The second OVA and the flashback episodes of the TV series.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Miyu's blood exchanges and the consequences.
  • Lady of War - Lady of Black Magic:
    • While not a swordswoman, Miyu sure is very graceful when she fights.
    • So is Ranka, using puppets and Razor Floss.
  • Lesbian Vampire:
    • There are some homoerotic tensions between the girlish vampire Miyu and the shamaness Himeko who attempts to fight against her.
    • In the newest Vampire Princess manga, which seems to be an Alternate Universe set in Imperial Japan, a Miyu Expy named Yuu Kamui has quite the Les Yay with another girl, a Lonely Rich Kid named Yui Shugakuin. As seen here.
    • In the fourth OVA, Miyu's first human "victim" was one of her middle-school classmates. She tearfully explains to Larva that she was simply thinking of how pretty she was while standing near her, then she completely blanked... and when she recovered her senses she had already lost control of her powers and forcibly drained the other girl of blood, killing her by accident...
  • Living Shadow: The Shinma that appears in Sepia Colored Portrait.
  • Lost Aesop: The deal about lies and living in fantasy, in the OVA's.
  • Mad Artist: Roh-Sa from the second TV episode.
  • Mad Love: Ranka and Kei, so much
  • Magic Feather: Cruelly played with in Miho's episode.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Miyu, in the OVA. Also Lemures and several Shinma.
  • Monster Misogyny: In the first OVA, the four victims of the Shinma of the week were female: two schoolgirls (including Miyahito's girlfriend Ryouko), a college student, an Office Lady and a House Wife. Himiko almost became the fifth victim but Miyu saved her, and later she deduced the reason behind it: the little girl "commanding" the Shinma, Aiko, considered herself a vampire after her parents's death and believed that her life had sort-of "ended" when she made the Deal with the Devil, therefore the Shinma believed he had to kill other women since they had or could have the lives that Aiko couldn't aspire to anymore.
  • Mouthscreen
  • Off with His Head!: Happens to some Shinma in the TV series Including the Face Heel Turned Chisato. Reiha combines this with Losing Your Head.
  • Older Sidekick: Larva, who in the backstory is revealed to be already the Shinma equivalent of a young man when Miyu was still a young teenager.
  • One-Winged Angel: Several of the Shinma. Subverted in the TV series: when she's turned into a Shinma, Chisato's appearance remains the same.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Miyu poses around as one, specially in the TV series. She also has three Ordinary Schoolgirls as friends there. Turns out one of them is anything but ordinary.
  • Playing with Fire: Miyu has control over flames.
  • Plucky Girl: Himiko.
    Himiko: My happiness is not so trivial that it can be found only in a dream!
  • Preserve Your Gays: In a world where Anyone Can Die and the best people can hope for is a Bittersweet Ending where Miyu traps them in a Lotus-Eater Machine, the human lesbian couple in the TV anime's 19th episode survives to have an extremely rare happy ending.
  • Pun-Based Title: The Japanese word for "vampire" is kyuuketsukinote ; 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).
  • Puppet Permutation: Ranka does this to her targets.
  • Razor Floss: Used by Ranka in the 2nd OVA.
  • Role Called: Look at the 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 OVA and the otaku from the first TV episode.
  • Shadow Archetype: Miyu and Reiha.
  • 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.
  • Shrinking Violet: Miho Arisawa from the TV series.
  • Shout-Out: The red scythe Larva wields in the anime series seems identical to the one used by the title character of Makaryuudo Demon Hunter, another obscure manga about a supernatural girl hunting demons.
  • Stepford Smiler: Kei Yuzuki from the OVA. He's polite, handsome, popular, from a rich family, and seems to lead an almost perfect life save for being Book Dumb... 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 School Idol 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.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Subverted in the OVA with Kei and Ranka, who find a way to stay together.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Miyu, though more in the TV series.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Garline from the TV series is an Expy of the OVA's Lemures.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: That goes without saying.
  • Team Pet: Shiina from the TV series.
  • The Promise: Larva promised Miyu to kill her when she's tired of her destiny.
  • These Two School Girls: Hisae and Yukari from the TV series.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Absolutely averted in the OVA's. The first three happen in Kyoto (and the first one is actually named after the city), the last one takes place in Kamakura. Ironically, both cities used to be capitals of Japan before Tokyo ever was.
  • Tranquil Fury: "I will not return you to the Darkness. You, I will burn to ashes!"
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: Ranka from the OVA. Chisato becomes one after her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Carlua
  • The Unfavorite: In the TV series, Reiha hates Miyu because her father called out to Miyu in his last words and not to her.
  • Victim of the Week: The first half of the TV series and the two first OVA's.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: More like violently protective mistress, but you get the idea.
  • 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.
  • Would Hurt a Child: 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.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: In the OVA'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 OVA'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 OVA.
  • 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.