It is a well-known fact that the Japanese people are excellent at things like economics, manufacturing, research, and technology. This comes to no surprise as Japan is considered to be one of the richest and most advanced nations in the world. However, the Japanese are also good at their arts. From traditional crafts to literature, and various forms of artistic expression, their love of art is always evident.
Manga and anime are definitely testaments of true Japanese artistic talent. All over the world, no other country can make manga and anime quite like the Japanese. It takes a lot of talent, creativity, and passion for forming a single anime; and yet every year there are hundreds of new anime shows that are worth watching as they release in Japan. Having a wide selection of offerings mean that it can cater to a more diverse demographic. This also stands true for anime, since there are different genres and categories that make any anime unique. Whoever thinks that anime is just for kids is completely wrong. They contain complex storylines that are constantly being rewritten, edited, and scrutinized to fit the public taste.
Vampire themed anime has been popular for a couple of years already. Since the early years of the 2000’s, vampire themed anything has been quite popular. This extends from serious vampire anime with dark fantasy vibe, to cute and quirky comedic anime which is usual in Japan. While dark fantasy themed, or Halloween themed vampire shows have been around for the longest time, the rise of books such as Twilight made the vampire genre popular all over the world - especially towards the millennial generation.
Top Recommendations: A List of Notable Vampire Anime
Indeed, Japan has plenty of anime offers. It can get quite overwhelming to decide on which shows are worth watching, or which shows one must steer clear from. Luckily, there are plenty of reviews and polls available all over the world wide web that makes it much easier for mining this data. Below are top recommendations for anime with a vampire-related plot.
Perhaps the most iconic vampire anime series to date, Hellsing still tops the list of vampire anime or just anime aficionados in general. It is surprising this show remains popular despite being released to television a good seventeen years ago, but that only proves how good the series in.The premise of the story focuses on Alucard, a vampire who has been captured years back due to his threat as a vampire. However, those who have captured him ended up grooming him into a fighter of mystical evil creatures.
The second show on this list is Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, which is an anime adapted from Japan’s most popular manga of all time. It’s very nostalgic since the creator's used animation techniques that were reminiscent of older days. Aside from the traditional anime look, the story is also interesting as it follows the protagonist from the Joestar family as they battle evil creatures and their family nemesis who happens to be a vampire.
Another anime that veers into darker themes is Shiki, which focuses on a village plagued by some sort of epidemic. As it’s local doctors try to get into the middle of things, they slowly realize that the epidemic which began from a sudden death of a young girl may be of a paranormal nature instead. The animation style used for this series features gothic elements, making the overall vibe of the show much more gothic. On the other hand, Bakemonogatari is an anime that is less dark in nature, but instead, it centers on a newly transformed vampire boy. The protagonist, as he slowly discovers the changes brought about by his new life, finds himself using his beyond human abilities to help out others.
The last show on this list, Owari no Seraph. Instead of having a vampire protagonist or antagonist, the story revolves around two human siblings who and is set in a post-apocalyptic world. The two siblings are fighting off the vampires, who happen to be dominant all over the world after the apocalypse. If they fail on their quest, more humans, including them will be vampire dinner.
Iconic Vampire Anime Characters: Boys and Girls Edition
This section will tackle the most iconic vampire characters in Japanese anime. These characters, whether girl or boy, surely has made their marks towards the audience’ mind. Interesting stories usually come with interesting characters, after all.
As Hellsing was mentioned earlier as the top most popular vampire anime of all time, it comes to no surprise that its lead protagonist, Alucard, also takes the top spot as the most iconic vampire character of all time. His demeanor very typical of a vampire, dark and sinister. However, his great powers are put to good use as he aids the government into fighting off bad spirits. It is interesting how they were able to connect Alucard to the classic Dracula character, by making him a past identity of the present Alucard.
In one of his missions to fight off evil, Alucard was able to save a lady police officer named Seras Victoria who was held captive by evil vampires. Luckily, Alucard was there to save her. She springs back to life as Alucard transforms her into a vampire.
Similar to Alucard from Hellsing, Abel Nightroad is another iconic vampire character in Japanese anime. The lead protagonist of the show Trinity Blood happens to be a vampire priest. This happens as a result of Abel’s repentance for thousands of years of atrocities which has committed while actively pursuing the vampire lifestyle. Most of the time, he is calm and restrains himself from yielding too much power - sticking to a boring and normal human existence. However, he puts his power to good use to fight off bad vampires.
Another vampire hero of Japanese anime is Jirou Mochizuki. His character is interesting, as the plot does focus on him warding off evil spirits. He is simply a two-hundred-year-old vampire who aims to live like any normal person. He even tries to overcome normal vampire weaknesses such as sun exposure by constantly sunbathing near the sea.
Jirou’s desire to live a close to normal human experience is also very evident in the story of Charlie Staz Blood. This vampire hero happens to be a powerful protector of the underworld, and yet he still finds himself longing for human relationships. He may be the most powerful vampire out there, but he is not afraid to show his inner soft side to the people who matter to him the most. He also has very human interests, which includes playing video games.
The last vampire on this list feels straight out of a Japanese horror movie: Sunako Kirishiki from Japanese anime Shiki. The macabre vibe of the anime just adds to the thrilling aspect of this young vampire girl. Everyone in town knows that she isn’t normal, as she spends most of her day cooped up inside the house and only goes out of the house at night. These suspicions are further heightened when the children she used to play with in the neighborhood start dying - only to show up a few days later as an undead.
Vampire Anime School: A Recurring Theme Among Anime
Anime aficionados would know that school settings have been popular in anime for the longest of time. This can be attested to by the massive success of the Hana Yori Dango series which was a manga originally, turned anime, and turned into a live action television series that was adapted in different Asian nations. Due to its massive success, succeeding manga and anime in the similar genre have tried to mimic its success by focusing on a similar setting: school.
With the new breed of anime that focuses on vampires, of course, the creative minds behind Japan’s anime would experiment between crossing the common school setting to a vampire-infused one. Thus the birth of the “vampire school anime”. In fact, there are a couple of notable vampire anime series set in a school setting that would surely be appreciated by the younger generations for its relatability.
Vampire Knight happens to be one of the vampire school anime subcategories that remain to be popular even after being released almost ten years prior. The show starts Yuuki Cross, one of the two prefects at Cross Academy - an esteemed boarding school.
Looking at Cross Academy, it seems like any normal school that caters for the well-privileged. However, as the plot unfolds, it is found that the school is far from normal. There are two class shifts daily, with one catering to day-shift students while the other caters to night shift students. It comes to no surprise that the day shift students are the children of rich and prominent families, while the night shift students are vampires. The school’s goal is to cater to both demographics, maintaining a peaceful and harmonious relationship between both groups while at the same time keeping the humans safe from vampiric clutches.
It is all up to Prefect Yuuki to ensure that all of her students are safe, and both are happily coexisting with the other. She maintains the perfect balance of dedication and discipline while showing another side who is wooed over by handsome male vampires.
Another anime series that falls into the same anime subcategory is Rosario to Vampire. Despite being a rewrite from an original manga series, it was still well-received. The story focuses on the journey Tsukune Aono who was unfortunately kicked out from his previous school due to his poor academic performance. One day, he receives an offer to attend a mysterious school: Youkai Academy. Having no other options available enrolls in the said university.
As the plot unfolds, it is revealed that the school seems sketchy because it is not for normal humans. Instead, it is a special school for magical creatures, which includes vampires. It is already too late for Tsukune to come back, so he does what any other anime protagonist would do and sticks to the school undercover. He tries his best to hide the fact that he is a completely normal human, at the risk of endangering himself.
Latest Releases: Vampire Anime in Television and Movies for 2017
The vampire anime genre is nowhere near dying this 2017. In fact, there were already a couple of interesting anime releases that have vampire themes this year. Below is a quick run through of new anime that fans of the vampire genre would surely find interesting.
The first one, Demi-chan Kataritai, also happens to be the first release of the year. It is an interesting fantasy/comedy that is set in an all-girls high school that caters to magical monsters. A young man goes undercover as a teacher at the said school, in order to feed off his curiosity. However, he finds himself entangled in a lot of teen girl drama. After all, they are just like normal teenage girls - except for the fact that some of them are blood-thirsty vampires.
Another notable animation that was released earlier this year is Akiba’s Trip: The Animation. The plot is unique and interesting, as it centers on a young man who has a close encounter with the notorious vampires who are terrorizing Akibahara district. He lives but is unfortunately transformed into part-vampire. With his new skills from being part-vampire, he vows to protect Akibahara by creating a vampire protection brigade.
Make Fan Art: Share Vampire Anime Themed Drawings to the World
The vampire genre of anime is truly interesting. Some fans might find themselves wanting to channel their passion for anime into another medium. Among anime fans, popular hobbies would include drawing and cosplaying as this extends the anime or manga stories into the real world. Cosplaying, which means dressing up as characters from the fictional stories is a tad more tedious as well as costly, so a better channel would be to showcase anime related art.
Anime aficionados who like to draw are pretty common. In fact, there are plenty of communities all over the internet who share the same passion. In Tumblr, there are plenty of user-made content that focuses on anime-inspired drawings. Some draw art for unlikely pairings, some draw alternate universe scenes - the possibilities are endless.
It is easy to join anime related communities. Much like in any other hobby, the internet is a great way to search for like-minded individuals who can talk about anime, share anime merchandise collections and showcase one’s own art. Plenty of these sites allows self-promotion, so users can easily share their talent to the world.