The Vampire Dies In No Time - season 2
We continue the saga of Ronaldo, Draluc, and of course John, as they and their compatriots deal with the "bad" vampires in Shin-Yokohama.
"Stop with the sound arguments that make sense" - Draluc
Oh, this show's as crass as ever; in fact, it gets downright controversial at one point. But I couldn't help going a star more on the rating this season. I'll explain later. But first, the controversial part:
Vampires in this show tend to have the ability to magically perform embarrassing transformations on ordinary humans. In the first part of Episode 10, we've a vampire who turns part of our cast into small children. Small children DO have a tendency to take their clothes off, and sometimes they'll even touch each other inappropriately.
Now, IN CONTEXT this is here to get a laugh out of the outrageous chaos small kids can create, and Draluc and the other remaining adults put the kibosh on this pretty quickly; it may be a tasteless gag but it's NOT pedophilia or pornography. However, here in Florida someone just got fired from a school for letting his students see Michelangelo's statue of David un-figleafed, and I can just imagine what they'd think of this segment, since the male children's genitalia are visible, escaping the censor I suppose by being immature male genitalia. (For some reason, the nudity in this show has always been much more male than female, though one of our busty female cast DOES end up in bikinis twice- once in a micro one, and once in a literally floral one. Our cast, early on, also has to defeat a giant walking butt. I've heard Monty Python once described as a group that would do ANYTHING for a laugh. The same applies to THIS show.)
The show does a brilliant job of lampooning some aspects of "traditional" (cis, binary) male culture as well. I grew up among folks where the ultimate taboo was for any male to act in ANY way that might make people think they were "gay" (remember, I'm older than the hills), and I gather that that attitude still persists, even in Japan, from the skewering of it in Episode 11, which is titled "Please Suggest Warming Each Other Up."
"Bro" culture ALSO gets a ribbing in Episode 5, where Ronaldo and some of the other male cast are trapped in an enclosed space, and rather than be terrified of this as the creator of the space intended, the boys start acting like, well, a bunch of young dudes on a camping trip. They're particularly fascinated by the opportunity the situation gives them to see something that's normally difficult to see, but I won't spoil that. I'll just comment that it once again demonstrates that men are really overgrown boys.
Speaking of boys, Episode 9's first segment also lampoons the selective attention of the young heterosexual male. Draluc, of all people, saves the day here, and will save it again later in the episode, by saying exactly the right thing at the right time.
The tables get turned on a male AGAIN with the first story in Episode 4, in which the vampire Yakyuken Lover ("Yakyuken" = "Strip Rock-Paper-Scissors") tries to get Koyuki, the daughter of the owner of the bar where the Hunters hang out, to play his "game." We were introduced, briefly, to Koyuki in Season One, but didn't know how marvelously deadpan she is until now. Yakyuken Lover, by the way, seems to be one of the "less bad" vampires, more a self-centered nuisance than the sort of character who sadistically enjoys the suffering of others, such as "Mr. Lewd Talk", who wants to, well, make everyone talk lewdly. (Hinaichi encountered Mr. Lewd in Season One, and we find out she's still suffering lingering aftereffects.)
And then there's Sanzu, the new girl in Season Two. A manic (that's an understatement) fan of Ronaldo's, she's become an editor at Autumn Books (Ronaldo's publisher) in the hopes of replacing Mr. Fukuma as Ronaldo's editor, but Mr. Fukuma is, as we already knew, rather formidable, no matter how quiet he seems. (THIS time he seems to have some of the same abilities as Marvel's Dr. Strange.) Sanzu's enthusiasm is a little too over-the-top for her own good (though absolutely hilarious), but it was kind of nice to see a woman closer to Ronaldo's age with a crush on him (no matter how scary Sanzu's countenance can be); his previous female fans were all middle-aged. (Those included Handa's mother, who I was glad to see again; she's sweet and beautiful, and how she ended up with a jerk of a son like Handa I'll never understand.)
Returning characters also include the mad scientist who works for Vampire Control, and who habitually addresses everyone as "you fools!", even when the current crisis is his OWN fault. The show's one-liners remain as delicious as ever- and John, the mascot, as innocent as ever. The Season Two closing song, "Comfy Crazy Party", is indeed comfy (and charming.)
There were a few plotlines I didn't care so much for. One continuing one involves a Vampire Control member named Kei Kantaro, who's too dense to realize that the person he's "befriended" (more like coerced into it) IS, in fact, Tsujigiri Nagiri, the evil vampire he's supposedly trying to catch. (Nagiri would like to kill Kantaro, but somehow never gets a good opportunity to.) The facts that Kantaro is monumentally stupid, and NEVER SHUTS UP, make him definitely one of my least-favorite characters here.
I'm also a little puzzled about one thing: in the final segment in Episode 4, someone takes advantage of Draluc's transformation ability; but I thought the running gag in the show was that his transformation ability NEVER works right.
Oh, and also: if a tall, blue-skinned, caped guy with a mustache asks if you're free, for heaven's sake, tell him NO!!!
The show's second season does a wonderful job making its characters comfortably familiar (even some of its troublesome vampires), and introduces Sanzu, who's definitely my favorite character. The jokes- both the one-liners AND the sight gags- seem better than ever, so I couldn't help going another star, no matter how crude the humor can be (and boy, CAN it be.) Episode 10 might get it banned in Florida, though. And I think I'm in love with Handa's mom... — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Fanservice and outright nudity (including juvenile nudity) and violence, but the show is, and remains, a comedy- just an often raunchy one. The only rating I've come up with is Rightstuf's 14+ for the First Season, but honestly I'd prefer 16+, even for people who DON'T get the vapors at the sight of nakedness.
Version(s) Viewed: Crunchyroll video stream
Review Status: Full (12/12)
The Vampire Dies In No Time - season 2 © 2023 Madhouse.
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