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Vampire Princess Miyu, Volume 1: Unearthly Kyoto/A Banquet of Marionettes [DVD]

Release Date:05/29/2001
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Considered by many fans as a near-perfect mix of gothic horror, surreal violence, intriguing characters, and intelligent storytelling, Vampire Princess Miyu is Japanese animé at its most creative. The series has spawned a six-part Manga series, a novel, and a four-part animé series. Released by the good folks at AnimeEigo, this 50-minute DVD collects the first two installments in the saga of the young Miyu, Vampire Princess Miyu: Unearthly Kyoto and Vampire Princess Miyu: A Banquet of Marionettes. Picture quality for both episodes is excellent. Both feature bold expressionistic colors and clean, defined lines. There is no picture distortion apparent and the sharp image is always stable and consistent. The VHS releases of these episodes were acceptable, though (like a lot of animation released onto VHS) the image tended to be muddy-looking and fuzzy. There is no doubt that DVD is an excellent platform for animation. The two episodes are available in their original Japanese language with bright yellow and green (depending whether or not two characters are speaking in the same scene) English subtitles, or you can opt for an English-dubbed soundtrack. As usual, the Japanese language track is preferable, though the dubbed soundtrack is well-done. Depending on your inclination, you can't really go wrong with either choice. Both soundtracks are in two-channel Dolby Digital and are forceful, with nice channel separation and appropriate depth of sound. A short image gallery is also available on the disc, as well as trailers for other animé productions. A very nice disc overall, and the perfect introduction to a fascinating genre of animation.