Vampire Princess Miyu faces stiff competition, being released head to head with Boogiepop Phantom and Hellsing. Both feature similar themes of supernatural justice, stylish monsters and moral lessons which never err on the sympathetic...
Miyu is the titular Vampire Princess from a manga by Narumi Kakinouchi. Charged with protecting humanity from the evil Shinma demons who walk the earth feeding off those they encounter, Miyu is both hunter and hunted. Feared by humans, hated by the demons she banishes and always alone (save for her companion the ex-Shinma demon Larva who looks very cool indeed), the TV series follow up to the successful OAV explores in greater detail the unsympathetic world of the demon hunter.
Miyu offers us a pretty bleak view of humanity, but does so in an evocative style - whilst the series progresses, always developing its characters as it does so, we get to see more of Miyu's past and her relationships with those she protects and those she fights, set upon a background of wonderful music and memorable scenes. Motivations are almost always interesting and varied, whilst the mood is predominently gothic and opressive - fans of moody drama are going to love this to bits.
But what does Miyu offer to stand out from the crowd? Hellsing has it's stylish ultra-violence, and Boogiepop Phantom has it's distinctive and eerie style of cutting between points in time (not to mention truly shocking moments of horror). Well, Miyu has in its arsenal a very traditional feel, from designs to music, and an array of interesting demons, which help to provide welcome variety to the 26 episodes. It successfully manages to stand out from the crowd, which is doubly impressive when you consider that the original series preceeeds both Boogiepop and Hellsing by some years.
The Miyu TV series is spread across 6 discs, each containing 5 episodes, making for good value and a set of volumes that'll fit snugly onto a single shelf (always handy!).