Director Toshihiro Hirano based Vampire Princess Miyu
--a four-part OVA series--on a horror manga by his wife, Narumi Kakinouchi, and the title has remained popular since it appeared in 1988-9. In "Unearthly Kyoto" the viewer meets Himiko Se, a self-described spiritualist, who has come to the ancient capital to perform an exorcism on a princess who has been in a coma for 60 days. The assignment brings her into conflict with the title character, who has dedicated her existence to destroying the Shinma
, a race of demon-gods who attack humans. The two women square off again at a school where the students are inexplicably disappearing in "A Banquet of Marionettes". The sceptical, rational Himiko makes an effective foil for the powerful and sensual Miyu, who battles the Shinma
with the aid of her redoubtable servant Larva, a creature with a face like a scarred carnival mask. Miyu resembles a cross between a traditional Japanese doll and an anime heroine. She is delicately beautiful, but self-assured and in command of formidable powers. Her beauty also has a perverse edge: she remains a vampire who offers humans immortality and a decelerated happiness in exchange for the blood she requires. Quite literally a femme fatale
, Miyu recalls the beautiful but deadly heroines so popular in turn-of-the century Western literature. --Charles Solomon, Amazon.com
Five more episodes from the 'Vampire Princess' series. In 'The Moray Boat' Mayumi starts some trouble and it's up to Miyu to pursue her. In 'City of Illusion' buildings are turning into sand and crumbling. In 'Love of the Dolls' a dollmaker hires a young girl named Yuki as an assistant. Soon after her peaceful life begins to collapse. In Butterfly Enchantment' Miyu detects the scent of a Shinma in a strange hothouse filled with beautiful butterflies. In 'Flag of Shinma' Miyu wanders into a mysterious village being attacked by three stray Shinma brothers.