Vampire in the Garden review: Refreshing take on the vampire genre

Vampire in the Garden follows a young girl named Momo and a rebel vampire queen named Fine as they embark on a journey together, against the norms, to find a paradise where humans and vampires live together.

Story

In a dystopian future, vampires have taken over the world and humans have been pushed to a small settlement where they have constructed a wall of light to keep the blood-sucking monsters at bay.

Momo, a young cadet officer, is the daughter of the commander. An argument with her mother over a music box, which she got from a young vampire girl, leads Momo away from home when she comes across the vampire queen Lady Fine, who’s known for her frivolous encounters.

Along with a dream of finding a paradise where humans and vampires live peacefully together, Momo and Fine share a taste for music.

After witnessing her best friend die at the hands of a vampire, Momo decides to accompany Fine to avert the danger as a dangerous vampire, who’s taken a suicidal drug, chases them.

After some tension at the beginning, Fine and Momo get along as they share music, sing together and enjoy their independent lives outside their confined societies.

But things get troubled for the new friends, as Momo’s uncle, Kubo, starts hunting Fine to take Momo back with him to the human settlement. Fine’s trusted friend, Allegro, also embarks on a mission to bring back the runaway vampire queen.

Momo and Fine’s dream of finding the perfect paradise for humans and vampires hang in the balance as these rival factions battle with an unquenchable thirst for the enemy’s blood.

Positives

Coming from the studio that produced Attack of Titans, the series starts on a note where it has some similarities with the fan favourite anime. The dystopian world is established easily where humans are pushed to the backdrop and the vampires dictate the land.

The anime series banks its money on the dynamics shared between the two main characters. It’s where the story finds its heart between the melancholic singing sessions and heartfelt moments when the two characters share their agony with the viewer and each other.

The story is a refreshing take as it focuses on two characters who believe in an unachievable dream even in the face of utter chaos. It’s the optimism the characters share which reaches out and leaves an impact.

Instead of following the strong animosity between humans and vampires, Vampire in the Garden places its trust in the intentions of the two characters who believe in the better judgement of people even when faced with the eventuality that’s destined for doom.

Music is a central aspect of the story as it becomes the tool for both characters to express and free themselves from the darker realities that lurk outside. The rich and enriching music empowers the strong emotionally driven narrative of the anime along with the enchanting visuals it provides.

Negatives

The anime attempts to hint at too many things without giving away a clear picture.

The random flashbacks add deeper meaning to the lore of the world and its characters but the way in which the anime sums up in the end, it could be disappointing to not get a clear image of the various threads the story hints at every now and then.

Characters are expendable in this anime and apart from the two characters the story tries to focus on, the other characters do not get their fair share of attention. Their motives are not clear. Everything they do seems to be connected to the main characters without any clear voice of their own.

While the characterisation of the primary characters is detailed, the lack of effort in justifying the complexities of the setting is a bummer. While multiple settings within the dystopian world are explored, they do not seem well justified and properly thought out.

The anime series could have used a longer runtime but it’s evident from the way the story pans out that the writers were short on ideas to explore as they keep the focus throughout on the primary thread.

Verdict

Vampire in the Garden presents its world and story in an impactful and beautiful way. Its dedication to exploring the central characters does come in the way of the creative liberty the makers could have taken with the setting.

Yet, the anime series comes with its own distinct tone and selling point targeted at those looking for a different take on the humans versus monsters dystopia.

Rating: 3.5/5


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