1/04/2011. Contributed by Phil Jones
region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72806. 1 DVD 100 minutes 4 episodes plus extras. Price: GBP 15.99 (UK).
check out website: www.revfilms.com and www.moonphrase.tv
Well, we finally come to the last DVD of this series. Throughout we’ve had cuteness, big battles and some very strange and weird scenes. The director, Akiyuki Shinbo, often has provided us with visually impressive treats but a slightly diminishing storyline as the series has progressed. Focusing predominately on the Hazuki, a cute vampire girl who was rescued from a magical castle in Germany, and Kouhei, a young man who is a photojournalist for a supernatural magazine.
By rights, Kouhei should have been Hazuki’s vampire slave after feeding on him but because of his total lack of magic ability or sense after an accident in childhood, he’s not affected. The two become friends and maybe more. Often squabbling and fighting, the two really care about each other in their own way. Throughout they have been pursued by various vampires and strange servants of the master who seeks to return Hazuki back to the castle to be forever trapped in the form of Princess Luna.
We start off with Kouhei, now with the full power of Jyougan unleashed, and now starting to attain his true magical abilities, he see Hazuki for what she really is, a vampire. Overwrought with terror and revulsion, he finds it hard to even look at Hazuki. This leaves Hazuki in a near heartbroken state, desperate to calm and sooth Kouhei from his terror she feels there is little she can do to help. Princess Arte, along with her cohorts Jeda and Vargus, are still trying to get Kouhei from the magically protected shrine. Jeda, sick of their failed attempts to kidnap and retrieve Hazuki, decides to go it alone. His seeking to please his true master only annoys Arte along with Vargus, who receives a heap of abuse from Jeda when he leaves.
Even within the shrine, the Mido family are finding it difficult to come to terms with what to do with Hazuki. Jeda takes advantage of this and manages to possess Seji. He goes and talks to Hazuki saying that she would be better off leaving for the good of the Mido family and Kouhei especially with the state he is now in from seeing the true Hazuki.
Things go from bad to worse when another attack on the shrine means Hazuki needs to feed on Kouhei to restore her strength. She goes and pours her heart out and apologises to Kouhei for all the bad behaviour and problems she’s caused.
Everything comes to a head and Hazuki decides, under her own volition, to return to the castle to the surprise of everyone. An agreement is made that the Mido family will be left in peace if Hazuki isn’t followed. The castle appears in front of them and Hazuki returns.
Kouhei is still trying to master his Jyougan with the help of his family. With Hazuki back at the castle she talks to Arte and sees a younger self in Arte. Alone and isolated in the castle and distant from people, with the magic barrier closing permanently around the castle, Hikaru decides to rescue Hazuki even with the agreement.
So episodes 23 and 24 build up and resolve the final confrontation with Arte and Jeda, as the latter attempts to return Hazuki to her true mental state of Princess Luna. The final battle is a bit lacklustre. Visually it’s good but just lacks content and almost feels like an afterthought. A motion that needs to be there to resolve the story thread. The next episode that follows is the more usual epilogue style that wraps up loose story themes and character resolutions. What episode 25 does do though is return to the humour that made this series so appealing in the first place. Arte is introduced into the Mido family and a relationship is started up with Gramps and Elfreida to much amusement. Also, the impressive cutaway house is brought back to visual and humorous effect. At this point, you would naturally assume this is the end of the series but episode 26 comes into play and although carries on themes from episode 25 is just plain weird and bizarre. The dialogue between Gramps and Elfreda, especially with the English dub, is very funny although Gramps character, along with Seji, completely changes. The house now floating on water is in the middle of nowhere and kept afloat with the aid of a huge cork in the floor and various comical asides are played out. Visually, it’s impressive, but I’m not sure this adds to the series as a whole and I feel that this is one episode too many.
Overall, an enjoyable series with some weird bits thrown in. It did peter out to some degree with the main storyline after the lost of Count Kinkel but, overall, it’s a worthwhile watch for the sheer visual smorgasbord that is presented to the viewer. Some people will find it all a bit annoying, especially the English dub of Hazuki, but some will love it for its bold zany style. If you like this sort of style then take a look at Akiyuki Shinb’s other series like ‘Pani Poni Dash’ and ‘Negima’!
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