Sunday, 31 January 2010

Dance in the Vampire Bund - Episode 4

After revealing the existence of vampires in somewhat spectacular fashion in this series opening episode, it probably goes without saying that the world's reporters all want to snag an interview with the supposed queen of the vampires Mina Tepes herself. Thus, as this fourth episode of Dance in the Vampire Bund commences, so a press conference is being arranged for the world press to have their chance to put questions to Mina.

As the preparations for this conference commence under strict security, we gain a glimpse at some of the politics which affect the vampire world. This comes courtesy of the appearance of Juneau Dermailles, a Marquis who is the head of a family who have served the vampires for generations; a position which sees him demanding that his own men are put in charge of security and protecting Mina, rather than the "dirty" werewolves that he clearly has little time for.

Perhaps surprisingly, Mina accepts this request, but at the episode progresses this initially appears to be an ill-judged choice, as one of Juneau's men (a vampire himself) goes missing, taking a bomb held by the vampires with him. With the press conference about to begin, it's pretty obvious why the bomb in question would be stolen and to what end, but can anything be done about it? This dangerous situation gives Akira a chance to step up to the plate, not only proving his own worth but those of the werewolves in general as he almost literally defuses the situation.

Once again, I find myself struggling to really immerse myself in Dance in the Vampire Bund as much as I might have liked by this juncture in the series - While it does still hold some interest on account of the myriad mysteries it is keeping under its hat without explanation (for example, why did the vampires have a bomb in the first place? What is the bigger picture of Mina Tepes' plan for a Vampire Bund? Have the vampires built an underground city just because they love Neon Genesis Evangelion?), that somehow doesn't make the story-lines that we are presented with any more compelling. In this particular instalment, it very quickly became obvious that everything that transpired in this episode was a case of "just as planned" on Mina's part, which deadened any sense of drama or excitement and made the whole thing predictable (although I suppose some people will have enjoyed seeing a CNN reporter receive a stake through the heart). It's hard to put an exact finger on it, but there's just something about this series thus far which simply isn't satisfying to watch - It has plenty of interesting elements in place, but at the moment they aren't meshing together to create something suitably interesting, leaving us instead with vampires operating merely as opportunistic capitalists which, to be honest, is rather unexciting. There's certainly still hope for this series considering how much of the story is clearly hidden away from the viewer right now, but it needs to start moving a little faster to grab my attention sooner rather than later.

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