As evidenced by the existence of a tag for it on my blog, I’m pretty fond of the works of Studio Shaft. One good example of their work is Tsukuyomi Moon Phase.
It’s a comedy. It’s a supernatural horror. It’s some major mood whiplash between the two on a regular basis. Particularly the opening theme and accompanying animation when coming before or after some of the more horror-ish bits.
It all kicks off when Morioka Kouhei, a man with zero supernatural abilities or senses working as a photographer for an occult magazine, is investigating a castle with some of his colleagues. There he encounters Hazuki, a young vampire who’s trapped in the castle and wants out. Hazuki bites Kouhei, Kouhei and co fight to free Hazuki, the castle gets destroyed. Kouhei and friends go home. Hazuki follows them. The people who trapped her there in the first place follow Hazuki. Fights happen, comedy moments happen.
One of the comedy elements is that having been bitten by Hazuki, Kouhei should be her loyal slave, but isn’t. And Hazuki isn’t very happy about that.
Now being a Shaft production is something of a double-edged sword. You get a good, entertaining show with lots of interesting visuals, but they have a tendency to fall a little behind and scramble for deadlines, which means sometimes they get a little less animated than you really want. In this case, it happens in some of the major fights of the show. Still, for all that it’s still way more animated than something like the Violinist of Hameln TV series, and manages to be good enough.
It’s a very entertaining show, both for the horror elements and the comedy elements. It’s also one of the better examples of vampire fiction, with an interesting and plausible enough take on vampire lore. Recommended for anyone with an interest in vampires.