Vampire In The Garden Review: Intermingling Melody And Tragedy

Blood-sucking monsters have been a trending trope in the past few years in the anime industry. With its latest exclusive, Vampire In The Garden, Netflix presents a divided world between humans and vampires. What will happen to those who do not want to indulge in partaking in the blatant massacre on both sides? Let’s find out more in this review!

Vampire In The Garden Overview

Vampire In The Garden is an original Japanese net anime series produced by WIT Studio [Attack on Titan, Seraph of the End, The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Spy × Family]. Belonging to the drama, action, sci-fi, and fantasy genre, this series consists of 5 episodes, with each episode being about 26 minutes long. The show is directed by Ryoutarou Makihara, known for his works in The Tatami Galaxy and The Empire Of Corpses. Yoshihiro Ike is the music director [Kuroko’s Basketball: Last Game, Dororo], and Tetsuya Nishio is the animation director.

–Vampire In The Garden Review does not contain spoilers –

Vampire In The Garden Review- The Plot

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A sorrowful memory. A violent encounter. Vampire In The Garden, in its first few moments, gives us glimpses of the story and emotions we are going to encounter throughout the series. Situated in the divided future, it has been a long winter for mankind. Flaunting the dark, cold themes, this series is a decent effort in depicting a dystopian world ravaged by vampires. Against the numerous shows based on the common trope of the main protagonists desperately dreaming of utopia, can Vampire In The Garden truly manage to stand out?

Honestly, I feel it has not. And the basic flaw can be traced back to its plot. Vampire In The Garden never truly explores its own settings. Momo (human) and Fine (vampire) met in the face of crisis and began their journey together by choice. They are in the search for a utopia, “Eden”, a place where away from all the wars, politics, and conflicts. A paradise where vampires and humans coexist peacefully. Does such a place even exist?

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The show meandered through a few situations, many of which portrayed humans and vampires living together. Although these were not desirable states of living conditions by any means, it undermines the central conflict that the two races can not live together at all. The motives for the higher-up’s actions are non-existent and even seem ridiculous. The adventure taken on by Momo and Fine in the search for such a utopia involves various kinds of encounters, none of which are remotely unique or even subtle.

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Even for the post-credit scene, the jump into the future seems too distant from what the show is trying to depict. Granted, it might be perceived as just a happy or a sad closure to the entire ordeal, but the journey taken to achieve it was not at all prevented. It could have provided the unique punch the story of Vampire In The Garden was in very much need of. If you are thinking of watching this series for its story, be ready to be disappointed.

Vampire In The Garden Review- The Characters

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Where the series failed to showcase a strong story, it made up for the loss with some of its character chemistry. Momo and Fine begin in Vampire In The Garden as strong characters. Not succumbing to the rigid and outright cruel rules imposed by their societies with the rationale of survival, they have managed to maintain their own unique outlooks on life. They aim for a paradise they can only dream of, and hence their chemistry together is endearing and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Sadly, Vampire In The Garden seems to bank too much on this chemistry. And in the beginning, it is true. We feel their struggle, their loss, their happiness, and their hopes. But no efforts whatsoever were made to help invest our focus in their relationship and grow it naturally. Hence, the emotions peak by the third episode, and accompanied by the same old standard plot, it begins to crumble.

Due to the unjust pressure on the main protagonists’ shoulders, other characters seem to have little to no context with how the main storyline proceeds. Even if they were just nameless soldiers fighting for an unknown cause, the story would have proceeded the exact same. Kubo, who is Momo’s uncle, could have been utilised as an interesting asset to the plot. He seems to have a decent backstory and understands Momo’s dreams. But funnily enough, he had to introduce himself to Momo as she did not recognise or remember him at all.

Momo’s mother is a question whose motives are always muddled and inconsistent. Though, in all honesty, she might not know herself what her true desires are, hence keeps changing her personality from cold to well, a mother, according to the people she is surrounded by. Allegro, Fine’s close acquaintance, in complete contrast, seems to know exactly what he wants for himself, Fine, and the vampire race. He has a history with the main protagonist, and to say this backstory is grossly underutilised would be putting it delicately.

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Other minor (and I mean a few seconds of screentime) characters are what you would expect to be in a world stained with wars. Some are power-crazy, some seem goofy and kind-hearted, and some are just sitting with poker faces dictating the orders. Villians (if that is what you want to call them) on the island are what you expect a good, bad character to be written as, but the obvious ominous plot sadly fails them.

Vampire In The Garden Review- The Art And The Music

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Vampire In The Garden does rise about it in terms of good artwork. The gruesome representation of vampires conveys well the fear associated with them. The characters had good, simplistic animations, which suddenly zoomed out to cover a wider area. The fight scenes were decent, but every time there was a fight, the animation moved too fluidly, not giving enough impact with the details. The animation does not shy away from bloodshed and gore, but the aerial view hinders the full effect.

The music is dead on the mark in this series. Most of the scenes where the music is present are held together because of it. The OSTs incite a pang of emotions in the heart, and the general correlation between the music in this dystopian world and its actual usage was finessed flawlessly. The main characters play instruments and sing at times of both pain and comfort. This adds an extra dimension to the plot and characters, and even after completing the show and listening to the playlist of Vampire In The Garden brings over a cloud of sadness. Well, if nothing else, this series has successfully utilised music to deliver that!

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Prognosis

Vampire In The Garden is a story of two characters with simplistic motivations. Although the rushed plot does not give these motivations a chance to evolve or change, their bond against the tragically torn world accompanied by fantastic music digs deep in our hearts. It is a decent one-time watch if the plot is not your main concern.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Plot
Characters
Music
Animation
Enjoyability

SUMMARY

Vampire In The Garden is a story of two characters with simplistic motivations. Although the rushed plot does not give these motivations a chance to evolve or change, their bond against the tragically torn world accompanied by fantastic music digs deep in our hearts. It is a decent one-time watch if the plot is not your main concern.

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Vampire In The Garden Review: Intermingling Melody And TragedyVampire In The Garden is a story of two characters with simplistic motivations. Although the rushed plot does not give these motivations a chance to evolve or change, their bond against the tragically torn world accompanied by fantastic music digs deep in our hearts. It is a decent one-time watch if the plot is not your main concern.