Tenrou: Sirius The Jaeger

December 23, 2018

There are many anime vampire series throughout and usually this genre doesn’t interest me very much although I do watch them from time to time. I was going to give Tenrou: Sirius The Jaeger the skip for the same reason too until I read that one line in the synopsis that states of vampire hunters known as Jaegers carrying musical instruments to hunt down vampires. Wow. So I thought there was something interesting in these vampire hunters. Cool hidden weapons masquerading as musical instruments or we have a bunch of travelling rock band who performs as musicians as their day job by moonlights as vampire hunters. Yeah, I really wanted to see how they shoot missiles from a guitar and turn the bass into some sophisticated club. Then of course you know, it didn’t turn out the way I had expected it to be…

Episode 1
Kershner must be holding some vampire party in Shanghai because his Smooth Criminal men are actually vampires as they suck the life out of their Chinese female dates. But after receiving word from his assistant, Agatha that the Jaegers are here, he flees. Willard leads his Jaegers comprising of Dorothea, Fallon and Philip, waiting to ambush the place but Yuliy recklessly barges in and the rest no choice have to follow suit and turn the place into vampire dust. Guess where Kershner fled? Yup. Good ol’ Japan. That’s where our Jaegers are heading too under the guise of Willard’s V Shipping Company. They rest at the mansion of the Baron who is also the Ministry of Home Affairs as he is indebted to them for their help. His daughter, Ryouko Naoe tries to impress Yuliy with her garden but he doesn’t like how too many fertilizers and water has tainted the garden. Willard talks to Baron about the recent troubles in Japan. Something about the Hyakko gang who looks like an anti-government on the outside but just robs the rich as well as a murderer named Kyouichirou Kuratake has escaped from prison and continues to go on a murder spree. Willard believes both big incidents are more than mere coincidences. Meanwhile the military doesn’t like how Baron has engaged foreigners for this case so they send Major Hideomi Iba to investigate. Kuratake is in fact being held prisoner by Agatha and she has a big role for him. After some investigation, Willard deduces Hyakko isn’t behind Kuratake’s jailbreak and somebody is using his name to commit crimes. And with the police increasing their patrol but yet to catch him, it could only mean that a certain group they’re after is behind this. Agatha finishes giving her statement to the police as she was a witness of a murder that just happened. But when she walks by Yuliy, he can smell blood all over her. Soon they both fight and Agatha luckily escapes with her comrades picking her up. A short car chase ensue until Yuliy catches up for another melee combat. When Agatha corners Yuliy, she notices a glow in his eyes and is shocked to realize he is part of some Sirius. Yuliy powers up and slices off her limbs. She tries to desperately escape but Yuliy is hot on her tail despite warning from Willard not to stray too far. Before Yuliy gets her, he is sniped by Mikhail.

Episode 2
Yuliy is pulled out and is treated by Doctor Kisuke Hanada. Willard reprimands him for pushing it too far but Yuliy can’t help it because of some beast blood that is flowing through him. It is hinted he might be a werewolf but he has to keep it under control because once he loses it, he is no longer a Jaeger. Because he is always busy with his research, his daughter, Saki befriends Yuliy pretty quickly. Philip is made to accompany Yuliy as he learns from the maid that Hanada has been obsessed with his research to develop some medical equipment since his wife died of a heart disease. He has an assistant but he went missing a few days ago. Ryouko heard Yuliy got injured and wants to go see him. Since the adults won’t tell her, she has a sneaky way to do it. Willard and his team continue their investigation. It seems there is a murder done by Hyakko but this time the victim is a biologist. The previous victim was a scholar. The connection is odd but he feels there is a connection between and Hyakko and the vampires. Soon, Hanada has finished his equipment, supposedly some artificial heart. He tells Saki the goodness and father and daughter embrace with full emotion. Hanada’s maid rats on him by giving the info to Agatha and is promptly killed as her reward. Willard’s research on similar cases overseas yield that researchers are killed and their research (mainly on artificial organs) stolen. Just when Willard is about to make his move, he is stopped by Iba posing as a journalist and wants to interview him. Vampires soon attack Hanada’s house. Agatha returns to settle the score with Yuliy and she is fitted with blades for her missing limbs. Unfortunately Agatha sinks her teeth into Hanada’s neck, turning him into a vampire. Yuliy kicks ass as he does a double kill on Agatha and Hanada right before the doctor could kill his own daughter. Agatha’s last words are something about too late for him to get his hands on the Ark. Oddly, Ryouko thought it was a right time to visit Yuliy. You mean at this time of the night?! She witnesses him kick ass. Then the doctor’s lab exploded. Yuliy could see somebody escaping with the research but before he could chase after him, Mikhail attacks him. Guess what? Mikhail is his brother.

Episode 3
The police is now looking into the murder scene as Dorothea picks up Yuliy and Philip. Thinking about Saki’s family and predicament has Yuliy remembering his own. Once a close knit family in Dogville, Yuliy and Mikhail grew up hunting together. Yuliy heard about the Ark that Dogville once had but now it is far away. The elder believed the duo would one day have to go there to protect it and Yuliy being the enthusiastic kid vows to do so and even protect mom. Now Yuliy talks to Willard that he is in a dilemma. When he killed Hanada, he did the same thing to Saki like what the vampires did to Dogville. Because Agatha said something about the Ark, it is believed to be here, that’s why the vampires are in Japan. Flashback continues with one night the vampires massacre the village. Mom got killed so the brothers had no choice but to run. There’s a vampire narrating how they have been controlling the world from the shadows for a thousand years and will want to continue to do so. They believe it is their duty to lead the ignorant masses and to do that, they need the Ark. Mikhail sacrifices himself fighting vampires so that Yuliy could escape. But when a vampire attacks Yuliy and rips his beloved mom’s scarf to shreds, that is when his eyes activate and instantly kills the vampire. Now that Yuliy has seen Mikhail and looks and sounds almost the same, he is further at a lost what to do as his is now hesitating whether to kill all vampires. Because if this was really Mikhail, he should have been dead and the only reason if he is alive is if he made a pact with the vampires. That’s why he can’t forgive himself for killing Hanada and make Saki go through the same agony. He felt happy. Ryouko must totally be in love with Yuliy since she has got the guts to go visit him. But he knows she saw him then and warns her not to get close to him. Final flashback shows after young Yuliy killed the vampire, Willard picked him up. As Yuliy was unsure how to go on living, Willard offered to teach him. Klarwein, the mad scientist under Kershner has completed his secret weapon.

Episode 4
Naotora Momosei, the leader of Hyakko heard his sponsor (the vampires) will no longer fund him so he kills the messenger and calls his men to do some hunting. Willard sees an employee of a rival shipping company, Alma Company to discuss some business. Iba is there too and he hints he knows more to what is going on. He returns to recently promoted Major General Kakizaki who will soon be on his way to Gotenba to test some new weapons. Kakizaki is going to be in for a shock when he sees this secret weapon monster. Yeah, it annihilated everything! Kershner as the president of Alma wants to know his opinion. The Jaegers noticed that Hyakko had stopped killing ever since Hanada’s case. Willard knows that Alma is behind this and was sponsoring Hyakko. This could mean they have gotten what they have wanted and now both sides have a fallout. It is suggested that they split their team to investigate and when Ryouko hears Yuliy is going to Gotenba, she gets really concerned. Dorothea can tell what is going on and gets chummy with Yuliy, promising she will protect him. And so Ryouko becomes a ninja to sneak aboard the train to tail them. Meanwhile Hyakko enters Alma’s office and slaughters all employees, thinking they are vampires. None. Willard explains to us the 2 different categories of vampires: Slaves (those beast form) and Royals (human-like form). Iba was on his way to Gotenba when he hears a report about the accident at the weapon testing. All those participated died except for Kakizaki who is on his way back to the capital. Immediately he takes the train back. Likewise, Yuliy could smell blood from the other train so he too jumps to the other train. Oh, Ryouko spots this too and suddenly she becomes a ninja to ride it just in time! Now she has a ticket problem since she didn’t bring her bag. On this returning train, Kershner is a passenger and look who Yuliy meets again? Is that really you, Mikhail?

Episode 5
Mikhail explains he left immediately after meeting Yuliy for the first time in years since as a vampire, he has absolute orders to kill Jaegers. When he sniped him, he was ordered to outright kill him but purposely missed. He wants Yuliy to give up his revenge because he doesn’t have what it takes. So is Yuliy going to kill him now? It’s his best chance? Can’t? Saving him for the last? Last warning. Stop being a Jaeger because the next time they meet, they’ll be enemies. Iba talks to Kakizaki who regrets participating in this weapon testing because all his men died. He realized too late they were only used as guinea pigs. Dorothea finds reprimanded Ryouko. She is still not calling it a crush on Yuliy? So the excuse is that she is interested in the different kind of world he is living in? Why you complicate things? Suddenly the train comes to a halt. It is Hyakko standing before the tracks. They hijack the train and are looking for Kershner. However he has fled and Hyakko instead stumble into that monster. Since it imitates their movements, they take a liking for it. They then start moving the train in the opposite direction. Great timing for Willard’s other team to pass by and jump on to help stop it. Because at the track will soon end. So cliché, right? With the military fighting Hyakko, the monster seems to protect the latter. Momosei is so pleased with this that he let his guard down and the monster decapitates him! Now Yuliy faces off with this monstrosity. Nobody gets in the way of Ryouko’s crush! Because after Fallon separates the coaches, she makes a mad jump to their side! When a vampire seemingly is going to kill a soldier, Ryouko swiftly borrows a sword and cuts it! Woah! Those kendo skills must have come in handy. For the first time, Iba sees the vampire turn to dust. Now you believe about vampires? Yuliy seems to have a hard time fighting the monster. So Mikhail takes over and easily cuts it up to pieces. The train derails at the end but don’t worry, everybody survives. Mikhail tells Yuliy that if he ever ends up like this monster, he wants him to be the one to kill him. It will be easy if he has the Ark. Yevgraf finally makes his move.

Episode 6
Klarwein is mad at Mikhail for destroying his creation. But Kershner has received word from Yevgraf that the Ark is not in this city. Although Klarwein is stubborn and wants to mass produce his monster, Kershner believes their task now is to exterminate all Jaegers here. Yuliy talks to Willard about Mikhail. Yuliy was never told about anything about the Ark and it is believed Mikhail does. It could be the only reason why the vampires are keeping him alive. Willard asks Yuliy if he wants to leave Jaegers as he won’t have to gun for revenge then. What if there is a possibility that the Ark could revert Mikhail’s case? In worst case scenario, it would kill him. The Baron reprimands Ryouko and wants to limit her freedom but she remains stubborn. Some things cannot be learnt through formal education, no? She continues her kendo training and Dorothea hopes she could teach her some swordsmanship. Willard is supposed to meet up with his bartender informant but Iba got to him first and hints about vampires in Alma. When he returns to his bar, before he could make a call to Willard, he is attacked by vampires. Willard knows something is wrong when he steps into the bar. Just in time because he passes Willard a message before croaking. The vampires in hiding attack but it’s like Willard taking out all his anger by overkilling them. He then calls his Jaegers to warn them about the vampires attacking them tonight. As they prepare, Yuliy tells Ryouko to round up her family and servants to hide in the safest place. Knowing she is strong, he wants her to protect them. Ryouko is happy to hear that until she realizes it was Dorothea who told Yuliy to say all this. As they lie in wait, Yuliy asks Philip if he wants revenge since it was actually one of his kin who killed his parents. Philip doesn’t blame him and is cool with it because if he has to get revenge on vampires mean he must get revenge on his brother? The vampires attack in full force and there is too many of them. The Jaegers try to retreat but here comes Kershner. He faces off with Yuliy while Mikhail keeps Philip at bay.

Episode 7
With the military rolling in, it’s time for Kershner to escape. Again. So he lets Mikhail take care of Yuliy and because little brother is adamant he won’t kill big brother, Mikhail feels disappointed. He isn’t cut out for revenge. Before he can kill all vampires, they’ll get what they seek. Because the Ark was taken by their father. As he is the last of the Sirius, he must make use with Mikhail’s vampire blood and make do of what he has. The military is able to kill vampires with their rounds because Iba borrowed them from V Shipping Company. Willard finds Kershner and of course a human can’t best a vampire. With Yuliy looking for Mikhail and stumbling into this, Kershner finds out Yuliy doesn’t know the whole truth. Long ago, they had some book that told them where the Ark is. Because they couldn’t decipher it, they got a desperate and poor archaeologist who was also passionate about the Ark to do so. Guess who was that guy? Kershner admits he is the one who burnt down Dogville and Willard admits he is that archaeologist. Yuliy is so mad that he let his beast form take over. At first Yuliy is no match for Kershner but when cocky vampire dude mocks him so much, this is what happens when you corner a mad dog. Yuliy defies all odds and kills Kershner! Now Yuliy bugs Willard for an answer. He never said anything because of his ego. He thought taking him in was his form of atonement but ironically used him as a tool for the last 10 years. He agrees to be killed by him but Yuliy can’t do that. He looks up to him like a father figure.

Next day, Willard explain more about the Ark. It seems it holds unlimited knowledge and technologies. Willard just wanted to discover it whether it exists or not but the vampires wanted more than just its existence. Yuliy’s dad perhaps knew about it and hence took it away. He might be alive guarding it somewhere. Otherwise, perhaps what Mikhail said was a hint that Yuliy would be the next one to protect it. Hence he makes it his next mission other than killing vampires. But they have no time left. Kershner was just a pawn and the real one who desires it is Yevgraf. Iba is called by the military and is ordered to look for the Ark. 10 years ago, they sent this guy, Captain Mamoru Akasaka for the job but he never returned. Due to the war, he was low on their search priority but now with the economy and depression, they are restarting this search again. Iba is tasked for this mission because they think he is close friends with Willard after borrowing ammunition from V Shipping. Stuck with this troublesome task, he goes to see Willard to exchange information. He is told that the vampires are after the Ark and it is believe it is at Sakhalin as Yevgraf is now there. With Iba making arrangements to Russia, the Jaegers get orders to return to HQ in London. But Yuliy decides to do things on his own and leaves.

Episode 8
Flashback shows when Mikhail was left for dead after the vampire attack, it was Yevgraf who revived and turned him into a vampire. Mikhail reunites with Yevgraf and the latter brings him to some cave. Inside supposedly resides the Sirius civilization during their heydays. In the middle of it all is supposedly the Ark. However Mikhail’s dad gave his life to form a barrier to protect it eternity. Who knows what happens when vampires and humans walk through it but Mikhail as his son, it might be different. So as Mikhail walks into the barrier, it seems it is melting him. Despite in pain, he trudges on. Yevgraf calls it off but Mikhail refuses (thinking he can kill Yevgraf if he gets the Ark’s power) but Yevgraf uses his mind control to force Mikhail back. Mikhail fights back but ultimately cannot disobey his master. Yevgraf is now interested what if Yuliy was the one who walks through it. As they leave, Klarwein has been greatly ignored and is continued to be so. Mad scientist is going to proof that his research is what the vampires need for glory. Meanwhile Yuliy has arrived at southern Sakhalin and meets another fellow Jaeger, Bishop. It looks like his teammates got killed while chasing Yevgraf and requested for reinforcements. Unfortunately Yuliy isn’t that backup and is here on his own. They both make a deal to help each other as Bishop knows of an old guy who has info on the Ark. On the other side, Ryouko left a letter to dad. She is going to London. Yeah, she is already on her way by the time he reads this. Her excuse is to find out the ones responsible who destroyed their mansion. I’m sure the Baron doesn’t’ find it surprising but if you can’t beat them, join them. Yeah, he is going to London too! As Yuliy and Baron close in on the residence of that supposed old guy, they see vampires attacking him. Just in time. Yuliy faces off with the cheeky vampire loli twins of Larissa and Tamara. They mock him of his massacred village and being the lonely Sirius left, they should let them turn him into a vampire.

Episode 9
After a short bout, the twins escape. When the old man realizes who Yuliy is, he is not happy the son of Alexei is here. He does however explain a little. Like how he too was searching for the Ark and stumbled into Alexei who was kind enough to bring him back to Dogville and meet his family. Yuliy was probably too young to remember. One day Alexei left with the Ark without saying anything. He refuses to say anything more. As the duo leave, Bishop feels suspicious why the vampires of all times attacked the old guy now. They could have easily killed him if they wanted to shut him up. He thinks Yuliy is their target. When the twins report back to Yevgraf, Mikhail learns Yuliy is here and he realizes Yevgraf’s plan to use Yuliy to open the Ark. Yuliy and Bishop return to town and guess who they meet? Ryouko and Iba! Apparently Ryouko panicked when she saw dad at the same port and stumbled into Iba on his way to Sakhalin. Thank goodness, right? I guess Ryouko won’t understand what the men talk next. Sirius? Yuliy’s dad? Iba shows the photo of Akasaka and he is believed to be that old guy. Perhaps some military orders can get him to speak up. We take a little detour as Yuliy asks Ryouko about fathers. She doesn’t have nice things to say at first but eventually father cares for her. When Mikhail tries to escape to warn Yuliy, the other vampires cut him off. However one of the Slaves got some infection and start going berserk. He is killed off. Yevgraf warns Mikhail to stay put if he doesn’t want anything to happen to him.

Yuliy and the gang return to see Akasaka. He still won’t tell about the Ark but Iba will decide that after he sees it himself. Iba knows something is keeping him here. He could have reported back and be relieved of this mission but yet chose to say. With old bugger continue to not say a word as promise to Alexei, Yuliy uses his trump card that Dogville has been destroyed and as the last Sirius he must know everything. Yeah, that determination in his eyes makes Yuliy look a lot like dad. Akasaka opens up about the barrier Alexei made. Unsure if he is alive or dead, he heard his voice when he touched the barrier to not tell anybody and stay away. Feeling guilty for what happened, it’s the reason Akasaka stayed behind to stay by his side. It’s the least he could do. Yuliy thanks him for staying back as a friend of his father. Akasaka gives them a map to that sacred grounds as well as a photo proof that he met Alexei over 10 years ago. He hopes Yuliy as his son can save him. Meanwhile Willard’s side has taken a detour. I mean, HQ didn’t say they should return to London right away, right? Because now they are in Dogville investigating the massacre site. Next morning, Ryouko alerts Iba that the Jaeger duo have left. Don’t worry. Just follow them. It’s easy since Iba memorized the map. When Yuliy and Bishop near the place, before them is Klairwein and his mad merry band of uhm, robo vampire monsters?

Episode 10
Based on Willard’s interpretations, it seems the key to unseal the Ark can be found hidden in this family tomb. Wow. He made it look so easy by just pressing a few buttons and turning a few knobs. Looks like they’re going to bring this little eyeball thingy to Yuliy. Klarwein brags about his research on humans to bring about this success. He goes on to rant about some incurable disease the vampires have. Klarwein was first commissioned to find that cure but after Yevgraf took note of the Ark, he became completely ignored. Hence he will prove his worth with their deaths. I suppose Klarwein was busy yapping he didn’t realize the duo were making the snowy ground unstable for him to slide down the abyss. Oh well. Back to the drawing board. If he survives that. Both then arrive at the holy grounds of Sirius. Yuliy tries to enter the barrier but again it looks like melting him. His determination has him push all the way until he is absorbed inside it. His reward? Looks like he gets to view the memories of his dad. The reason Alexei welcomed Akasaka was because he saved his sons from a bear attack. With their great hospitality, Akasaka soon confesses he was looking for the Ark and fear stealing it would break the peace. He also warns of other major powers secretly looking for it. When Alexei talked to the elder about this, he is appalled that their BS tradition to keep the Ark a secret means killing them. He will not accept this tradition and vows to find a way to seal it. He was reluctantly told of where and how to seal it that would risk his life. Hence Alexei left his family but promised them he would be back after he sealed the Ark. I guess he never fulfilled this promise. Now that Yuliy has seen the memories, he sees father before his eyes. His soul now fused with the barrier. He hopes Yuliy can go home now. However Yuliy doesn’t accept dad shouldering this tragic burden alone because it’s like the same thing even if dad argues this is not to bind his sons to these shackles. So sacrificing your own happiness for others is wrong? I know a lot of anime series who would gladly do that… So for Yuliy to prove the path dad took was the right one, he is going to live and find another way to seal the Ark. Alexei is pleased with his answer and gives him the Ark. He might be able to accomplish what he couldn’t. With that, the barrier is released and Yevgraf has been waiting for this moment for the Ark to show up. Can’t miss it. That beam straight up into the sky.

Episode 11
So this mini palm sized Death Star-cum-Cybertron is the Ark? Yevgraf turns Mikhail into a mindless obedient soldier and orders him to kill Yuliy to bring him the Ark. As Yuliy and Bishop leave, Iba and Ryouko just arrived. Yuliy wants to settle this alone and that is when Bishop takes Ryouko hostage. Yuliy tells Bishop to drop the act and knows his true form as a vampire all along. The reason he worked with him is because he saw his face regretting his comrades’ death. There was no deceit in it. Bishop laments he can’t get his comrades’ face out of his mind. With this vampire disease, he thought he might do something about it if the Ark was involved. He is not going to get Yevgraf have it so this isn’t just Yuliy’s fight alone. Yuliy agrees to work with him not because he is a vampire but he is Bishop. As they leave, the twins let Mikhail deal with Yuliy. Mikhail fights his brother like a mad dog and manages to rip the Ark away from him. The twins get it and are going to give it to Yevgraf but Bishop kills Larissa and snatches it from Tamara. Now the Ark in his hands but Yevgraf is before him. I guess all the brotherly fighting has Mikhail manage to snap out of Yevgraf’s spell. It is also thanks to the disease Mikhail infected himself with. Better to die this way? Yuliy explains the pride of Sirius is to live with the Ark side by side and not seal it. The reason dad sealed it because he thought they would be unable to coexist with other races if it was around. That is why Yuliy is going to live and face the world, his promise to dad. Mikhail couldn’t care about the Ark. He made a promise too and that is to protect Yuliy. But how can Yuliy sit by and watch Mikhail suffer by his own? Once they reconcile and head out, they see Yevgraf killing Bishop. His last words were being happy Yuliy worked with him as a man. Yevgraf has got the Ark and retreats to his airship to activate it. The brothers argue who should stay and who should deal with Yevgraf but a gentle reminder Yevgraf left vampires to deal with them. Don’t worry, here comes Willard and co to the rescue! Now the brothers are free to head for the airship. Ryouko gives her sword to Yuliy. Thanking her by name has got to be the best reward? Iba taps a Morse code to Willard about the situation so he makes his way onto the airship. Meanwhile Yevgraf devours the Ark to become one with it. All hail God Yevgraf!

Episode 12
Willard tries to take control of the airship but gets injured by other vampires. Yevgraf believes he can create a new breed of vampires by making a new blood pact. But it seems those lowly Slaves are too inferior that they die! What about you, Tamara? Can you accept this new blood pact? Tamara is shaking in fear and before another loli dies, here comes Yuliy to the rescue. Yevgraf cannot contain the Ark’s power as it bursts out from within. His new form is even hideous as he goes berserk trying to attack Mikhail. Willard hears Yuliy’s answer on the path he chose. He gives him this eyeball thingy, supposedly the other half of the Ark to control its power. The brothers fight Yevgraf and although he has healing abilities, the tremendous Ark power means he resist them anymore. In the final struggle, Mikhail rips the Ark from Yevgraf and kills him off. Hey, that’s what he wanted, right? He’d rather die than be saved by a dog. Wish granted. Mikhail gives the Ark to Yuliy, exchanges a few last words before resting in peace :’(. Don’t worry. Like Yuliy has always spammed recently, he’ll continue to live. The airship crashes but both Arks now fused. Willard sees Yuliy is in his true Ark form. Uhm, just having more strands of white hair? They say their goodbyes as Yuliy embarks on a journey to use this power for good. But he tells Willard if he ever ends up like Yevgraf, please kill him. He is after all his other father. Willard wakes up in hospital a few days later after being saved by a local. He tells that Yuliy is gone as he carries the burden alone of a power that could turn him into a god or demon. In the aftermath, Ryouko takes up some business admin course as part of her way to help Yuliy make the world a better place. Same for Iba as he does what he can although he notes the many powers will still go after Yuliy and the Ark. Willard narrates the Ark cannot be controlled by anyone in this world and for that, the Sirius were granted that power. However they decided not to because of how powerful it is and may have saved it for the future Sirius generations. The Jaegers have now orders to hunt down Yuliy which is a higher priority than hunting vampires. For Willard’s side, this might not seem palatable but at least it is a way that they can get to Yuliy first and see how he is doing. Meanwhile Yuliy is travelling alone with Tamara. His first step is to head to the vampire elders and convince them there is a way to cure the disease. Some final words how this path is necessary for a Sirius and only because of the power granted to him.

Serious The Joker: Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Oh well, I guess we went with the ending that the hero eventually has to shoulder the burden and responsibility of it all by himself. It seems like a bittersweet ending that Yuliy has gone off alone for the supposed greater good of the world (I guess he did not turn into that kind of God that instantly changes the world to become of that he desires with the snap of a finger) but to say that he was always a team of V Shipping feels a bit strange because Yuliy is often seen working solo. Sure, he might have eventually gotten used and accepted teamwork cooperation, but ultimately as the last blood of Sirius, there are only things he can do by himself. Back to square one?

Plot wise, it might start out slightly interesting but as the series progresses, you’ll find that overall it is mostly generic. Main character instead of holding some latent hidden power is the last of his kind, which kinda leads back to the fact he is the only one to hold some latent hidden power. Bad guys are looking for the most powerful ancient artefact for the typical cliché end goal of becoming the one supreme being, which is the same as world domination. Plans foiled because baddie doesn’t have enough virtue to carry it like our hero. The day is saved and the world continues to turn and everyone else leads a normal life without even knowing all our heroes have done. I’ll give credit though, since this is an original anime work rather than based on any manga or game. But I guess in this time and era where everything has been done or thought out, it is hardly exciting. For those who have seen almost there is to see out there about movies and TV series, this kind of plot may come off as bland.

For the most part, we were kept wondering what the heck this Ark is. That mystery keeps the intrigue but can be also annoying. I suppose if you saw that cult classic Indiana Jones movie, you would have shaped your notion of what the Ark looks like. Too bad people, it’s not the Ark that comes from the Bible. So when the Ark is supposedly to be some all powerful tool (not surprising, otherwise why would anybody would target it) and it looks like some mini pool ball but with flashier effects, do you not feel a bit disappointed? I mean, this is the Ark? Oh right. It’s not how it looks but what’s inside it. I guess we puny humans can’t comprehend its greatness what more control its immense power. This is why I have this fear that Yuliy’s wok may not come true because of how fragile and weak humans are. We can’t even get along with ourselves so what makes you think the Ark’s power can achieve that? Maybe. But I’m not holding my breath for it to happen.

Then there are the issues of the characters as well. Understandably for Yuliy being the poster child and main character of the series, there is a lot of focus being put into him as well as the estranged relationship with his brother. We do see him change from one young lad who is out for pure revenge to kill all vampires to one who matures and take responsibility in doing something for the greater good of the world even if the rest of the world doesn’t acknowledge it. So it’s not like he is breaking his earlier promise. He has found a new and better one to live by. The brothers who were from the same origin but ended up on different sides are most intriguing. Often they clash with each other at times and although seemingly for different reasons, their end goal and brotherly love for each other was always the same. So it’s heart breaking to see Mikhail die in the end but if it makes Yuliy a stronger person, so be it.

The rest of the other characters feel lacklustre and in some ways hardly contribute to the plot. For instance the Jaegers of the V Shipping, it feels like they are there so it doesn’t make Yuliy feel like he is some sort of lone wolf. They feel almost as empty as they are not emphasized as great as importance as Yuliy. Like Fallon, we all know he is just the Irish muscle guy of the team. That’s all. Philip is a kid whose parents were killed by Yuliy’s kin but he doesn’t seem to take this revenge business seriously. He is almost like the comic relief of the group because Fallon likes to mess with his hair just to see his reaction. Because I’m sure we would all like to know how a young kid actually ended up in Jaegers. As for Dorothea… I guess they need a woman in the team. Willard as the team leader is the brains behind the group and his archaeologist background sometimes feel shoehorned to give Yuliy some background and reason for existence. I guess this is the kind of roles that father figures have to play. For example in the final arc, conveniently finding the other half of the Ark and then entrusting it to Yuliy just at the right time. Yeah, an excuse so that Yuliy won’t turn out like Yevgraf. Thanks dad.

Ryouko is one of the oddest characters ever. She stands out like a sore thumb and you wonder why there was even a need to put her character in. From the moment she first appeared, you can tell that she is shoehorned in to provide some sort of romance if it ever comes to that point. If you take her out entirely of the plot, the entire series can still work. That is why I was wondering the need for Ryouko to toss Yuliy her sword to him when Yuliy actually has his own weapon that he is accustomed in using! Oh dear. It’s to show us that Ryouko was part of the final action scene. That it was her sword that stabbed through Yevgraf after all. Other than that, Ryouko failing in her crush feels like a weird distraction the series doesn’t need but just to fill in some extra time and take our minds off Yuliy’s revenge and vampire action. When you have an international band of Jaegers, you need to insert a kawaii Nippon onna somewhere even in a minor role. Thank goodness their romance didn’t materialize because it would have been really awkward to remember Twilight. Sheesh. Iba also feels a bit out of placed. His character also mostly can be written out but only comes in handy twice or thrice (like convincing Akasaka) but that is even so he can be mostly done without. Because it felt like the Japanese military was going to have some sort of large presence in the series but then it fizzled out after that failed weapon testing.

The vampires fare no better too. But being made as the antagonist of the series, I guess they really took the biggest fall. Because as we see Yevgraf being typical one dimensional villain striving to create a new order of vampires (like, what else is new?) and Kershner and Agatha were trolled to look like final bosses because they went out so early in the series. Especially Kershner who looks close to Dracula have this feel of being the final boss but his favourite game is to always escape when the going gets tough. But the oddest and most unsatisfying thing about the vampires is the disease that they are suffering from. Like, WTF???!!! What the hell?! Vampires, supposedly immortal supreme beings suffering from a disease that would literally kill them???!!! What kind of disease is that????!!! I don’t think it is garlic. Yeah. Even as explained, Royals who can even walk under the sun, I suppose garlic won’t really cut it as this fatal disease. It is not fully explained at all what this disease is all about and my only guess is that they need to bring this in so that Mikhail could die an honourable death. You see, a vampire that dies having this disease will not turn into dust. Gee, how convenient. So you mean this whatever disease helps keep their body together in death? Wow, it’s like the formalin embalmment for vampires. Klarwein feels annoying. He only exists to give a reason why monster vampires exist in the first half of the story. Then he suddenly gets killed off without much fanfare. I suppose we can’t find any other way to dispose of this really mad scientist. Not that anybody cares about him either, eh? Yeah, the most ignored character ever in this series.

The other odd thing that I started pondering if Sirius were actually this series’ term for werewolves. I guess Lycans are taken too… And I suppose it is a pun the Sirius’ village is known as Dogville. I guess Wolfville would sound too obvious. Because you know, it is a common notion that vampires and werewolves being natural enemies. The word werewolves were never mentioned and Yuliy does from time to time exhibit very slightly of his beastly nature. An excuse for him to do some impossible acrobat moves and give him extra strength when the plot commands it. However we don’t see the rest of the other Sirius tribe members ever closely turning into one. It is only left to our imagination that if the Sirius people are werewolves because as Yuliy says he wants to bring all races together, he mentions Sirius separately from humans. If the Sirius people were humans, wouldn’t it be weird to mention them explicitly? I mean, think about this, unless he is so prideful of his Sirius race that they must be mentioned apart from humans (that’s racist!), I guess he left out a lot of other races too. The Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Americans, Europeans, Australians, Africans… Are they excluded or all under the human race banner? Oh Yuliy, you so inclusive.

If there was something better than the plot and characters, it is definitely the action scenes. Even if you don’t get the finer details of the plot or don’t care about the characters, I’m sure that at least you’ll be entertained with the action sequences. I mean, who wouldn’t love seeing our heroes cutting down vampires like a hot knife through butter? I mean, when you watch vampire action series, this is what it boils down to, right? Remember Blade? Yeah… So with some really nice fight scenes on the cards, at least not everything in this series was in vain nor a failure. Just a little disappointment that as I mentioned in my opening paragraph, I thought the Jaegers would fight using musical instruments. Heck, I don’t even see how their weapons resemble them. I guess Philip was just trolling with his violin because it’s just a gun hidden in it. I thought Yuliy’s nunchucks resembled a flute but it didn’t ultimately matter because eventually I prefer to see him beat down vampires than admire how cool his musical instrument-cum-weapon is. And the rest of the Jaegers just used guns with special bullets…

The other great thing about this series is the artwork and animation. If I should say, the details of the setting in the 1930s era do really look gorgeous especially the background. Whether you’re in old Japan or the snowy regions of Sakhalin, they are beautiful to look at. The animation during action sequences are really smooth and I didn’t notice any jerkiness or low quality during such scenes. Maybe that is why the action parts are interesting. This series is animated by P.A. Works who have brought to you a lot of nice looking anime series before like Hanasaku Iroha, Angel Beats, Glasslip, Tari Tari and Sakura Quest. However the vampire designs irk me a little. Especially their beast form which looks like a cross between a bat and ape. Because they look closer and more like werewolves to me. So this is what low level vampires look like in their true form? I guess it is better than turning into tiny bats and fly away, huh?

For the voice acting department, it would have been so conspiracy had Yuuki Kaji voiced Yuliy or even Philip. Because you know, Jaeger. Geddit? I would have made comparisons of how similar it would have been to Shingeki No Kyojin. Instead of kill all Titans, we now have kill all vampires! Oh yeah, it would have been such a good conspiracy theory but alas it wasn’t. Yuuki Kaji would have been the perfect voice for either both characters but instead Yuliy is voiced by Yuuto Uemura (Juugo in Nanbaka) and Philip by Yuusuke Kobayashi (Subaru in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu). Kenjiro Tsuda is perfect as Yevgraf as his sleepy-like voice gives the villain character a great impact. But I feel Keiji Fujiwara as Alexei is a bit out of place because of his slacker-like voice, it doesn’t give that strong responsible fatherly feel for his character. Other recognizable seiyuus are Takahiro Sakurai as Mikhail, Takehito Koyasu as Kershner and Sayaka Ohara as Agatha.

The other casts are Kenyuu Horiuchi as Willard (titular character in Guin Saga), Shunsuke Takeuchi as Fallon (Shougo in Caligula) (I bet Fallon’s character would sound a lot more like a stereotypical Irish in the dub version but I’m not since I don’t watch dubs), Nanako Mori as Dorothea (Angelica in Sakura Quest), Rie Takahashi as Ryouko (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Junji Majima as Iba (Ryuuji in Toradora), Nobuo Tobita as Klarwein (Pekoms in One Piece), Misaki Watada as Larissa (Grenda in Strike The Blood II), Sayaka Senbongi as Tamara (Chitose in Girlish Number) and Kenji Hamada as Bishop (Jouji in Paradise Kiss). The rock piece opener, Sirius does suit the series well and if you’re wondering why this song sounds familiar, that’s because Kishida Kyoudan And The Akeboshi Rockets sang this piece in a very similar fashion like how they did for other anime openers such as Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, Highschool Of The Dead, Gate: Jietai Kanochi Nite Kaku Tatakaeri and Strike The Blood. Yeah, they sound almost the same… The ending theme isn’t so bad either. Hoshie by Sanjou No Hana is more of a slow rock.

Overall, not really the best vampire series out there but at least if you’re looking for a single cour series filled with vampire killing action, this one is at least worth it. Can’t say the same for the plot and characters, though. I’m not saying that these lacking parts are bad but it just didn’t brought anything new to the plate. Therefore nothing really exciting to get excited about in the first place. I don’t think this would get another season seeing how things ended and if it does, I can foresee it would be much boring than this. Heh. A Sirius guy trying to aim for world peace? Boring. I suppose if you want to a great vampire series that has all the intrigue and appeal, there is only so far one can stray from what has been done ages ago in the classics. Imagine that one single tool that enables us to get whatever we wished for. So easy we don’t even need to put effort into anything anymore. Maybe that is why there is a reason why nobody in reality has actually found the Ark yet. Because it is all only in our heads.

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