Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the realities of life and watch something that is just a silly bit of fun. The title of this one might give you a clue that it falls into that category. It’s not exactly a hard-hitting drama and you don’t come to this series looking for realism.
The main character is Akari, who is an avid collector of dolls. When she meets a vampire named Sophie, who has not aged at all for over three centuries, she immediately falls for her because she looks so much like a doll. They strike up a friendship and very soon Akari decides to move in with Sophie, who doesn’t have much choice in the matter, but doesn’t seem to mind too much.
Sophie is a great character, and really made this series for me. She is about as far away from a predatory vampire as you could get, a gentle, quiet soul, who orders her blood on “Amason”, and drinks it out of a cup. She is also a manga fan and has a huge collection of books.
Her friend Ellie initially appears to be much more of a traditional blood-sucker, having slept for the last 100 years, and therefore she is not in touch with the modern world of ordering blood online (!), but Sophie brings her into line very quickly and there is never a sense of danger. This is a cosy, funny series, not one where you have to worry about the regular characters surviving.
Our fourth main character is Hinata, Akari’s best friend, who has a crush on her. Although everything is played for laughs, I did find it a little sad that Hinata was so devoted to Akari and has clearly lost her (romantically) to Sophie, although their friendship remains strong. Rounding off the group are two more of Akari’s friends, who make only occasional appearances in the series: Sakuya and Yu. They are a really cute couple who are clearly in love with each other, but other than that they don’t really add much to the character dynamics.
You might by now have picked up on the fact that this is a yuri series. The main characters are all female, and are all lesbians. This is one of those yuri series where nobody quite manages to form an actual relationship, but at least we see a range of acceptance of their sexuality that is probably a fair reflection of real life. That range extends from Sophie whose blushes are the only indication of her sexuality, to Ellie and Akari, who are both clearly trying to start a relationship with Sophie (and Ellie probably already had one with her in the past).
What I liked about this is that it is never really used as an excuse for fanservice, and that is unusual. There is no nudity, even when the episodes cover familiar fanservice scenarios, such as bathroom and beach scenes. We go no further than the suggestion that these girls are attracted to each other, and Akari definitely has a thing for wanting Sophie to suck her blood, but Sophie always resists, even when she is unable to get her usual supplies (a highly unrealistic storyline where “Amason” goes offline for a couple of days!). Their friendship means too much to her for her to risk ever seeing Akari in the way that a predator looks at prey.
That examination of the girls’ friendship is the anime’s biggest strength. You get the sense that Sophie is open to the idea of a relationship with Akari, but needs her to grow up a bit more first. In the meantime, she’s just happy with their devoted friendship. The strongest exploration of that theme is the episode where Akari gets ill. Times like that really bring home the importance of friendship, and Sophie’s reaction makes it very clear how much Akari means to her.
So this is a gentle, funny series. There are 12 episodes of the usual 25-ish minutes length, the opening and closing tunes are both great (I adore the pronunciation of “cookingu”) but the quality of the animation is on the more basic end of the scale. At the time of writing there is no dub, and no DVD or Blu-ray release, so this is a series that seems to have fallen under the radar a little. I hope one day the right people notice it, and give it the physical media release it deserves. A bit of silly escapism like this is something we all need from time to time. RP