Ms. Vampire who lives in my neighborhood – Episode 1

By: Vrai Kaiser October 6, 20180 Comments
Sophie putting Akari's finger in her mouth against a flowery background

What’s it about? Akari goes to the woods hoping to find the “doll-girl” of local urban legend—but she finds a vampire instead! Fortunately, Sophie isn’t the people-eating type, and it isn’t long before Akari is visiting every day and dreaming about being together forever.

We’ve struck gold, people: this is a soothing, goofy comedy with an absolutely precious little romance at its center. While its low stakes (heh), pastel-colored shenanigans might not be to everyone’s taste, it’s absolutely going to fill my Nice Kids itch for the coming season.

Sophie looking out the window. subtitle: Dying basked in light like this isn't so bad

A big reason for that is Akari, who goes beyond being unfazed at meeting a vampire to downright geeking out. And, while Sophie suffers the same minimal inconvenience to sunlight as most anime vampires—she can go out if she bundles up—the show actually shows signs of doing some basic research into the lore beyond “this is a creature tied to sexual coding, so we can use it for fanservice.”

Sophie’s dislike for running water was a particularly pleasing deep cut, as is the revelation that vampires apparently don’t enter places uninvited because they’d experience horrible guilt if people thought they were rude. The post-credits revelation that Sophie once tried to go to school but only lasted three days also had a savvy shine to it. It’s also a relief that Sophie is written in the Let the Right One In school of adolescent vampires, where despite technically being old, she’s mentally the same maturity as Akari.

Sophie recoiling from Akari. subtitle: I'm a normal human, and a vampire is scared of me!

That’s not to say that the show shies away from the connection between vampires and sexuality, but Akari is definitely the one with unquenchable thirst. The early part of the episode plays a little bit with the idea that the expected “predator” Sophie is the one freaked out by how forward Akari is, but it manages to sidestep the predatory gay implications with a couple of mitigating points: first, because we see Akari’s parents and they’re as cheerfully gung-ho as she is; and second, because we get a glimpse of an anime girl body pillow in Sophie’s coffin.

Mostly, Sophie plays an extremely halfhearted version of a tsundere, already admitting by halfway through the premiere that the idea of not having Akari around makes her sad, and welcoming her new companion to live with her by episode’s end. At which point Akari starts making wedding plans, because she has never heard of the word “chill.”

Akari imagining herself and Sophie in wedding dresses. subtitle: This means our love is mutual!

The four-panel manga source material means that things are mostly clustered around short sketches, but it finds a steady rhythm that never feels abrupt or clunky. While you can definitely see the joins where one strip ends and the next begins, it never becomes a hindrance to enjoying the show.

The show is fanservice-free—there’s the briefest hint of cleavage the first time Akari offers to let Sophie bite her (with a background full of lilies, because the visuals have also never heard of chill)—and a sparkle-framed “kissing the finger injury” scene, but the entire feel of the show is downright G-rated. The moe art does mean that the 14-year-old Akari looks more like she’s ten, but the non-sexualized framing makes it little more than a typical anime oddity.

It’s a sweet, sugary series that isn’t looking to offer anything too substantive, but if you’re looking for something soothing, gay, and heart-meltingly adorable, this one’s for you.

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