What’s it about? Ronaldo the legendary vampire hunter has his world forever altered when he’s tasked with hunting down the ancient and terrible Draluc…in that Draluc is a pushover who turns to dust at the slightest injury, and has somehow ended up as Ronaldo’s new hunting partner.
The second vampiric offering of this season couldn’t be more different from the first. While Irina is a romance set during the Cold War, The vampire dies in no time is no-holds-barred slapstick comedy. It’s a pretty good example of the genre, too, if you’re down for something manic.
It’s certainly got style to spare, with a jazzy dance opening that I’m delighted to see coming back into fashion. It has the same contrast of vivid color and deep black that I associate with Soul Eater’s classic aesthetic, and the gag-a-minute format means that if something doesn’t land you’re already being ushered on to the next punchline. It’s a style that can be exhausting in the wrong hands, but having a series composer (Sugawara Yukie) who worked on quite a few episodes of Kaguya-sama can’t hurt.
Half of the jokes are centered around the central premise: Draluc is a classic Lugosi-looking vamp whose body disintegrates and reforms when faced with the slightest confrontation. It is intensely relatable, though the subtitling decision to refer to it as “sand” rather than dust sidesteps the intended reference a bit. There’s a surprisingly amount of variety in the deaths too, from pratfalls to social anxiety to minor technological inconvenience, which keeps the joke circulating even as it stays quite basic.
Speaking of relatable, Ronaldo’s vampire hunting is essentially freelance work. His attempts at looking badass frequently get derailed by a need to suck up to clients, and he’s quick to emphasize that his autobiography was definitely put out by a real, legit publisher. His role is of the “shouty straight man” variety, though it’s clear pretty quick that he’s just as much of an idiot as Draluc. Their back-and-forth (which starts at the nadir of child molestation accusations but climbs very quickly upward) makes for a solid premiere, but this is clearly meant to be an ensemble comedy, so the show will live or die depending on the recurring characters it introduces—which looks like it will include several ladies, only two of whom have cleavage-prominent designs. That’s all I’m asking for, anime. A little variation.
But obviously the MVP is always going to be John the armadillo, a reference so niche that my wife caught it as it sailed right over my head. For that, no time, I tip my hat. Despite failing my “no heterosexual vampires” rule, I’m still down to give it three episodes. If it falls flat, there’s always What We Do in the Shadows.