Between Vampire Hunter D, Hellsing, Blood +Even Jojo’s bizarre adventure, the anime world has had a vampire obsession for many years. Although almost all vampire titles have gained a significant fan base, Dance with devils was lost to the sea of vampire content. The main reason for this may be the series’ resemblance to the notorious vampire drama Vampire Knight. Although this series is fun, and has maintained a dedicated fan base – it is often panned for its two-dimensional female hero who only exists as a plot unit.
With the boring and not so interesting main character Ritsuka Tachibana, Dance with devils falls into the trap of the outdated female protagonist as well. What makes the series different from its counterparts, however, is its campy, but equally fun version of the entire vampire genre. The show certainly follows the reverse harem formula, but with the many unexpected musical numbers and surprisingly entertaining plot, it offers something completely fresh for those who want to get lost in a major conflict between devils and vampires.
As expected, the story follows Ritsuka Tachibana, an ordinary high school girl who believes that a magical future is just around the corner – in fact, she sings about it on the way to school. However, this dream of her is shattered when the student council summons Ritsuka for breaking the rules. Soon enough, it is revealed that the council members, who are in fact devils, have an ulterior motive. When Rituska’s mother is attacked and kidnapped by a group of vampires, her life is turned upside down. Ritsuka is in the middle of a battle between the vampires and the devils who want to seize Grimoire – a forbidden magic book that will allow the owner to rule the world.
The series’ biggest flaw is the characters. As fans of similar works can guess, ordinary characters, without personalities or character arcs, are one of the main components of both the inverted harem and vampire genres – which makes sense because, the less the character has personality, the more it is. a chance for viewers to identify with them. This is the case, especially for the heroine. Ritsuka’s character has enough individuality to be the center of the story, but apart from this she is ready enough to be adapted by filling in the blanks.
Ritsuka’s brother Lindo and the main love Rem are even more boring. They have all the necessary features for fan service – the beautiful and sexy bishoun with different hair colors – and this is the very reason why they are extremely archetypal and stereotypical. Still, the show is so conscious of its at times scary over-the-top nature that it gives a little wink while playing with all the elements of the genre.
The frequent dives in the parody material often happen with the series’ many musical numbers. On their own, the songs are not interesting, but the way Dance with devils incorporating them makes the experience invaluable. Viewers can never know or predict when a character will start singing. As such, the series does not follow Broadway’s musical conventions, which makes even the most devoted musical theater fan stunned. Fortunately, the dubbed verse has also translated the songs, so viewers can enjoy the musical numbers in different languages.
Although Dance with devils does not promise a solid story as in Hellsing or Jojos bizarre adventureit definitely guarantees an eccentric ride for fans of all reverse harem, and for those looking for a new series they do not have to take seriously.