Dec 252011
 

I can see how being a vampire and a parent can be pretty rough. You get all of the usual parenting grief, but you also have to deal with the notion that your kid is gonna be a kid for several decades or centuries rather than years. Sure, it’s not like you’ll be aging or anything during that time period, so it isn’t like you’re wasting away your time when you could be out cavorting and shit, but it has to be pretty painful knowing that you’ll be spending several lifetimes supporting a little brat.

Don Dracula deals with this very real social problem in a mature, intelligent manner. Call it Bunny Drop meets The Munsters or something.

Dracula isn’t a very good parent. He’s far more concerned with appearances and tradition than he is raising a daughter on his own and dealing with the different issues she has to encounter being a foreign girl in a Japanese night school. Hell, he doesn’t even want her to go to school to begin with. He doesn’t like it that she’s learning about Japanese history instead of Romanian history. He especially doesn’t care for the fact that Dr. Van Helsing, his long-time nemesis, is her Fine Arts teacher. He just can’t adapt to a changing society that allows for vampire hunters to also be teachers. Dracula really needs to get over his antiquated prejudices.

Yeah, this is a demented little kids anime. Dracula has a young daughter named Chocola. For whatever reason, they move to Japan with their manservant Igor. Chocola insists on pretending to be a normal schoolgirl, so she enrolls in an elementary school that inexplicably teaches at night. Dracula spends his nights trying to find hot chicks to seduce and drain dry while trying to avoid Van Helsing and his attempts to wipe out vampire kind.

And it’s all played as a very broad, crude comedy. Van Helsing suffers from chronic diarrhea, which strikes whenever it’s convenient for the plot. It’s the only thing that’s kept the dude from staking Drac and prematurely ending this TV series. At the same time, Dracula’s real nemesis is a portly woman by the name of Blonda. Dracula accidentally drank some of her blood when he first arrived in Japan, and now she wants him to drain her completely. She constantly barges into Drac’s house, proclaiming that her blood pressure is especially high today, because that’s apparently like saying “today’s meat is especially tender” or some shit.

Those stock jokes aren’t what makes this an amusing series, though. It’s all of the weird little touches that make it worth watching. One episode has Van Helsing filling blow up dolls with garlic powder. He plans to sell them to people all across Japan to use as bait. When Dracula or any other vampire barges in and bites into the blow up doll, the thing’ll explode, killing the vampire in a shower of garlic.

But that gag doesn’t stop there. After Van Helsing gets arrested for assumed kidnapping, a group of fishmen who look like the Creature from the Black Lagoon take the blow up dolls and wear them in an attempt to blend in with human society. They’ve been run out of southeast Asia and are looking for a place to live, and they feel their only chance is to wear these dolls and pretend to be hot Japanese women. Never mind that they sound like old men with gargling voices, but that’s their plan. Dracula finds out about this and tries to help them, but in a touch of political commentary he complains about how the foreign service offices are only open during very specific hours and how those hours are during the daytime when he can’t be outside. The fishmen’s plan to become legal immigrants is foiled by the government’s refusal to accommodate those with unique cultural needs, thus reinforcing Japan’s perception as a xenophobic nation. These monsters could very well become functioning members of Japanese society, but Japan’s own unwillingness to adapt culturally, much like Dracula’s own refusal, leads to the fishmen abandoning Japan in search of a more welcoming nation.

It’s weird shit like that which makes this a pretty cool series. There’s an episode where a rat becomes possessed by the collective angst of prep school boys. Another episode has Dracula joining a Dracula fan club. And yet another has Dracula being forced to donate blood for a dying woman whom Drac wanted to feast upon. Dracula dies twice during the series’ brief 8 episode run, and each time Chocola finds some convoluted way to resurrect him. Turns out that Sci Fi clubs in Japan teach you how to clone entire human beings from tiny scraps of flesh.

The bit that sold me on the series came in the first episode. Van Helsing is trying to find out which student in his classroom is Dracula’s child, so he busts out a crucifix and tells his class to draw it as an art project. Chocola avoids the power of the cross by putting on some snazzy sunglasses. Apparently it isn’t the faith that emanates from the cross, or the very sight of the cross itself, that repels vampires, or else dark shades would do jack shit in helping a vampire. It must be some inborn psychological disorder, and the sunglasses are an emotional crutch. See, this series not only tackles pertinent social issues, it also delves into the psyche of the vampire and reveals the truth of their superstitions.

So this was an amusing little series. It just comes down to a bunch of weird gimmicks being strung together, but it’s pretty short and doesn’t wear out its welcome. And I really hope those fishmen made it to the Amazon like Dracula suggested. They really need a good home where people understand their culture.

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