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Midnight Detective: Nightwalker

a.k.a. Nightwalker

a.k.a. Mayonaka no Tantei: Nightwalker

nightwalker-1
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: AIC/Bandai Visual/TV Tokyo
Format: 12 OVA
Dates: 7/8/1998 to 9/23/1998

Tatsuhiko Shido is a private eye living in Japan, but what most people don’t know is that he’s also a vampire suffering from amnesia and has no memory of when he was still human. With the help of the government agent Yayoi, the orphan teenager Riho and the little green imp Guni, they solve cases that deal specifically with Night Breeds, demons who live in a dark world. However, Cain, the one who turned Shido into a vampire, searches for Shido to make the worlds of light and dark collide.

summary by Eek

 

Reviewed: 11/26/2004 by
Grade: 63% av-Eek

Highs: Digs deep into many characters; captures the vampire’s paradox

Lows: Mostly episodic; numerous plot holes; dull background music

Most anime and live-action film never bother to stick to vampire lore down to the letter. Sometimes, this can lead to innovation, and other times, it leads to potential squandered. Nightwalker‘s qualities fall into both categories.

This anime goes very right when we’re offered introspective looks into many characters. In particular, Shido, Riho and Yayoi are fleshed out remarkably well, and it’s easy to see the rights and wrongs in their lives; sympathizing with them becomes easier done than said. In addition, even some side characters are put under the microscope and given a very close inspection. However, where this anime is truly masterful is how it focuses on the paradox of the vampire. The life of a vampire isn’t all peaches and cream, and this series doesn’t pretend so. While vampires are offered nearly limitless power, they must live in an existence that transcends time and death.

And things go wrong, as well. Most episodes are self-contained cases that generally go like this: random person dies, Shido and company investigate, fight occurs, resolution of some sort. Lather, rinse and repeat. Even those episodes that aren’t episodic have a short-lived plot involving an event known as the Golden Dawn. Yet, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t tell you what the Golden Dawn is because it’s never explained… and that’s just one plot hole. Others include the late-breaking of some events for no particular reason, and how the series ends without resolving the ongoing strife between Shido and Cain (no, not Kain). More as an aside, the background music is just lame. Filled with generally bad electronic synth, the tempo just seems to drone on even when action scenes pop up. This ultimately kills any potential atmosphere this anime tries to create.

When Nightwalker excels, it really excels, and when it falls short, it really falls short. I wouldn’t recommend this anime to anyone in particular, but if you happen to see it available for rent somewhere, it’s a mildly entertaining way to spend an evening.

 

Midnight Detective: Nightwalker can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.

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