There's an old game that I used to play in college back in the 80's.
You think of outrageous descriptions of two people, put the phrase "and
they're both detectives" at the end, and anything you come up with sounds
like a bad TV crime show. There's a certain amount of comfort knowing
that this still works in the 21st Century and that Japan isn't immune to
it either. Case in point: Bloodhound (known as Vampire
Gigolo in Japan). She's a plucky young high school student who
isn't afraid of danger. He's a male prostitute who also happens to
be a vampire. They're both detectives. Yes, the show is as
bad as the description makes it sound, and volume two continues with the
same lame stories and overacting that filled the first one. Even
so, there's some rudimentary charm to the show, and it can be fun to watch.
Rion Kanou (Minako Komukai) is high school girl who receives a strange
voice mail message on her cell phone on afternoon. Her best friend,
Shiho Aiga (Yurie Kojima) call, panicked, and says "Rion, help me!
A real vampire..." Needless to say, Shiho doesn't answer her phone
nor is she home. That mysterious message starts the young high school
girl on a quest to find her friend. The search soon leads Rion to
a "host club" named Kranken Haus, a place where older women can go to spend
the evening with handsome young men dressed in gothic garb. For a
price, of course.
Checking out the club, Rion meets Suou (Satoshi Matsuda), an escort
at the club who dresses as a vampire right down to the long fangs.
It's not really an act though. Not only does Suou dress like a vampire,
but it turns out that he really is one. He can walk in the daylight,
eat garlic, and isn't afraid of crosses, but he's a blood sucker none the
less. He wears a necklace around his neck that dampens his powers
and his thirst for blood; it's the only way he can fit into human society.
Suou didn't take Shiho however, but with Rion's help they start to investigate
and eventually find the missing girl. The pair, though they fight
a lot, decides to continue working with each other and together they investigate
mysterious disappearances and deaths that seem to have supernatural causes.
Like the first volume, this disc contains a pair of two-part stories.
It starts out with the weakest episdoes so far. A couple of women
have been turning up dead, slashed and mangled as if by a werewolf.
All of these women are patrons of Kranken Haus, and when more of their
visitors start turning up dead, business falls off dramatically.
With Suou's blood payments cut back, he starts to investigate just who
or what is scaring off the customers.
Meanwhile Rion bumps into an old friend and renews the acquaintance.
Going over to her apartment one day, she finds the place in a mess.
In the video camera there is a tape that captured everything that happened:
it shows Rion's friend turning into a werewolf. Can Suou and Rion
find the girl and stop her before she kills again?
The next tale picks up a bit. Rion meets a mysterious man on the
street one day. His name is Yuji Katsuragi, and he describes himself
as a "traveling host." He also calls himself the Grim Reaper because
he doesn't take any money from the women he spends time with. He
just takes their lives. Rion doesn't believe this at first, but when
she sees a woman who was dating Yuji jump off a building, and another gets
killed by a car, she has little doubt that he has some control over people's
Suou isn't so easily convinced, but he's also really pissed off.
If there is a host giving his time away for free, who's going to want to
pay at Kranken Haus? The pair tracks down Yuji where he gives them
a demonstration of just what he can do. A woman took off the skull
necklace that he gave her, and the punishment for that is death.
He calls the woman up and tells her to kill herself. As the trio
watches via the woman's webcam, they see her put her head in a noose and
jump off a chair. It seems as if this guy is the Grim Reaper, and
he's given Rion one of his skull necklaces.
Make no mistake, this isn't a quality show. It has very low production
values, bad acting, and jokes that fall flat more often than not.
The plots are pretty stupid too, with the mysteries being more reminiscent
of Scooby Doo than anything else. Like the children's cartoon, it
turns out that there's always a rational explanation for the mysterious
events that the pair stumble across, and these explanations are about as
plausible as the ones on Scooby Doo.
The direction is painfully bad. Cameras are placed on the floor
for no apparent reason, the scene with flash back and forth between two
static shots several time in order to show a relationship (one that the
audience has already picked up on) and the blocking is often horrid and
Having said that, there is a sort of goofy charm to the show.
Yea, it's really cheesy, but I can't say that I didn't have a good time
watching it. The ultra-low budget special effects and the corny plots
make the show fun in an old movie serial kind of way. No one will
ever accuse this show of being great, but it's not the worst thing out
This disc comes with the original Japanese soundtrack in stereo along
with optional English subtitles. There isn't a bud track. The
audio was about average for a low budget production. There wasn't
a huge amount of dynamic range, and the dialog comes across as a bit thin.
In addition, the drums in the background music are pretty anemic sounding.
Besides that the show sounds fine.
The full frame image doesn't look that great, but this is due to the
poor production qualities rather than the fault of the publisher.
The series has a real low budget feel to it and looks like a low grade
soap opera. Some scenes are too bright and filled with blooming whites
and others are too dark. The image is very soft and looks like it
was recorded on low-grade digital video tape. Aliasing was also a
problem and some scenes have excessive edge enhancement, though that's
not a problem through the whole disc. Overall this is a less than
average looking DVD.
The only bonus items are three trailers and a textless 'eyecatch' that
plays at the end of each episode.
With bad acting, lame humor, and simplistic plots, this show should
be a lot worse than it is. Even with the multiple flaws, this program
has a cheesy sort of fun to it that will appeal to fans of movie serials
and 50's SF movies. It's worth checking out, but make it a rental.