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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Bloodhound: The Vampire Gigolo, Vol. 3
Bloodhound: The Vampire Gigolo, Vol. 3
Bandai // Unrated // August 21, 2007
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted October 8, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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The Series:

Bloodhound (known as Vampire Gigolo in Japan) comes to a close after only three volumes and 12 episodes.  This final disc wraps up the story of the male escort who happens to be a vampire quite well and even throws in a few unexpected twists.  Unfortunately the heavy-handed humor that marred the show is also present but it takes a back seat (for the most part) to the action this time around.

Series background:

Rion Kanou (Minako Komukai) is high school girl who receives a strange voice mail message on her cell phone one afternoon.  Her best friend, Shiho Aiga (Yurie Kojima) called, 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.

This volume:

Like the other two volumes, this disc contains a pair of two-part stories.  The two stories are strongly linked however and play more like a four part mini-series.  Shiho and a pair of her friends learn of a ritual for summoning a witch.  If you summon her three times, the story goes, she will grant your wish.  They perform the ritual on a rooftop and surprisingly something does appear.  One of the girls snaps a picture with her cell phone before they are all transfixed by the creature.

The next day Shiho tells Rion what happened but the other girl discounts it.  After all, none of the supernatural events that she and Suou have investigated were real.  She changes her mind however when the girl who took the picture lands behind her with a loud thump.  She's been dropped from a great height and has become imbedded in the ground, but there are no tall buildings nearby.

Things go from bad to worse when the remaining two girls summon the witch again.  They want to beg her forgiveness, but instead she hypnotizes them and has them attack Rion.  Eventually Rion discovers what's happening and it's not a witch...it's something much worse.

These last two stories had the same irritating directing style and low production values as the earlier episodes but the scripts were much better.  Although there are still some plot holes (how did those roses change?) the stories hung together much better.  There were also some curves that I didn't see coming thrown in at the end of each story which made the show much more engaging.

The program still has a goofy charm that makes it fun to watch too.  The main problem is the horrible humor.  The jokes aren't funny and some even border on the offensive.  What is it about pedophilia that makes the Japanese think it is funny?   When the junior police detective tells his boss that he's going to follow some school girls home, take pictures of them, and do "other perverted things" I have to admit I laughed.  Not at the joke, but at the thought of a scene like that being broadcast on TV in America.  The uproar would be substantial.

The DVD:


Audio:

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.

Video:

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.

Extras:

The only bonus items are three trailers and a textless ending.

Final Thoughts:

Yeah, this show was 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 there and the end worked very well.  Based on the strong conclusion, this disc is recommended.

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