Izumi Banya is a very odd writer, for while he mostly works on nukige, most of his pieces are lauded for having a very good story. A prime example of one of such works of his is MinDeaD BlooD, an action horror visual novel about an amnesiac vampire trying to find his way in life.
The sinister atmosphere of the work either sucks you straight in or shows it’s not a journey for you with its many depictions of gruesome and psychological perversions. One of my favorite protagonists in the medium, Nanase Shizuru, embraces his vampiric nature by making a game out of corrupting the city he happens to resurrect in. Yet in spite of that, he still retains a semblance of humanity mainly due to his distaste for petty evils and the ability to respect the genuinely noble traits that he sometimes glimpses in his victims.
The various routes delve into themes both romantic and perverse, delivering good action, good drama and a plethora of likable characters. Contrary to most visual novel archetypes, the cast of MinDeaD BlooD is full of malevolent individuals either struggling to repress or downright embracing their nasty urges, which makes them for a very interesting albeit unnerving study. You can choose from well-meaning slashers, nymphomaniac idols, respected teachers harboring sadistic thoughts, sexually repressed housewives, androphobic girls and, of course, vampires.
It was a huge shame that most of the heroines, other than vampire hunter Yuuka, and someone directly related to Shizuru’s past, didn’t have full-fledged routes in the original release of the game. After its success, however, that was fixed with a subsequent fan disc which added a lot more choices and variety to the narrative. The fan disc also adds a route for supreme megalomaniac evil lovers which is always a guilty pleasure of mine; so definitely pick it up if you liked the original.
MinDeaD BlooD is a fascinating work, which despite not shying away from delving into gruesome and perverse, successfully retains interesting narrative and likable characters. Definitely pick it up if darker themes fascinate you as it’s one of the very few modern works that treat vampires with the malevolent respect they deserve.
|Great character designs||Prolonged scenes of physical torture and sexual perversions hurt the pacing|
|Fantastic erotic scenes||Story is not particularly complex, though it’s still, probably inadvertently, thought-provoking|
|Great writing in erotic scenes||
So complicated, it’s impossible to even get into a route without a guide at hand
|Variety of groovy action and melancholic music themes|
Dark, sinister, yet somehow groovy atmosphere
|Fascinatingly perverse, flawed characters|
|Interesting story offers a good take on vampiric existentialism|
|Surprisingly emotionally engrossing toward the end|