Netflix has been having a tough time recently. They are still the biggest and most popular of streaming services, but their quantity over quality policy has been hurting its reputation with viewers. Each week, the streaming service releases new shows, coming from all around the world. Some of them are fantastic examples of what can be done in the medium of television. However, other than Stranger Things, and The Witcher, Netflix has not been able to create a show that can become some sort of culture milestone.
HBO, Apple TV, and Amazon, are doing the streaming service thing in the opposite way, and people seem to be responding to that. There is less content being released each week, that is true. But the content that is released is of such a high quality that users don’t seem to be bother that at least for now their catalogs are not that extensive. Netflix’s stock has been going down recently, and there are changed coming to the platform, both in terms of content and in the way they do business.
One of the first casualties of these changes was that Netflix basically shut down their animation division entirely. This is such a shame because, some of the most interesting and high quality shows on the platform came in the shape of animation. Show like Blood of Zeus, BoJack Horseman, and Castlevania became fan favorites instantly thanks to the quality of the animation and the writing. Netflix might not be green lighting new animation projects, but there are still some in pipeline.
Vampire in the Garden is one of those animation projects that were still in the pipeline before the animation division shut down. The show is produced by Studio Wit, one of the most hard-working and promising young anime studios in the business. They have been rocking some really good series for Netflix, currently they are producing what is the best anime of the year, Spy x Family.
Vampire in the Garden in an original production by the studio. It isn’t based on any previous show or manga, which makes a somewhat rarity in the anime space. Vampire in the Garden might not reach the heights in animation or in storytelling that Spy x Family does, but with a season consisting of only 5 episodes, the show becomes an easy watch that won’t waste your time.
Vampires are indeed some of the most famous and popular monsters in popular culture. Bran Stoker’s could not have known how his Dracula novel would ignite a whole genre that still feels as strong as ever in 2022. However, Vampire in the Garden isn’t precisely a tale of vampire that focus on the typical vampire tropes. It is the opposite, in fact. We are not here for the blood or the darkness that often comes with these tales. No, we are here because of the feelings.
In a world where vampires and humans are trapped in an endless war. Two women, one belonging to the vampires, and the other one to the humans, meet with the intention of bringing forth a world where both factions can live in peace. As they did, long ago. Of course, thinking about it is easier than actually pulling off something like that.
Vampire in the Garden presents as a fantastic setting. It might be one of the most interesting setting involving vampires and humans that we have ever seen since the Vampire Hunter D films. The world is covered in darkness in what it seems like an eternal blizzard. Which will remind some people of the setting of the video game Frostpunk.
In terms of animation, the show really goes the extra mile, even for a season that only runs for five episodes. You would think Studio Wit would think of this as a lesser project, but they have really put a lot of effort in it. It is clear how talented Studio Wit is when the fluidity of the animation during the action sequences is just so flawless. At moments, there is indeed some lack of detail in characters and backgrounds, but the animation never feels stiff or of bad quality.
There aren’t many action sequences in the show. Not only because the show is only five episodes long, but also because the main focus of the story is the relationship between these two girls. Fine and Momo are our protagonists, and they are equally different and similar in many ways.
Fine is not just any vampire, she’s a vampire queen. She is cultured, kind, and values freedom more than anything. Which is why, and she is forced by her people to become a queen, she looks for an exit. Fine finds a kindred spirit in Momo, a human girl who wants more of life. Momo is sick of the war and join Fine in their search for the mythical land of Eden where both races can co-exist.
The characters look very familiar on a design level of those of Naruto, so at least of the characters designers on that show must be working here as well. It is nice to see this type of character out of the Ninja world, and gives Vampire in the Garden its own identity.
Vampire in the Garden ends up being quite an enjoyable show. In just five episodes, Studio Wit manages to create a complete universe, and filled it with character that we can root for. There is action, horror, emotion, and none of these aspects ever come despite the others. Its balance as a story is pretty nice. So if you are in for what is basically a two hours binge, this is a very nice option. Let’s hope, in the future, Netflix can keep delivering things like this one.