Stuck at home this Halloween? Or maybe you want to keep the spirit alive in November? Curl up with a manga about a tormented blood-sucking bishonen or watch a cute girl with fangs do battle with evil monsters. There’s something for everyone in the vampire genre: the Dracula lovers, the Twi-hards, the fans of more action-oriented vampires, and even those who usually don’t like their characters with fangs. Here I count down my top 8 (click for the reason behind the number and name) vampires from anime and manga.
Hibari’s Hi 8 – Anime/Manga Vampires
8. Hazuki (Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase) – Don’t go after underage girls wearing cat ears; you might end up in jail or bitten by a vampire. Hazuki really knows how to milk the cute and innocent act, and the dichotomy is what makes her fun to watch.
7. Tatsuhiko Shido (Nightwalker: the Midnight Detective) – If you’re a fan of vampire detectives like Mick St. John of Moonlight and Nick Knight of Forever Knight, then Shido is your man. He comes across as campy and lackadaisical, but like all good vampire sleuths, he’ll always take down the bad guys and angst about his misdeeds.
6. Karin Maaka (Chibi Vampire) – Unlike your normal vampire, Karin has to get rid of excess blood in her by injecting people with her fangs. There’s a nice little side effect to being bitten: you become happy and energetic. She’s a walking, talking form of Prozac!
5. Seraphim (Kore wa Zombie desu ka?) – A tsundere vampire ninja?! How many tropes can you roll into one curvaceous girl’s body? Sera isn’t just fanboy fodder though; she’s got major fighting skills with her Tsubamegaeshi secret sword technique.
4. Abel Nightroad (Trinity Blood) – I read a description of Abel that referred to him as a blood-sucking Vash the Stampede. He’s got the dorky badass thing going, and he’s a vampire of vampires, a mega powerful one at that too.
3. Kaname Kuran (Vampire Knight) – Forget Edward Cullen, teenage girls should be falling head over heels over Kaname. He’s the right combo of the perfect gentleman and a ruthless killer. Okay, so the last part makes him not the best boyfriend in the world, but what’s a vampire without a little bite?
2. Saya Otonashi (Blood+) – I was going to pick Haji for his unwavering devotion, but I really liked how Saya’s character grew throughout the series (plus I’m a fan of tough vampire-slaying girls). Saya finds inner strength and steps up to her duties in the face of tragedy, yet she never completely loses her compassion.
1. Alucard (Hellsing) – He’s one part creepy, two parts mean, and a ton of cool. He’s the right balance of good and evil that makes vampires so appealing, and it seems like he’s got all the powers associated with vampirism, plus great aim. Not to mention he’s got a wicked sense of style.
If the creatures of the night aren’t your thing, how about some daywalkers? They usually experience the best of both worlds while never belonging in either. For my bonus list, I’ve got both your traditional dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) as well as other interesting blends.
+4 Bonus – Dhampirs and other mixed breeds
4. Paifu (Cowa!) – Leave it to Akira Toriyama to make a vampire and were-koala (yes koala) hybrid. Paifu gets into a lot of trouble with his buddy, a ghost named José, but he’s a good kid who ends up saving his village.
3. Tsukimiya (Bloody Cross) – Usually a girl who is both angel and devil only resides in your dreams. Tsukimiya is closest thing to being literally both. She practically killed a demon with a snap of her fingers and then used her sex appeal to turn the tables on another foe. Underneath that good girl façade is definitely one sexy fiend.
2. Miyu (Vampire Princess Miyu) – Miyu embodies many dualities: demon and human (interestingly the mom is the vampire in the OAV), childishness and wisdom, coldness and compassion. When she fights, it’s more like she’s dancing, and even though she’ll bleed you dry, she will grant your wish.
1. D (Vampire Hunter D) – D is both the beautiful loner anti-hero of a gothic romance and the noble and mysterious hero of a Western (except that his horse is a cyborg). While he is a half-man of few words, he has a symbiote who supplies humorous commentary. D is a little bit of everything and an exceptionally strong fighter above all so it’s no wonder both women and men are entranced by his presence.
Listening to: “Selfish” by Kumi Koda