Miyu, Vampire Princess

Miyu, Vampire Princess

(pop culture)

Vampire Princess Miyu, a highly successful vampire character from Japan, made her initial impressive appearance in a popular four-episode video released in 1988 and translated into English in 1990. Created by graphic artist Narumi Kakinouchi, Miyu is a member of a vampire clan who serve a peculiar role in the realm dividing the natural and supernatural worlds.

According to the myth, the Shinma, the gods and demons, abandoned the natural world to human beings in the historical past. They now reside in the Dark, a distant netherworld, and it is left to the vampire clan to guard the barrier between the two worlds. In the present, one group of Shinma decide to return to earth. Miyu, as the present guardian of the gateway between the worlds, has the task of tracking down these Shinma and returning them to their sleep state in the netherworld.

To accomplish her task, Miyu’s aging was halted and she is not affected, as are most vampires, by sunlight, garlic, or religious symbols. She moves among humans as a beautiful young girl but must pick and choose people who will serve as her food source. Early in her Shinma-fighting career, Miyu encounters Himiko, a spiritualist who attempts to exorcise a young girl possessed by a Raen, a Shinma. Miyu intervenes when Himiko’s efforts prove unavailing, and the two became associates. Miyu also works with Vampire Princess Yui.

After the success of the video, Miyu became the subject of many comic books, the first of which was translated into English in 1995 as the beginning of the series Vampire Miyu. In October 1997 Japanese television began airing a twenty-six-episode Princess Miyu television show.

The Japanese manga of Princess Miyu was published by Antarctic Press in 1995, but the series was discontinued after only six issues. It was subsequently picked up by Studio Ironcat which began a long run in 1997. The comic series was later reprinted as trade paperbacks.

The original animé series was issued in English on VHS and more recently on DVD. Tokyopop released the television series on six DVDs in 2003.

Sources:

Kakinouchi, Naumi. Vampire Miyu. Nos. 1–6. San Antonio, TX: Antarctic Press, 1995–96.
———. New Vampire Miyu. Kuni Kamura, trans. Fredericksburg, VA: Studio Ironcat, 1997–2000. 5 vols.

Mongolia, Vampires in see: Tibet, Vampires in