You wouldn’t really think that singing vampires in visual kei inspired costumes could go too far wrong. The visual spectacle alone should be entertaining and if they actually managed to create a half-decent story to hold it together, it would make Visual Prison worth watching. Throw in my love of vampires in fiction and I was definitely checking this anime out.
But did they manage to make me want to keep watching.
Watch or Drop? Rules
Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.
- The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
- I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
First Impressions of Visual Prison
Okay, ten minutes into the first episode and we’ve had a character catch a train and walk a bit and in between we’ve had him listening to music with cut-aways to a music video, then a band literally drop out of the sky and sing, then another band kind of show up and sing as well.
And for some reason they have swords with microphones on the pommels.
Problem is, once you stop looking at the interesting costumes you realise there’s pretty much nothing happening here other than singing and the performances aren’t interesting enough to make you want to stick around and listen to yet another vampire sing.
Honestly, this first episode of Visual Prison was definitely even less enthused about narrative than I suspected from the write up.
Visual Prison Series Positives:
If you are after a wide range of hot vampire designs with extremely overdone wardrobes than you’ll probably find exactly what you are looking for here. The character designs are by far the most interesting, if perhaps only interesting, thing going on in this episode.
Now I’ll admit, I did bow out before I got to the end of episode one but that was only because having already determined I was not continuing with this anime my brain went into hyper-critical mode and ultimately it just wasn’t worth spending any longer on it.
So positives for Visual Prison? I’m sure the art-book will end up looking amazing.
Visual Prison Series Negatives:
Okay let’s just focus in on the swords that are microphones and how awkward and ridiculous that looks. Not to mention, for what purpose?
That anime episodes only have twenty minutes in which to convey anything and half of this episode is gone and I actually couldn’t tell you the main character’s name. Actually about the only name I really got was the front man of the band he liked.
More than that, I was struggling at times to understand how sequences were supposed to fit together. We have these two vampires show up in a helicopter and they are seemingly talking to the crowd but there’s no helicopter noise or excessive wind as there should be if they actually opened a helicopter door and stood there.
They then go through this elaborate ritual where they kind of pay homage to the moon but they clearly aren’t in the helicopter at that point. If anything it was like that nebulous space where Sailor Moon transformation sequences occur, only there was no transformation. Though they did get their sword/microphones. Anyway, after that we’re back in the helicopter and leap out.
I think they then perform on the stage which might be the pop-up one that appeared on the back of a truck but while they are performing it looks way larger.
And wow I’ve listened to three edgy songs excessively laden down with the type of imagery one expects from a high school poet and care not even a little bit about anything going on here in Visual Prison.
I’ll be blunt… No. If I had a choice of watching the rest of this first episode or watching the first episode of Tesla Note on repeat five times, I would not choose to finish watching this episode.
Visual Prison seemed like an apt title. The visuals drew me in but then I felt trapped until I remember I can just close the player.
Images from: Visual Prison. Dir. J. Furuta. A-1 Pictures. 2021
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