The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess Review

The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess Review

The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess anime series cover art
The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess

Not the First Shut-In Vampire

The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess (Hikikomari Kyuuketsuki no Monmon / ひきこまり吸血姫の悶々) is a comedy series about the weakest vampire in the Mulnite Empire. This vampire, Terakomari Gandesblood, is also a hikikomori. And, this is where the pun in the Japanese title comes from.

“Hikikomari” is a portmanteau of Hikikomori (a shut-in) and Terakomari (the protagonist). This is an example of a Japanese title that simply doesn’t work in English. How are you supposed to translate Hikikomari into English and have the joke still work? You can’t — at least, not that I can think of.

Something else I want to mention is that this isn’t the first anime about a shut-in vampire. Specifically, it made me think of Ms. Vampire who lives in my neighborhood. But, that doesn’t mean these two anime are similar in any other way. That series is a CGDCT slice of life anime.

Terakomari being wary of Karen from the anime series The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess
Terakomari being wary of Karen

With all of that out of the way, what’s Hikikomari actually about then? As I said, Terakomari is the weakest vampire in the Mulnite Empire. Unlike the other vampires, she can’t use magic and she finds drinking blood disgusting. This is despite her being from the powerful Gandesblood clan.

In this world, there are something like six major nations that are all in a constant state of war with each other. But, their wars are a bit different than what we know of as war. This is because, when you die, the dark core revives you after a few days.

Terakomari became a shut-in because of how weak she is and her fear of dying. But, in an attempt to get her to leave her room, her father gets her a job as one of the seven Crimson Lords. These are the commanders of the Mulnite military.

Terakomari of the Seven Crimson Lords

So, how does the weakest of the vampires become one of the Seven Crimson Lords? If you guessed that Terakomari isn’t actually weak, you’d be correct. In fact, she’s one of the strongest vampires, if not the strongest. She just doesn’t know it.

Terakomari believing she’s weak is a bit of a problem, though. In the Mulnite empire, the strong survive and the weak are killed (and then revived). There’s no way the soldiers under her would follow a weak leader. If they smell the faintest hint of weakness, they’ll overthrow her.

And so, this is where a lot of the comedy of the series comes in. Terakomari constantly has to act like she’s strong even though she doesn’t believe she is. She has to talk a big game and make excuses when it comes time to show off what she can do.

Villhaze and Terakomari from the anime series The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess
Villhaze and Terakomari

In some cases, Terakomari gets extremely lucky. For example, the first time she meets her men, one of them attacks her. Surprised by this sudden attack, she slams the door shut on the soldier, killing him. The other soldiers see this as intentional on her part and applaud her combat prowess.

Other times, it’s Terakomari’s maid, Villhaze, who makes Terakomari appear strong. Villhaze will work behind the scenes to ensure Terakomari wins any fight she happens to get into. Sometimes she does this by laying traps beforehand. And, other times, she’ll do things like assassinate Terakomari’s opponent.

This is the kind of content I was hoping would be the majority of this series. But, that turned out not to be the case. There was a lot of it, for sure. And there was a lot of comedy revolving around Villhaze’s love of Terakomari. But, Hikikomari tried to be serious, too.

Serious Plots in Comedy

It feels like the majority of comedy anime, at one point or another, get serious. I guess the thought process is that comedy alone can only take a series so far. Surely, the viewers (or readers) will get bored if there’s no meaningful conflict.

I disagree with this assessment of comedy series. Oftentimes, once the series becomes serious, that’s when I lose interest. And, that’s exactly what happened with Hikikomari. Introducing the antagonist organization that wants to destroy the dark core is fine. But, nothing about it was funny. That’s the issue.

If I want to watch an anime with serious plot points, I’ll watch something that isn’t a comedy. I’ll watch a drama anime. Why? Because if what I want is a serious plot, the drama anime is going to be better. And the opposite is true if I want to watch something funny.

Terakomari shocked by something Villhaze said from the anime series The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess
Terakomari shocked by something Villhaze said

After the first few episodes, the majority of the time I was watching this series, I was looking at my phone. It’s just not an interesting series when it’s not focused on the comedy. And, like many similar comedy series, it’s less and less about the comedy as it progresses.

By the end of the series, I was sitting through the episodes just so I could finish it. I didn’t care about the plot. And I definitely didn’t care about all the other characters introduced. There were quite a few new characters who appeared in the last four or five episodes.

If these new characters introduced anything new to the series, that would be one thing. But, overall, they didn’t. The only reason they were there was so each of the nations could have their own representative. Like, what did Zutazutasuk Prohelia (voiced by Aoi Yuuki) even do?

Final Thoughts

I’ll give The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess a 6/10. It was fine. It had its good moments. But, as I said, the series tried to become serious, and I don’t think that paid off. If there’s ever a second season of this show, I doubt I’ll watch it.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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