After millennia in hiding, Mina Tepes, the Princess of the ancient covenant and ruler of all vampires, wants change. Using the vast wealth of the Tepes line, she has paid off the entire gross national debt of Japan and in so doing, gained the authority to create a "special district" off the coast of Japan that is to become the future haven to vampires the world over! Now, on the eve of the landmark press conference announcing the existence of vampires to the world, terrorists and rival factions are plotting to assassinate Mina Tepes before she has a chance to make her world-changing announcement.
Adapted to anime.
Manga reader sites (free)
Manga Here, Manga Reader
Rosy's scrawlings on Dance In The Vampire Bund
To be honest, I started reading this with few expectations but soon realised I'd had a few too many. Nearly every part of this story is twisted in some way so that you either can't guess what's about to happen or find yourself wondering just how the writer's got away with it. While the manga isn't nearly as extreme as animes and mangas can be it definitely sits on the extreme fringe, as it carries many of the same trends.
There is one thing that must be said up front. This manga is not for children, despite the main characters appearing like or being children. Appearances are definitely deceiving. Mina is older in character, knowledge and drive than she looks and she looks about 10-12 at most. Probably younger. She is the fake loli of the lolicon genre aspect of the story, luckily kept under control for the most part. All thanks to the loli counterpart of a dirty old man not being included. Instead, her companion, though not lover, is the werewolf "earth child" Akira. Akira is younger than Mina but looks older and has had more experiences than you'd expect of a teenager. The relationship between the two brings out, instead of the sexuality issues of Lolita the growth, sexuality and mental issues of Claudia from Anne Rice's The Vampire Diaries. While there are similarities between both stories there are issues regarding mental instability, the expectations one has when viewing a child and the limitations of having a child's body in Anne Rice's works that match, for the most part, those in Dance in the Vampire Bund. Luckily for Mina, she does have another form.
As you'd expect from my comment on manga extremes, there are plenty of scenes including enormous boobs and suggestions of rape. But like all sex scenes (so far) they're cut short and not very explicit except for the exposed breasts. There is one thing I've noticed; if there is a suggestion of rape or sex then the female is more likely to be nearly completely clothed than naked. Nakedness is reserved for those times when sex isn't to occur but rather sexuality is the underlying theme. And for those who are wondering, so far I haven't seen any tentacles but the story is still ongoing. There is one instance that's close...
Surrounding these two is a whirlwind of political intrigue, assassination attempts, violent school yard antics, vampire crimes and broken hearts. Pretty much everything you could want is included and rarely is it written as you expect. Also, this manga is surprisingly serious at times, tackles some difficult issues and makes you ponder realities you normally wouldn't give much thought.
The illustrations are also appealing although the over sized breasts are a bit annoying to me. Nakedness isn't an issue but proportion is much needed, especially consistent proportion. There is often a significant different in physical features per appearance let alone panel, depending on the desired impact. But, that said, there is little else to annoy and the images are sleekly drawn.
I'd recommend this manga to: adults who like twisted mangas, vampires, werewolves, political conspiracies and school girl stories.
Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.