Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut starts its season with a bit of information overload, but once the introductions stop, the fun begins.
|Created By||Keisuke Makino|
|Directed By||Masato Kitagawa|
|Written By||Keisuke Makino|
|Genre||Drama, Fantasy, Young Adult, Animation, Non-English, Historical|
|Introduced This Episode|
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In a spin on human history, we find ourselves in 1960, and the UZSR (The Zirnitra Union) has just ended a war shared with the United Kingdom of Arnack. But, with great fervor from a war-ending comes the need for new conquests, and both set their sights on space. Thus far, the UZSR is winning the race by putting a satellite and a dog into space, and they even land a spacecraft on the moon. Their next goal is to land a human being, and with the United Kingdom of Arnack flailing just to launch a spacecraft, this final embarrassment is seen as the nail in the coffin for the UK of Arnack.
But, with the Supreme Leader of the UZSR desiring for this great feat to be televised, that is where Lev Leps, someone who will not be chosen to be UZSR’s cosmonaut, steps in. He is to train a vampire, N44, aka Irina, to become the test subject to keep the UZSR from not only humiliating itself but having their first human cosmonaut die on live television.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Is Irina the last living vampire?
- What are the other countries doing during all of this? Are they just recovering from the war or focusing their efforts elsewhere?
What Could Happen Next
- Is it wrong I want Irina to attack someone?
- I’m pretty sure Irina or Lev will fall in love with the other person, but whether it ends up reciprocated is hard to say. But, with a show like this, it probably will.
Subverts The Usual Vampire Mythology
Crosses don’t harm vampires, sunlight just makes them susceptible to heatstroke, and they don’t necessarily need blood to live? We’re given a whole different set of rules, and with that, it pushes you to wonder what Irina can do? It’s noted she can see in the dark well, which is useful, but considering she is left with two young adults with no weapons, is she that dangerous?
By switching things up, you are made to be curious and want to ask questions, especially as each stereotype gets debunked, one by one.
Unfortunately, Lev is the kind of character who, despite you being told of his accomplishments, his personality is such a bore that you realize his resume is all he has. That and he is the kind of nice guy who barely makes an impact. But, as usual in anime, it is the woman he plays off of, Irina, that not only takes his character to the next level but saves the show.
Irina, our darling vampire, with hating humans but not killing the few required to escape, she draws your interest. Add in the question of how she got captured and what happened to her family? The entire show rests on her shoulders, and while her knees may buckle, she carries the first episode well.
On The Fence
If there is one unfortunate thing about any anime dealing with the military or government, it is you can expect a plethora of characters introduced with no means of knowing who is important. Yes, general this, lieutenant that, these titles convey their importance, but like how Lev is introduced, you feel like their importance is in titles and words, with no real action to back it up.
Yet, with knowing Lev will eventually make something out of himself, there is a need to wonder if you should take not of this man, that man, and the few women, outside of Irina, we meet. For while some, like Anya, physically stand out, the rest? Well, they may have minor facial features that are different, but to truly be able to say this person is so and so requires far more effort than you should have to produce.
What’s going to make or break this show is Irina’s relationship with Lev. The background into the space race, clearly, is not a selling point, and despite all the background and world-building done, it all rests on one single character being able to get you invested. So, right now, we’re a bit mixed on Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut but will stick it out.