Jdrama Review: Vampire Host
English title: Vampire Host / The Vampire Gigolo
Broadcast network: TV Tokyo
Broadcast dates: 4 April – 27 June 2004
Cast: Matsuda Satoshi, Komukai Minako, Sano Shiro, Nobukawa Seijun
Based on: the manga Blood Hound by Yuki Kaori serialized in Hana to Yume in Japan.
Theme song: “Solitude” by angela
Synopsis: Rion’s friend goes missing and this sends Rion to a host club where the hosts pretend to be vampires. The only thing is there is one host who isn’t pretending. Does he have anything to do with Rion’s friend’s disappearance?
The Basics: Matsuda Satoshi stars as Suou a host working in a vampire-themed club. No matter what he does, he is the eternal number 2. He can’t seem to score the number one position (what he covets most besides hard-to-get blood types). Komukai Minako stars as Kanou Rion, a high school student who becomes entangled with Suou and the host club. How exactly? Rion’s best friend goes to the host club, but as she was underage, Suou turns her away. Then the girl goes missing. Determined to find her friend, Rion goes to the club in search of Suou to find answers. Little did she suspect that the club’s premise just might be true.
Key phrase: “I’ll suck your blood” or “I’ll definitely suck your blood” both obviously said by Suou to the point where it got annoying at times and they were just empty threats anyways
Key item: Suou’s necklace, it is a talisman that helps hold back his powers and you can bet it comes off in every single episode so he can transform from host to vampire (further into the series he because obsessed with transforming whether it’s necessary or not)
- Tenran (played by Sano Shiro) is obsessed with cosplay so when Rion has to work off a special bottle of Dom Perignon, she is required to change cosplay uniforms every time (from a nurse to a maid to Arabian Nights)
- Rion kicks Suou at least once an episode (so funny to see Mr. Vampire laid low by a kick from a high school girl). He tries dodging, but always manages to get nailed
- Suou has a speech about the hardships of being a vampire which Rion always interrupts by saying it is too long (half the time Suou gets injured while speaking because he is more focused on his soliloquy and forgets about the bad guys)
Serious, this series is not, but it’s a welcome break from heavier dramas. I finished it all in one day, it was that entertaining to me. In each episode, Suou and Rion explore various “supernatural” mysteries/crimes from witches to werewolves to invisible killers. Oddly enough, Suou does not believe in the existence of supernatural creatures beyond vampires. It is an interesting turn of events to have the vampire be the skeptic versus the human. (Rion is skeptical, but tends to believe things more because if vampires exist, then shouldn’t some of these other things too?)
When Suou and Rion first meet, she doesn’t believe that he is a vampire, who would? But, she eventually finds out that he is the sole vampire in the host club (the other hosts are just imitations). Oddly enough, knowing Suou is a vampire does not really seem to phase Rion who doubts all things supernatural at first.
Suou doesn’t want anything to do with this bratty high schooler, but he takes responsibility for her and starts to help her out, at first reluctantly but later because he starts to care. If you are looking for an overt romance, then this is not the drama for you. There are romantic undertones, but no full-out confession, which is fine because by the end of the final episode, you know how much Rion and Suou care about each other even though it is not totally expressed in words.
My main complaint about this show is the end. It is a little confusing. Suou’s ex comes back and raises hell in hopes to have him finally break down and kill her (she thought she could handle being a vampire, but she couldn’t and begged Suou to kill her – he ran away like a coward). She bites Rion and wouldn’t you know, one bite from a vampire (if they don’t drain you dry) will end up turning you into a vampire. Reira has somewhat noticed the relationship between Rion and Suou and uses that to her advantage. The only way to stop Rion from becoming a vampire is to kill Reira before Rion turns.
Like I said, this is a romance, but the fact that Suou actually goes to kill Reira shows just how much he loves Rion. The fact that Rion doesn’t care if she becomes a vampire if she can be with Suou also proves the love, but like I said, it’s more subtle. During the fight, Reira ends up chopping off Rion’s leg. Suou kills Reira and then rushes over to Rion, who is now human and bleeding to death. Now at this point confusion ensues. He doesn’t want Rion to die nor does he want her to be a vampire. She tells him to bite her and it looks like he does then black screen. And when next we see Rion she is back in school with both legs, on crutches, Suou nowhere to be seen.
So, did she get bitten again? If she did, then she should be a vampire because Suou is still alive. Or did Suou get her and her severed leg to a hospital. I don’t know and that kind of kills the enjoyment of the show when you have an utterly confusing ending. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
This drama is for people who love vampires, hosts and comedic mysteries and of course adult humor.