Set in modern day London, the story takes place in a world where “Shadows” are born from human fear and anxiety. A young girl arrives to study abroad, only to be caught in a bizarre incident as she enters university. In a city with no acquaintances, the helpless girl wanders into “Café Forbidden,” a mysterious café that exclusively opens at midnight. She meets an assortment of handsome men employed at the café, where guardians who protect the boundary between humans and shadow convene.
Reverse harem anime are on fire as of late. So we have a vampire, a werewolf, and a Jiangshi as the male leads. I spent half the episode trying to puzzle out the significance of Ton’s bizarrely un-Japanese name. In as much as I like to go into as many shows as possible completely blind, I do wish I’d realized this was a Chinese co-production beforehand, it wouldn’t have been nearly so distracting.
That was fun though. Obviously we’re going down the path of Shōjo/Otome here, but as a couple of people pointed out, the protagonist has a bit more life about her than you’d normally expect from the genre…. that said, she did seem to drift from ‘plucky’ into ‘suicidally lacking in any regard for personal safety’ a couple of times there. I had been rationalizing that as this being her first time outside of Japan and not knowing you don’t just barrel around London parks and back alleys in the middle of the night, but that got kind of torpedoed by the realization she’s from bloody Beijing or Hong Kong or something.
The Twilight brigade seem pretty entertaining, in spite of ‘Vlad Garfunkel’ being right up there with the stupidest anime names of all time… I am kind of curious if the big guy is actually a Jiangshi or not. It’s the only Chinese supernatural creature that immediately comes to mind for a trio with a western vampire and a werewolf, but he doesn’t seem to have any of the characteristics. I don’t think materializing rotary auto cannons comes up very often as a magical power in Chinese myth. This could end up being pretty boringly generic, but I’m definitely interested enough to this a few episodes and see where this goes.