The Vampire Dies in No Time: Draluc’s Father Brings an Unexpectedly Sincere Moment

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 7 of The Vampire Dies in No Time, currently streaming on Funimation. 

The Vampire Dies in No Time is a tongue-in-cheek gag anime with no time for plot development or character arcs. This easygoing feeling and the rapid-fire jokes are the series' greatest strengths, but that doesn't mean the series can't have some meaningful moments.

Draluc is a weak vampire who lives with vampire hunter Ronaldo. A segment in Episode 7 sees Draluc's father Draus visit their apartment to see how he is managing while living in the city. When Draus discovers the way Ronaldo has been treating Draluc, he decides to take him back home -- but he'll have to find him first.

Ronaldo chastises Draus, who has a photo album, in The Vampire Dies in No Time.

The segment begins with Draluc interrupting Ronaldo's autobiography writing to try to get him to play video games. Instead, Ronaldo leaves Draluc with the neighborhood kids so he can work in peace. When Ronaldo returns to the apartment, he finds Draus waiting for him. Showing Ronaldo a book of photos of Draluc, Draus explains his sworn duty to protect Draluc. Ronaldo attacks Draus out of habit, causing him to realize that Ronaldo frequently kills Draluc. John, Draluc's armadillo familiar, becomes despondent when he recalls one of the times that he was mistreated by Ronaldo as well. Draus, horrified, decides that it's time to take Draluc home.

Ronaldo does not want to lose Draluc because his readers respond well to their partnership. As the two set off to look for Draluc in the city, they bump into multiple characters who don't know where he could be. Vampire Control agent Hinaichi hasn't seen him, but being a big fan of Draluc's cooking, asks Ronaldo to get him to make pudding for her, Vampire Empress Maremi Gekkoin laughs at the situation, wondering if Draluc and Ronaldo are "fighting," while the hunter with a bionic arm is nervous to meet Draluc's father. Comically, the only person who might have information about where Draluc is is Ronaldo's self-styled nemesis Tou Handa, whom Ronaldo walks away from.

Draus listens to the townspeople's testimony and realizes what a turbulent reputation Draluc has made for himself in the city. He reminisces about Draluc's lonely life in his old castle. In flashback, Draus recalls asking Draluc whether he was bored all alone in his castle, but at the time, Draluc says he's content with just John and his games. This is followed by a shot that zooms out and emphasizes how solitary Draluc is in the castle. Deciding that Draluc's life has become more interesting and seeing that he has made more friends since living with Ronaldo, Draus decides that Draluc should stay after all. Even if his life has become somewhat more dangerous, Draus notes that Draluc seems to be having fun in his new home.

There are a few reasons why this simple scene is so effective. The townspeople's testimony references specific events from the series, from Draluc cooking for Hinaichi in Episode 4 to something as recent as a hunter's plea for Draluc to stop calling him a certain nickname because of a gag in the same episode. The way these funny moments from previous episodes are presented as typically characteristic of Draluc realistically come together to show how seemingly insignificant events can add up to create powerfully nostalgic memories.

Draluc stands alone in his castle holding John in The Vampire Dies in No Time.

Another powerful element of the segment is a brief flashback to Draluc's loneliness in his castle. The fact that Draluc seems perfectly content to not have any human or vampire friends and to spend every day doing nothing but play video games comes off as a bit pitiful. But this also makes the life Draluc has now that he not only has John and his video games, but also has a community of friends and goes on fun adventures with them. It also contrasts Draus' comment that he has protected Draluc his whole life, because now he is learning that Draluc has managed to thrive in his own way as part of an entirely different world that Draus knew nothing about.

Finally, it is impactful because it is so unexpected. In anime with back-to-back emotional scenes, the constant drama can be exhausting. Taking a series with ridiculous, upbeat characters like Draluc and Ronaldo and exploring their emotional development is surprisingly effective because it's not expected. This segment is emotional, but not tragic or heartrending. The series was wise to use such a light touch in portraying the emotional high point of Draus's pride in his son and his new, more adventurous life. An excessively sad or profound emotional scene might have undermined the straightforward appeal of the characters.

The Vampire Dies in No Time is a comedy above all, but great comedy comes from strong characters. This effect can be strengthened when the characters are humanized, as in this unexpectedly emotional segment that gets the audience to care about Draluc's mental wellbeing more than ever before. The series will surely return to its regularly scheduled nonsense in the next episode though, but stronger than ever with this new insight into its cast.

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