The Vampire Dies in No Time Reveals the Origins of 2021’s Best Boy

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 11 of The Vampire Dies in No Time, currently streaming on Funimation.

The Vampire Dies in No Time is a supernatural comedy about the vampire Draluc and his vampire hunter roommate Ronaldo, but the series' breakout star might just be John, Draluc's armadillo familiar. Episode 11 of the anime finally reveals John's origins and how he came to live with Draluc. Over the course of two segments, the anime explores the turbulent origin of John and Draluc's relationship and explains that the vampire really does know what he's doing with the resilient armadillo.

The segments begin with Ronaldo chastising Draluc for using John as a bowling ball. John doesn't seem to mind, happily making his unique "nu" sounds until Ronaldo turns Draluc into dust. Ronaldo's overprotectiveness of John in this scene foreshadows a theme of these segments, as John tells Ronaldo a story of a time when Draluc also made an assumption about his wellbeing. He tries to at least before Draluc steps in to translate for him.

The story begins when Draluc recounts meeting John on a family trip to South America. In the flashback. Draluc's notoriously exhausting grandfather, known only as Progenitor, insists on giving Draluc and his father Draus pets as gifts. Draus inexplicably receives an alien-looking cryptid, prompting Draluc to be understandably apprehensive of his gift. Luckily, Progenitor instead reveals a tiny, injured armadillo in the palm of his hand.

An injured John the Armadillo lies on a pillow in The Vampire Dies in No Time.

John's voice actress Tamura Mutsumi even voices the younger John's "nu" sounds differently, as Draluc treats him with the help of some miniature dressing. His family proposes various unusual names for him, making Draluc's forgone choice of the relatively generic "John" more ironic. Draluc later witnesses John use his Sonic the Hedgehog-esque ability to curl into a ball and charge forwards to protect another armadillo from a mosquito-like inferior vampire. It is important for the flashback to establish that even the younger John is already capable of this ability, as he uses it again in two key moments later on.

Seeing the other armadillos cheer John, Draluc decides that he will be happier among his own kind. An armadillo elder explains to John that Draluc and his family have left for this reason, but John eventually resolves to reunite with him anyway. It is interesting that John knows that Draluc left for his own good. If John had returned to Draluc to find out if he still cared about him, his journey might have been even more dramatic and remarkable. But the fact that he understands but disagrees with Draluc's presumption of what's best for him reinforces the theme of the episode that John is more capable and independent than people think he is.

A bruised John looks up in the forest Sun in The Vampire Dies in No Time.

The odyssey that follows finally fills in the gaps in the series' striking opening sequence, confirming that he made it back to Draluc's castle with the help of strangers who were willing to do him a favor. That sequence's neon-flushed storybook style is replaced by the slightly more realistic style of the show. In the context of the series proper, John's dangerous adventure is even more heartrending, accompanied by beautiful Celtic-sounding flutes that further give the impression of an epic journey.

At this point, Draus visits Draluc in his room. Draluc insists that he has already moved on from John, but his room is filled with various sports and exercise balls that presumably remind him of him. This comes right after a bruised John cowers in shelter from the rain in one of the series' most genuinely moving moments, so the comic relief couldn't come at a better time. Draus even reveals that he kisses a photo of his hard-working wife every time he goes to sleep in his coffin, much to Draluc's immature disgust.

John finally catches up with Draluc as he takes a walk in the forest, using his charge ability to rescue Draluc from an Old-Man-Legs Ostrich. He then charges again, this time at Draluc. This could be because he is so frustrated that Draluc tried to decide what was best for him or as a punishment for inadvertently making him go on such a perilous journey. John explains everything to Draluc, who can't believe his foolishness - and hugs John.

Draluc hugs John in the forest in The Vampire Dies in No Time.

Finally, Draluc offers John a sip of his blood to turn him into his immortal familiar, which he agrees to. This scene seems designed to reassure John fans that he was not somehow coerced into being Draluc's familiar, and loves his turbulent life with him. In fact, the whole episode seems to be this, given John's dedication to tracking him down again. When John is a baby, Draluc even says he will only turn John when he grows up, presumably so that he doesn't have to be an infant forever.

When Draluc relays the story to Ronaldo, he can barely contain his disappointment and jealousy that Draluc has a closer relationship with John than him. Ronaldo responds by punching Draluc, once again turning him into dust and criticizing him for using John as a bowling ball, much to John's distress. This shows that, even though Ronaldo cares for John in his own way, the blustering hunter has missed the key message of his story. John knows what's best for himself, and doesn't always need his well-meaning friends to protect him.

The characters of FreakAngels, Crunchyroll's new anime adaptation of the 2011 Warren Ellis comic.
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