The Vampire Dies in No Time is a gag anime with lots of slapstick and parodies of vampire clichés. The most serious scenes in the show are the scary, dramatic next episode previews, but even these are tongue-in-cheek as the following episode always reveals that context makes the scene in question just as ridiculous as the story that came before it.
The main characters are two roommates: fragile vampire Draluc and abrasive vampire hunter Ronaldo. Though the two tolerate each other, it's mostly a relationship of convenience. Ronaldo gives Draluc a place to stay and in turn, Draluc gives Ronaldo inspiration for his series of autobiographies. The only roommate who truly seems to care about the others is Draluc's armadillo, John. John paws anxiously at Draluc's remains whenever he gets turned to dust, and cries tears of guilt when Draluc tries to turn him against Ronaldo. Perhaps this is why The Vampire Dies in No Time's most sincere sequence, the end credits, could only ever star John as the protagonist.
The end credits display a partially animated series of vignettes, each one displayed in misty streaks of vibrant, neon colors that stand out -- even in comparison to this strikingly-designed series. The sequence begins with a picture of a castle, fading from monochrome to color. John is then seen with the picture rolled up like a scroll and attached to his back. He waves goodbye to a row of armadillos, surprisingly accompanied by what resembles a green alien. Next, two men take John on board a traditional sailing ship. Especially cute is the scene of him scrubbing the deck with a relatively oversized brush as one of the sailors watches proudly.
The sailors wave John off as be boards a horse-drawn carriage and then a gondola, passing many castles and castle-like structures -- none of which resemble the picture he holds in his tiny paws. He is shown walking down long, grassy paths at night, eventually taking refuge under a canopy from an epic deluge of rain. Tragically, John loses the now-torn picture in the wind. The final shot of the ending shows it blowing in the wind near Draluc's castle as Draluc himself looks on from the roof.
TRD, a duo created by iconic voice actors Daisuke Ono and Takayuki Kondō, provide The Vampire Dies in No Time's ending theme song, "Strangers." The electronic melody and funky bass go perfectly with the bold, punchy art. The lounge-esque keys and snares that kick in as the vocals build to the chorus provide some devilish class, gently reminding the audience that this is still a vampire anime. Ono and Kondō's voices harmonize climactically in the chorus.
The stress John endures on his perilous adventure serves to raise the audience's protective feelings for him, especially the scene of him hiding from the rain. If it wasn't heart-rending enough, the scene positions John as being especially small in the frame, making him look even more fragile. John, being the least cynical and critical of the main cast, is the only one who could carry this sincere sequence in an otherwise sarcastic and satirical show. In fact, the ending's bold simplicity could even be said to resemble a children's picture book, emphasizing its sense of relative innocence.
As an origin story for John, the closing sequence raises more questions than it answers. Draluc calls John his "familiar," but does the presence of antiquated ships and carriages in this ending mean that John is immortal too? If the castle in John's picture is Draluc's, did John know about him -- and did he actually want to meet him? And who on Earth is that alien with the other armadillos? For anime viewers at least, The Vampire Dies in No Time provides no explanation.
Given the turbulent nature of John's life with Draluc -- ending up as a cannonball in his castle's trap room, for example -- a cynical interpretation of this ending is that becoming Draluc's familiar is a tragic conclusion to John's globetrotting quest. It's clear Draluc does care for John, though; taking him along when he goes out, and holding the armadillo protectively when the apartment is overrun by vampire vegetables.
Even if Draluc isn't always the best pet owner, Ronaldo especially has a great deal of love for John, taking it personally when he is upset and offering to take him and kick Draluc out when he first moves in. Draluc and Ronaldo may be dysfunctional throughout The Vampire Dies in No Time, but they are John's family now. It isn't always peaceful, but he has finally found his way home.