El Santo vs. The Vampire Women: Annyseed
Submitted by El Santo on October 12, 2009 - 09:45
Getting tired of all these reviews of chibi-vampires? Too bad. El Santo cares not about your weariness over comics where the girls have eyes as big as saucers and dress like they only shop at Hot Topic â€¦ or designed to appear at at shirt in Hot Topic. Chibi-vampires are gold. Chibi-vampires are boffo. When it comes to vampire women, there is only one dominant strain â€¦ the otaku strain â€¦ and its examples are legion. Thereâ€™s Annyseed, for example, a webcomic written by U.K. artist Stuart J. Brown.
In fact, Annyseed is so otaku that it even comes with its own kanji subtitle. How hardcore is that? I will admit, though, that this is a slightly incongruous detail since the story takes place in The Isle of Skye â€¦ which looks, more or less, like the British Isles. Celtic runes wouldâ€™ve been more appropriate.
Although she looks like sheâ€™s a pre-teen, Annyseed, our title character, is much older. She became a vampire at an early age, which permanently stunted her physical maturity at the age of 15. We join her in the modern day. Trust me: despite presence of decrepit buildings and characters wearing clothes straight out of Oliver Twist, her diary entry, as well as the bare midriffs on teenager girls, places this comic in 2009. This makes Annyseed 70 years old and eligible for social security if she were a human.
Annyseed gets adopted by Uncle Tarkwin and Aunt Verlin to take the role of their daughter. Wait a minuteâ€¦ if I read that diary entry right, they took her out of the orphanage in 2009. Did Annyseed really spend 50 frigginâ€™ years in an orphanage? At some point, wouldnâ€™t they figure that, despite her youngish appearance, sheâ€™s got enough experience to take care of herself? I mean, Emmanuel Lewis doesnâ€™t have to still live at his parentâ€™s house, does he?
Anyway, youâ€™ve got to hand it to Tarkwin and Verlin. I personally am not crazy about the idea of having to take care of a teenage girl for more than 5 years, let alone all eternity. Think of the cell phone bills! The two, despite craving for the the refreshing taste of young blood, have more generous hearts than I.
Annyseedâ€™s character profile says â€œshe misses being a human more than most vampires and feels her greatest link the human world is her guitar.â€ Oh, Annyseed, didnâ€™t anyone tell you? Most humans automatically recoil when someone brings out the guitar at a party. You might want to brush up on your Wii Bowling skills instead. Part of Annyseedâ€™s plan to reconnect with humanity is to go back to high school â€¦ which, honestly, does sound like something a batty old lady would do. I do believe that this could be a sign of senile dementia.
Sheâ€™s surprised to find out that high school is notoriously cliquish, which is apparently not at all what it was like back in the day. (There were no such things as nerds, jocks, greasers, and beatniks back in the 50â€™s, you see.) Sheâ€™s mocked mercilessly by Charlotte Peechi (!), who looks and dresses like a Bratz Doll. Fortunately, Annyseed finds friendship with Winston Dunnston, who seems to be the schoolâ€™s only dork. For a comic where everyone has impossibly dewy eyes, by the way, Winstonâ€™s eyes are the impossibly dewiest.
Itâ€™s not just the students that have Annyseed concerned. Thereâ€™s also her teacher, Mr. Coldsteem. (Excuse me for a second: pfffffhahahahahahahaha.) And what a beautiful man (allegedly) this Coldsteem guy is, what with his perfect head of flouncy hair and deep blue eyes you can get lost in for hours on end. Annyseed starts to grow unconfortable around him. Coldstem tends to take a little bit too much interest in her, ogling her and making inappropriate gestures to Annyseed when he thinks no one notices. She starts to suspect that heâ€™s a pervertâ€¦ says the old, blood-sucking woman masquerading as a teenager. However, when you see Mr. Coldsteemâ€™s creepy kewpie-doll face, youâ€™d come to the same conclusion as well.
Annyseedâ€™s adoptive parent suggest that she speak to someone named Witchhazel about her problems. Annyseed, instead, spends a very unproductive afternoon talking to shrubbery. Senile dementia is no laughing matter.
But Coldsteem and the state of Annyseedâ€™s hormones are the least of her worries. Some time after the webcomic switches to a more horror-standard black, white, and red color palette, weâ€™re introduced to a gross old guy who sits around his house all day on something that looks like a toilet. Also, heâ€™s the kind of guy who refuses to wear a shirt. I suppose itâ€™s his house, so heâ€™s got every right to go shirtless if he wants to. But, you know, heâ€™s got the beautiful eyes and pouty red lips that all the ladies will go wild over, and that unattractive cottage-cheese belly is kind of distracting.
It turns out that Annyseed may possess the key in getting him off his life-support system, and heâ€™s enlisted two ninjas to help him. If you canâ€™t guess the massive reveal about the identity of one of the ninjas, you really need to get out more.
Notable contributions to the vampire woman genre:
Chibi-vampires are a powerful curative for what ails you.
Annyseed: â€œFashion, itâ€™s big and itâ€™s bland, full of tension and fear.â€
Charlotte Peechi: â€œWhat?â€
Annyseed: â€œDavid Bowie, 1980.â€
Important Life Lessons:
No one likes it when you quote David Bowie. Seriously. Even Bill â€œSports Guyâ€ Simmons has an anecdote about how he wrote verses from â€œChangesâ€ in his yearbook and came to regret it years later because it made him sound more sad and pathetic than he really was. If you are thinking about ever quoting Bowie, DO NOT DO IT.
El Santoâ€™s predictions for where this story will go in the span of a year:
Annyseed will finally get to pull off her mad guitar playing skills, and all the kids in her school will be wowed despite the fact that she can only really play the opening chords of â€œStairway to Heaven.â€