Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu

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Japanese: 月とライカと吸血姫
Airing date: 4/10/2021 (Monday release)
Episodes: 12
Genres: Sci-Fi, military
Studio: Arvo Animation

Synopsis: Set in alternate universe around the space race era we have the nations of Zirnitra Union/ UZSR and the United Kingdom of Arnack (UK) competing to get the first man into space. The UZSR have taken the early lead in this race by sending a dog shocking the UK into action. The USZR triumph is not all what it seems though as the dog they launched died mere hours after entering space countering the official state propaganda story that said the dog survived a week.

To avoid similar incidents with their cosmonaut heroes the UZSR decide to test their rockets safety using non-humans. Enter Irina the vampire whose mission is to get into space and give glory to the UZSR! If her flight is a success then surely our Zirnitra heros will follow suit and rise above the UK scum! Should she fail then the whole secret mission will just become another government coverup!


Thoughts: Tsuki certainly adds a twist with the classic space age story by inserting a vampire into the mix! Going by the opening two episodes things seem to off to a good start as whilst the season opener focused on providing the backstory the second was more character driven as we saw Laika undergo a battery of tests to see if she is capable of reaching for the stars. Both episodes were good in different ways as each episode provided something for the audience.

Despite the wild addition of a vampire for the most part this anime faithfully follows the story of the USSR and US's space race as it inserts what really happened to Laika (the real Soviet dog) which is a true story that only came out years after the dog's sad death. That sense of realism could keep those into space fans interested. Meanwhile the second epi, which was more character driven we get to see Irina's personality come more to the forefront as the rigors of space training do not allow her to maintain the stoic facade she maintained in the opener. We also get Anya who I believe is the comic relief loli pervert begin to show her tastes. Right at the death of these episodes we get hints of political interest and a twist in the shape of Laika's handler Lev. Very solid start so I give this a 7/10 for now. One for the space and Sci-Fi fans.

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Thoughts on episode 3 and 4:

The opening two episodes was largely about setting up the story but the next two episodes put a much heavier focus on Irina and Lev's character personalities plus the relationship that appears to be developing. I actually quite liked the third episode as it focuses on one of Irina's primal fears so we get to see a more vulnerable side to her. It is amusing but also uplifting (and stunning its own way) how this matter is resolved.

Going forward from there we also begin to understand the motivations behind why they are undergoing such gruelling training adding a little depth to the characters. There also appears to be a budding relationship brewing that is coming from both sides although again there is resistance from both sides as well. These character developments are nice but if you come into this expecting the plot to be be jugging along then it can be an awkward passage of the anime to get over. There is some political manoeuvres occurring in the background not just on the high-level but also by peers closer to Lev so if that is something you are gunning for there is potential you may get your itch scratched later on.

Hard to say who this anime is directed to as primarily on face value this is for the space/military buffs who like their anime to have some historic component but with the amount of character building plus romantic undertones this series is beginning to give off I am not sure this will appeal to that crowd. If you can like those striking contrast between romance and space action then this anime could be for you. It is an interesting ride but not a totally engrossing one so I personally rate this as a 6.5/10 after the opening four. Hopefully we get good plot developments and the relationship between Lev and Irina builds into something even more wholesome.
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