Tokyo Vampire Hotel

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Tokyo Vampire Hotel
Tokyo Vampire Hotel.jpg
Genre Horror fiction
Screenplay by Sion Sono
Directed by Sion Sono
Starring Ami Tomite
Kaho
Shinnosuke Mitsushima
Theme music composer tricot
Country of origin Japan
Original language(s) Japanese
No. of episodes 9
Production
Producer(s) Bogdan Craciun
Running time 29-52 minutes per episode
142 minutes (film version)
Distributor Amazon.co.jp
Release
Original network Amazon Video
Original release 16 June 2017 (2017-06-16)

Tokyo Vampire Hotel (東京ヴァンパイアホテル) is a 2017 Japanese nine-part[1] horror television miniseries directed by Sion Sono. All episodes (episode 8 was split into two parts for streaming) were originally released on Amazon Video on June 16, 2017. A special feature-length cut running 2 hours and 22 minutes was shown at various festivals, including the 2017 Chicago International Film Festival.[2] The theme song "Tokyo Vampire Hotel" is performed by the Japanese math rock band tricot.

Plot[edit]

Manami is targeted by the rival vampire clans the Draculas and the Corvins on her 22nd birthday. That night, young men and women are invited to Hotel Requiem for a special coupling party held by Yamada, a Corvin vampire who lives in and operates the ornately beautiful, palatial hotel with his partner Elizabeth Báthory. Yamada declares to the gathered crowd that the world is ending and only the people inside the hotel will be saved. The Dracula vampire K, who possesses tremendous power, struggles against the other vampires to save Manami.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

# Title
1"episode 1 (38:47)"
This episode briefly shows the origin of the vampires before jumping forward to the year 2021, where the rival vampire clans the Draculas and the Corvins hunt down Manami to a café, killing all humans around her. A female vampire tells K on the phone that she will meet her in three minutes after eliminating the witnesses. Yamada of the Corvins eventually takes Manami away in his car.
2"episode 2 (43:47)"
In a flashback it is explained that the parents of Manami are paid off to stay together by the vampires watching them. One day young Manami bites her mother on a playground so the vampires arrange for a new wife for her father. Years later, in 2006, K and her friend Noah, who was born in Transylvania and moved to Japan, visit the historical sites of the area as Japanese exchange students. They encounter a girl who leads them through tunnels under the city to Corvin Castle, where a celebration is being held in honor of the day when Corvin slayed Dracula. The girls are abducted by vampires and taken to Hotel Requiem, the lair of the Corvin vampires Elizabeth Báthory and Yamada. Báthory and Yamada feed on Noah while K is stabbed and taken underground to the ancient Draculas and made one of them.
3"episode 3 (51:02)"
Several Japanese singles receive invitations to an evening party at a fancy hotel and are locked inside for a special "Coupling Party" where they are told that they will receive one million yen if they form a couple there. Manami is brought to the hotel, where they cut her for blood and determine that her powers will activate in two hours when she turns 22. Noah feeds her own blood to Manami to heal her wounds. Yamada becomes angry when he sees his father on television because his father gave him up to the hotel in order to become Prime Minister. Manami attempts to escape but is blocked by hotel staff so she joins the others at the Coupling Party, where she is spotted by K but is escorted away by Noah. The guests, all of whom are orphans, are shown a presentation for Super World, a life at the hotel without the worries of the normal world. They are told that the world will end that night with nuclear explosions all around the world but that the guests and staff of the hotel will survive and must stay in the hotel for 100 years. Yamada shows them a video of Tokyo being destroyed by a nuclear explosion as well as other destroyed cities around the world, then begins killing guests who attempt to leave.
4"episode 4 (38:10)"
The guests are sent to separate rooms and instructed to create families for the vampires to feed on. K manipulates the surveillance camera in Manami's room so that it displays a loop of her sitting on the bed and takes Manami out of the room. Yamada's adoptive vampire mother is withering from lack of blood and fears she will turn into a hotel like her sister so she sends Yamada to fetch Manami, where they discover that she is missing. Noah assists Manami and K by opening a secret door that can only be opened by those with Corvin blood. Manami is told that she is the only one of the three children in the prophecy born in 1999 who stayed alive to reach the age of 22, when her blood matures and gains its power. She is taken to the Dracula clan, which has been trapped underground in a salt mine by the Corvins for 300 years, and introduced to K's lover, the head of the Dracula clan. Noah pledges to help them and is fed by the leader. The leader then has sex with Manami and feeds on her as the others watch.
5"episode 5 (40:57)"
The leader of the Dracula clan provides Manami for the others to feed on and tells Noah and K to go to Transylvania, promising that he and K will be together when she returns. Noah's unrequited love for K leads to an argument. K knocks out Noah and takes Manami to the hotel. Several party guests meet and decide to fight the vampires but other guests resist, convinced that the world outside has actually ended. "Mother" appears to die and Yamada becomes the king, much to the celebration of the Corvins, who begin wantonly killing guests. The guests fight back using the weapons and firearms on display in the hotel but the vampires do not die. K uses flaming arrows to burn the vampires' shadows and slow them, then cuts off their heads to kill them. Yamada convinces Noah to switch to his side. Some guests make it to the entrance but are caught by Yamada and the Corvins. "Mother" begins to bleed as her heart starts beating again.
6"episode 6 (43:54)"
"Mother" returns in a shriveled doll-like form and is made Elizabeth's pet. Attempted escapee Gen does not believe the world has ended so Yamada lets him open the front door, where he sees the world in flames and begs to come back, which Yamada allows. Elizabeth and other Corvins find K and Manami and identify them as Dracula vampires because of their old-fashioned fear of crucifixes. They take them underground to and cut Manami to feed her blood to the empress, the sister of their adoptive mother. As Elizabeth and Yamada also feed on Manami, Manami takes full vampire form and escapes. Yamada and Elizabeth feed K to the living walls full of sacrificed victims who did not start families or rebelled against the vampires. The attempted escapees are given mere minutes to form a couple and those who don't are consumed by the vampires. The staff members encourage the couples to have sex in their rooms, often participating in the act themselves. K is given a sword to cut herself for blood for the living hotel that is actually the body of the empress but instead she cuts open the empress herself and feeds on her to consume the power of the hotel. K then heads upstairs and begins killing the hotel staff in each room, prompting the guests to revolt using the weapons on display.
7"episode 7 (43:08)"
Guests use their new knowledge of the vampires' weaknesses to battle them. Elizabeth notices that "Mother" is missing from her dollhouse and sends Yamada out to get her. Yamada challenges the guests to attack him. He is unfazed by bullets but a stray cigarette lights his shadow on fire. The guests notice blood pouring from the walls and begin cutting and shooting the walls, harming the empress. Yamada extinguishes himself in a fountain and moves underground to find the empress's body eviscerated. Elizabeth is beheaded by a guest and Yamada cuts his own head off out of sadness. They both fall into the fountain and their blood rejuvenates the empress. K reports her success to the Dracula leader, who tells her to send Manami back to Transylvania but to stay in Japan herself because he no longer needs her. Heartbroken, K picks up a gun to commit suicide but is attacked by guards and uses it against them instead. She focuses her anger on destroying all vampires. Manami asks K to shoot her but K refuses. Noah calls for K and K tells Manami she will meet her in three minutes, which is what the girl who abducted her at the café said. Manami realizes the connection and begins killing everyone in her way. Noah stabs K and K cuts off Noah's head. Members of the Dracula clan arrive and attempt to sacrifice Manami but K kills them instead. Overcome by sadness, Manami allows herself to be killed by guests.
8"episode 8 (29:48)"
The vampire hotel staff realizes that the empress has died and fears that the hotel will shut down. The staff attempts to clean up the blood while Cody the chef prepares food for the remaining guests. Manami awakens to a birthday cake prepared for her but has amnesia and does not remember who she is. 15 years of peace later, the hotel is being repainted in a friendlier style by the guests, who agreeably allow blood to be drawn from them with syringes every week. One woman, Lin, wishes for the vampires to bite her daughter Akari to transform her into a vampire so that Akari will not have to live with human worries and concerns but the vampires refuse, stating that Akari is the only human child born in the hotel and is thereby the hope of all in the hotel. Manami follows a vision of a butterfly but the staff prevents her from entering a room in a damaged part of the hotel. One guest looking for more paint finds computers detailing the vampires' constant human blood supply project, which involves convincing the humans that the world outside had been destroyed, and she takes the plans to her room. Akari finds petals from a flower tracked in from one of the chef's trips to purchase food from the outside world. K is shown lying in a bathtub with tubes drawing blood from her into the walls of the hotel as she is trapped in place by crucifixes.
9"episode 8.02 (29:58)"
Cody the chef visits the city to purchase food and meets a girl who has been stood up by her boyfriend for a date on her birthday. He feeds on her and leaves her corpse in an alley. K's struggles in the bathtub case the hotel to shake and the vampires determine that it may be time to replace her with Manami before the hotel collapses. The guests believe the Cody is a great chef merely using reserves from a freezer in the kitchen. Cody brings an intoxicated guest back to her room and discovers the blood supply plans there. Akari confronts Cody with the petals of the flower and offers her blood to him. He insists that he has overcome the need for blood but she accuses him of smelling like blood from the outside world. She agreed to destroy the evidence of the petals in exchange for a trip outside, where she excitedly observes everything. Cody takes vampire form and attacks her. Akari wakes up in the hotel to find that the petals and Cody have disappeared. The vampires are angered by the discovery that the kitchen storage is almost empty. Manami hears the vampires discussing replacing K with her in the heart of the hotel and she flees, following a vision of Akari to the room where K is being held. Two police officers arrive to investigate Koichi Oyamada, a.k.a. Cody, about the murder of several women.
10"episode 9 (30:02)"
Akari awakens alone on her birthday. Manami remembers a song K is humming and follows it to her. K tells Manami that one year earlier Akari found a master key and visited K. Akari later escaped through a hole in the wall in K's room in order to find Cody. K bites Manami and awakens her memories. Akari finds Cody outside and Cody confesses to killing people for blood in the outside world. The police insist that the world outside still exists and promise not to say anything about the hotel if they are set free but the vampires believe that it is a trap and consume the police. Some of the vampires realize that Yamada was tricking them but they and the guests resolve to continue life in the hotel as before. They hold a ceremony in which they are about to feed ancient blood to Akari but K and Manami rescue Akari and fight off the vampires who wish to take her back, including her mother Lin, who has now been turned into a vampire. K uses a sword to cut the chains on the front door, which opens. The living hotel is killed by the sunlight and the vampire staff members disappear. An injured K tells Manami that Manami has returned to human now. Akari grieves the loss of her mother and seeks solace in the arms of Cody. They leave the hotel and travel the outside world in a van with a coffin containing the hibernating K in the back. A post-credits scene shows Manami working in an office under the pseudonym "Yamada".

Development[edit]

The series was developed as part of a push by Amazon Prime Video to release more Japanese titles. James Farrell, head of Asia Pacific content, Amazon Prime Video, said, "Our focus is to work with the content creators to be innovative and deliver a content experience only available on Amazon. Right from the first episode customers will see something they haven’t seen before that’s awesome and different. With his unique voice and baroque style, Sono puts his mark on any genre."[3][1] Sono himself said, "I had wanted to make an original vampire movie for a long time. I approached it as if making a movie. I am proud to say we've produced something that has never been done before either as TV drama or feature film."[3][1]

Filming[edit]

In addition to filming in the elaborate hotel set constructed in Tokyo, Sono also convinced Amazon to let him film in Romania. The series features Bran Castle (commonly known as Dracula’s Castle), the Salina Turda salt mine, and other spots in Transylvania, where Sono and his crew filmed for five days. "If we didn't film in Romania, the series wouldn't have any power," Sono told The Japan Times, "I had to do it. Just shooting in Tokyo would have been no good."[4]

Release[edit]

All episodes were originally released on Amazon Video on June 16, 2017, with episode 8 split into two parts for streaming. A special feature-length cut running 2 hours and 22 minutes was shown at various film festivals, including the 2017 Chicago International Film Festival.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Nordine, Michael. "'Tokyo Vampire Hotel': Sion Sono Creating Original Series for Amazon - IndieWire". www.indiewire.com. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Tokyo Vampire Hotel - Chicago International Film Festival". Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b Frater, Patrick (23 April 2017). "Amazon Japan Checks Into Sono Sion's 'Tokyo Vampire Hotel'". Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Sion Sono serves up some blood-sucking fun in 'Tokyo Vampire Hotel' - The Japan Times". Retrieved 24 November 2017.

External links[edit]