Introduction and Story
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The great space race between the UK—United Kingdom of Arnack— and the Federal Republic of Zirnitra is underway! In a desperate attempt to conquer space travel before the UK, the Zirnitra government decides to send an experiment into space in the form of a vampire girl named Irina Luminesk. However, with little time left, the government puts a failed elite cosmonaut named Lev Leps in charge of her who must see past her vampire race and train her for her mission to space. Lev and Irina may be of two different races but they share a dream of going into space and they form a bond unseen between humans and vampires. However, their bond must overcome the trials of a government hell-bent on reaching space and willing to sacrifice anything no matter the cost.
You’d be forgiven if you read the synopsis above for Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut and thought "oh, that sounds extremely odd". This unique take on the space race we saw in the real world—the names of countries are changed but it's obvious who they are mirroring from reality—instantly took us by surprise here at Honey’s Anime and we were more than ready to don our space gear and see where Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut would take us as an anime series. Did this vampire space romance show that unique anime can still be created in 2021? or is it a crash landing of an anime? Find out in our review of Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut!
Mission to the Stars, Start!
Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut might focus on a fictional setting but the main concept is a real-world space race we’ve seen in our worlds. That is what makes Irina and Lev’s story a bit more relatable as we saw various countries undermine one another and resort to some “questionable” tactics to reach the stars above before one another. We absolutely loved the story of Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut and witnessing a new take on the space race in anime form is epic.
The Loveable Vampire and Lev
Probably the strongest element of Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut is the relationship shared between Irina and Lev. What starts off as awkward and strange—given that a human must train a vampire—ends up becoming a cute romance story of admiration, understanding, companionship, and dedication. Lev and Irina shape up to become one of the better couples of 2021 and we adored every scene where the two grew closer together through their space training and exploration of their past stories.
The Struggles of Chasing Dreams
One theme that Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut examines quite well is the drive and ambition a person needs to fulfill their dreams. Both Lev and Irina are stigmatized because of their past and still they push forward to overcome to reach space. Watching the duo struggle so fiercely fills us with determination to make sure we do our best and not make excuses for every challenge we come across.
Slow Burn Romance
This isn’t a grand issue for Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut but for those who like quick romance tales, you might have some issues with Irina and Lev. Due to their differences—outside the obvious human and vampire theme—these two aren’t fast to build a romance. As the series progresses—around the midpoint—their admiration for one another begins to show and you can see the sparks of a relationship begin. We think Irina and Lev are adorable but this isn’t an anime focused solely on romance so their “love” takes a bit to lift off the ground.
Unimportant Side Characters
Surprisingly, while we were watching Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut we would forget there were other characters in the anime. Early on, Irina’s story shows a dozen side characters who you think might impede the story or be more active in the tale but aside from a few—like Anya, Rosa, and Mikhail—most are shoehorned in to make the story work. Lev rarely interacts with his fellow “friends” and Anya—despite being prominent in the beginning—feels unused. Irina and Lev steal the show—rightfully so—but we have to wonder why Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut even tries to make everyone seem relevant in this space tale.
Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut is a cute and quite original anime that we whole-heartily loved. There are some minor issues spread out through this 12-episode anime that keep it from being one of the best shows of 2021 but that won’t stop space/romance fans from wanting to pick it up for themselves. In the end, this is one mission we deem worthy for launch, and hope many of you readers give Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut a shot!
Have you guys/girls let Irina’s story slip past your anime radars? Comment below if you’re watching it too or waiting to binge it! Be sure to keep stuck to our space exploring hive here at Honey’s Anime for further coverage of fall 2021!