Night Walker is one of those anime that fills several niches at once for me. As a "vampire" anime with a serious, gritty tone, it goes along well with my gothic dilettante streak. As a 12-episode "midnight" anime, it highlights what this new anime sector can do for stories too long for the OVA market but too short and too fringe for a prime-time slot. It uses seiyuu I like and art I appreciate. And most significantly (for me), it represents proof that the once-mighty AIC is still capable of making works without the taint of Tenchi Muyo!/El-Hazard that has infested most of their other recent offerings. CJAS showed the first episode of this series last year, so a brief recap is in order. Shidou, the main character, is a vampire posing as a private detective who has rebelled against his fate as a predator of the night and now works to return the "Night Breed" to the dark. Joining his fight is Yayoi, a member of the N.O.S. paranormal crimes division of the Tokyo Metro Police. Rounding out their party are Kuni, a small demon who lives in Shidou's hair, and Riho, a schoolgirl and office assistant who joined the team in the first episode.
Episode two of Night Walker is an isolated case study and doesn't contain too much in terms of "character development" for the regular cast. On the other hand, we do get a fairly good glimpse into the mind of the victim du jour, an aspiring actress who is prepared to go to considerable lengths to advance her career. One good thing about this show is that it doesn't pull its punches where the consequences of the Breed's activities are concerned: you'll get to see quite a bit of that activity in the episode. Unfortunately, CJAS can't currently show the rest of the series, but I can vouch for the fact that the characters do advance and the scenario only gets more intense as it goes along.
Night Walker is an example of a title that is very obscure despite being very recently aired in Japan. With the competition fierce for the commercial release "slots" among the major U.S. companies, fringe titles like this can still easily fall into the cracks -- and thus the activities of the fans to discover and bring forth titles like it become that much more important. I hope you enjoy this refreshing departure from the mainstream.