Although Toshihiro Hirano (Magic Knight Rayearth
) directed these broadcast episodes, they lack the panache of the earlier OAVs; both were based on the manga
created by his wife, Narumi Kakinouchi. This version of Miyu is less aloof; she enrolls in a Tokyo school and makes a few friends. Larva is more of a companion than a servant, and his mask conceals the face of a bishonen
(beautiful boy). He and Miyu are joined by Shina, a spirit who resembles a cross between a rabbit and a Pokémon Clefairy. As the Protector, Miyu battles Shinma
, evil spirits that attack humans, but the many episodes suggest she isn't particularly effective at the job she's destined to fulfill. In one episode, a Shinma
uses a thug as an assassin; Miyu calmly remarks, "It's not really my concern how many people you have him kill." In "Your House," she destroys a cat-Shinma
only after it's caused four deaths, and she gives several victims a fatal eternal happiness with her bite.
Two extended storylines frame the shorter stories. One pits Miyu against the snow demon-Shinma Reiha and her obnoxious talking doll Matzukaze; the second involves the evil bird-demons who are determined to destroy Miyu. Although Miyu's childhood experiences link the two plots, neither achieves a coherent resolution. The limited-edition boxed set includes a soundtrack CD and a charm like the ones Miyu and her friend Chisato carry. (Unrated but suitable for ages 16 and older: considerable violence, nudity, grotesque imagery, suggested lesbianism and incest) --Charles Solomon