Writer and director Mamoru Oshii is best known for creating sci-fi thrillers that challenge orthodoxy with their philosophical musings and provocative, often nutty, imagery. His most famous film, the 1995 anime epic "Ghost in the Shell," features a stone-cold cyborg heroine who dives nude off a skyscraper and is memorably dismembered by a tank.

But at a Tokyo press conference last week to introduce his latest project, a 12-episode slapstick comedy series titled "Vladlove," all Oshii wanted to talk about was girls. Real ones. And a vampire named Mai.

"This time I wanted to take on a girl-meets-girl story," he said. "The main characters are five schoolgirls. There won't be any hot guys."