Pyramid Head Reviews Rosario + Vampire (Anime and Manga)

What if I were to tell you someone beat Twilight to the punch and there already was a series involving a love polygon revolving around a human and various ungodly abominations? You'd probably immediately think of poorly CGed werewolves and sparkly vampires, but you can put those fears aside, Rosario Vampire is much better than Twilight if not purely because the mythologies are far less idiotic.

The month of February will be Harem Month for the non-interactive items on my chopping blocks, and the first item up is the one I actually kind of like. The manga for Rosario Vampire! Though to keep things spread out and so I have screenshots, I'll be comparing it side by side to it's anime spin-off. And indeed, it's Clamp's work (Specifically Chobits) all over again. Moderate manga focusing rather strongly on sexual perversion with a juvenile but occasionally dark and fucked up sense of humor turned into an absolutely disgusting romantic comedy anime that makes you want to track down the creators and slit their throats with rusty butter knives.

Rosario Vampire came out a year before Twilight, with it's first volume receiving American publication by Viz a year before Eclipse. I'm not IMPLYING anything, but--
Oh wait, I'm implying something. Rosario Vampire beat Twilight to the punch with the whole monster loving human love triangle schlock, with the notable exception that Rosario Vampire to some extent knows it's dead on arrival and has a bizarre sense of humor to balance out the idiotic premise. Oh, also, the reason I brought up Eclipse specifically because in that book one werewolf turns particularly rapey, and this happens AFTER America is introduced to Rosario Vampire's Gin. Why was the latter years of the previous decade such a hot time for sexual deviant lycanthropes?

Anyway, you remember Yamaku Academy? Well Rosario Vampire's setting is like that. The series takes place for the most part in Youkai Academy, a school aimed at teaching monsters of all shapes and sizes how to magically maintain a human disguise and learn to live among humans. But the setting is actually a secondary detail, the main detail is that four girls are after the same dope, and I guess I can give Rosario Vampire some credit in that it covered the major bases for a harem.

image
In the anime you learn to tell them apart by the color of their panties. Moka wears pink, Kurumu wears sky blue, Yukari wears mint green, Mizore wears purple striped

You've got Moka, the girl next door and titular vampire who is bubbly and friendly but a bit of a na´ve dipshit, Kurumu who is basically the embodiment of general fetishes in that she is on the small side except for her wide hips, ass, and enormous jugs. She also happens to be a succubus and in the manga gains the ability to use illusion magic. Mizore, who appears later on, the shy bi-curious stalker, who is an ice manipulator like Sub-Zero only her specific monster type is unique to Japanese mythology. And Yukari, the loli jailbait.
Oh wait, she really is 12 years old.
And Yukari, the jailbait. The weird detail about Yukari is that she doesn't just want the main character, in the second season of the manga she actually frequently speaks of threesome fantasies between her, Moka, and Tsukune.

And that brings us to our totally ineffective male of the evening! Tsukune has a distinct disadvantage of Youkai academy. He's a human. WHOOPS! Don't ask me how this works, but somehow he gets enrolled in Youkai Academy and for the longest time no-one, not even the staff, figures out he's human except for Moka. Didn't anyone ask what type of creature he was on the enrollment form? Come to think of it, if the point of Youkai Academy is to blend in with humans so that no one questions their lineage, why do they let Yukari cosplay?

Anyway the whole point of Rosario Vampire is to introduce the four characters, have them fall head over clits in love with Mr. Ineffectual, and then cash in on the awkward moments. The major difference between the manga and anime is that in the anime some characters are introduced early while in the manga enemies tend to pose a bigger threat and some elements of the mythologies are adjusted. The things they have in common are the first season where events are kind of the same. The manga doesn't introduce Yukari until volume two with chapters being moderately long so the anime tends to devote one episode to one chapter depending on how important the events are, or compressing a couple of chapters into one episode. It becomes a bit of an issue during the final fights once the major antagonistic group is established and I think maybe entire volumes are compressed, but it's still possible to keep a general idea of what the manga and anime are about.

Fan-service.

image
The Rosario Vampire drinking game. Take a shot every time there is a panty shot, last person living gets the life savings of the competitors who die in the process

Weirdly this is where the disconnect begins. The manga actually kept most of the panty shots under wraps, focusing more on cleavage and a more cocktease method where it makes you keep reading for an eventual Moka panty flash, usually limiting stuff like that to between-chapter illustrations. The anime doesn't exactly have that restraint and even flashes Yukari's panties on a regular basis. In the manga though, normally a sudden stream of easy cleavage shots usually means someone is about to get attacked, and that brings us to the mythologies.

image
Nom

The four major demons you see Tsukune interact with are a vampire, a succubus, a witch, and a yuki-ona. While Moka doesn't sparkle and isn't ceramic, the dark magic aspect of vampires are generally toned down, though later on it implies the vanity of vampires is why they never use half their abilities. Moka's only real ability is that she is basically a Left 4 Dead witch with her nails trimmed. She can take an obscene amount of punishment, bring down large hostiles in seconds, spends a sizable chunk of the first episode crying. The actual witch Yukari, aside from being a disturbing fan service element in something already starring 15 year olds, is always built up as some magical prodigy though for the most part she only ever uses telekinesis to pull pranks. She also uses a voodoo doll at one point and in the manga she uses alchemical skills to make an aphrodisiac to use on Moka and Tsukune so she could spark a threesome, but really she's just sort of there and doesn't contribute much. Same goes for the succubus Kurumu who later refuses to use her hypnotic powers and only seems to gain the illusion ability in the manga. It is worth mentioning that the original succubus myth was born to give a supernatural excuse to the phenomenon of wet dreams, though her powers never seem to involve tampering with a persons sleep.
The one I can't really speak on is Shirayuki. Like I said, Yuki-Ona are a Japanese mythology I know fuck-all about. She acts sort of like Sub-Zero in terms of how her powers work, but I wouldn't know if that ties into the myth or not.

But don't let the setting distract you, what about the story?

image
Why yes, the anime DOES have pedophile Argonians. And the Altmer have problems with Nords?

Well the general story is that the girls fight for Tsukune's affection, some weird obstruction arises leading to Moka losing her rosary, turning into her evil psycho bitch personality and attacking whatever it was that was attacking them. This changes somewhat in the second season of the manga where the other girls become more effective fighters and Tsukune's mutation is more deeply explored, though the anime turns into a terrible romantic comedy in the second season that isn't even worth discussing. That said, there isn't much in the way of plot anyway. They generally throw one major enemy group that the students have to deal with, though this usually creates plot holes.
Why is a clearly genocidal group allowed to lead school security when intermingling with humans is the schools goal? How did the school not notice half-breed monsters gathering up to destroy the entire place? A human-monster mafia? Are you fucking kidding me?

Okay, enough of that. Let me explain the fan service disconnect in more detail.

image
It's not bukkake. She was just tongued.

To expand on it, the anime can't go five minutes without a panty shot. This gets in the way of when they want to be serious but are playing to the old Spoony Experiment Ass Counter gag, and there are more than one fight scene where the girls are dirty or doing something fetishistic, like fighting in swimming suits. The manga KIND OF has that problem, though it's not usually the girls themselves in the position. At one point the manga plays up the old myth that mermaids are actually bringers of disaster and Moka has to fight off a swarm of them, and Moka is the only one there not in a swimsuit. In fact Kurumu who arrives later to warn Tsukune of the vampire weakness to water wears her regular clothes too.
In the anime though, they introduce Yukari early and she's right there with Kurumu fighting in a swimsuit, prior to that there was a cat fight between her and Kurumu including boob biting.

I think I can end it on that note, you get the idea. The anime sucks. The manga?
It's sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. It's stupid, but still kind of enjoyable. The manga seems to be more aware of what it is and always plays up the melodrama and stupid moments because it knows it's not real literature, just something silly to laugh at. It does create problems in the second season when it tries to be more serious, but at the same time it turns up the camp and absurdity with the masochistic witch Ruby so you rarely notice it. It even sneaks in some girl on girl, just to remind you you're reading something stupid.

If you've got money to burn, don't buy the manga. It's very easy to find Lucky Star volumes or the Azumanga Daioh Omnibus on Amazon, so buy those instead. I think Bartender's manga might also have been localized, so that's worth checking out. You could also find a fan translated Seitokai Yakuindomo or check out xxxHOLiC or--
You get the idea. The manga isn't a classic and I wouldn't say you trample a toddler to purchase it. Maybe check out the first chapter online or buy the first volume cheap and see if you like it first, test the water before blowing your life savings. The anime on the other hand? Irredeemable, ESPECIALLY with the godawful English dub. It was handled by Funimation and they generally do terrible work in that regard. Avoid the anime like the plague, but the manga is something you might find funny and worth checking the first couple of volumes. As a harem item it has a limit on how good it can be, and a high camp comedy with occasional melodrama to add a bit of variety is as good as it gets. I guess I can give the anime credit and say Nana Mizuki's closing themes aren't nearly as wretched as anything K-On throws at you with it's opening themes, but it's still not worth checking out. More reviews soon!

Boy meets girl, girl runs boy over, girl bites boys jugular and drinks his blood, true love!
--Pyramid Head

Next Review: Harem Month Continues: DearS

I am starting to set up a homepage on Blogspot. You can now find me, and a list of my reviews with links, on:
http://pyramidheadreviews.blogspot.com/

I do understand your objections about the anime, I found it to be God awful. I couldn't even make it a full episode into season 2. The unending fan service, and inability of it to even remotely represent the pace and intensity of the manga, drove me off. That being said, I really enjoy the manga. It starts off being very average, just to establish itself, and then revs up to full tilt by the end of Season I. With Tsukune becoming a ghoul after the repeated exposure to Vampire blood, and Moka trying to kill him so he doesn't kill everyone in his blind mindless rage, and then the whole thing with the festival chairman, it was very exciting. Then Season II, so far, has gone even further, pushing past the Harem classification to Battle Manga with dramatic parts, as the characters have now been fully fleshed out and are unique and interesting. I am really, really enjoying the manga, and have since the Witch Hill arc.

how many panty shots are in the anime anyway?

You should review the Love Hina manga. It's probably my favorite harem and one of the few ones where the MC isn't a fucking idiot, just really, really unlucky to the point of slapstick

EDIT: I just remembered that you did at least review the anime, my recommendation for the manga still stands however

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked