Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shonen Jump Advanced)
Author: Akihisa Ikeda
Genre: Graphic Novel
MSRP: $7.99 US
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Release Date: Now available
Change is definitely a good thing.
You have to hand it to Tsukune … for an average boy he certainly puts up with and deals with things that would have made any other student want to run for the hills. Of course, it helps to be close with the cutest girl on campus who also happens to be a very powerful vampire. Yet after Volume 2 of Rosario + Vampire, it’s clear that Tsukune and his friends in the Newspaper Club will be in for some trouble and some changes. So you better believe that Rosario + Vampire fans are in for some interesting changes in Volume 3.
After having confronted the Enforcement Committee when the Newspaper Club ran its first issue of the Yokai Times that also – incidentally – ran a piece on the evil deeds of the now fired art teacher/medusa, Moka took down the leader of the Committee as she always does at the end of a chapter. However, Kuyo, the leader of said Committee isn’t going to let it slide. To make matters worst, the same art teacher is aiding Kuyo and reveals to him the possibility that Tsukune is actually a human. Armed with this knowledge, Kuyo and his followers confront the Newspaper Club and take Moka and Tsukune with them to face their punishment.
After Kuyo tells the Newspaper Club that Tsukune is accused of being a human living among the monsters in the school, it’s the perky Kurumu who decides that she doesn’t care what Tsukune is because monster or no he is still a friend. It’s no surprise that Kurumu, their new witch friend Yukari and Gin come to Tsukune and Moka’s aid. To their surprise, however, Kuyo turns out to be more than any of them can handle and the fact that he’s a species of monster that is known throughout Japan makes matters worse. In the end, the battle takes a turn for the worst when Tsukune jumps in the way of a blast meant for Moka.
Ok, at this point I would be doing Rosario + Vampire readers a great disservice if I told you what happened at the end of the battle but know that the result of this fight changes Tsukune. His, let’s just call it a temporary transformation, drained him completely to the point that in the following chapter he has no idea of what happened during the battle. Moka, who is behind said temporary transformation, doesn’t want to tell him what exactly happened until Gin tells him. Meanwhile, the star of the school’s wrestling team, a troll of a man named Chopper Rikishi, heard the rumors that Tsukune beat the monster out of Kuyo and wants to challenge him to a match.
Tsukune is resentful towards Moka for what went on but in the end he comes to the conclusion that he could never stay mad at Moka. His feelings for her are still strong despite the events that occurred and even looks forward towards spending his summer break with her. Of course, that is if he could wrap his head around complex equations in math class. The lovely math teacher, Miss Ririko, suddenly shows interest in Tsukune and promises to tutor him after class. Yet Moka senses something not right about the way she’s tutoring Tsukune and her hunch is correct. Man, it seems that the faculty is even more dangerous than the student body in Yokai Academy.
Unfortunately, the problem with the math teacher is resolved the way problems like this popped up in the first and second volume … Tsukune pulls out Moka’s Rosario and her stronger half kicks the hell out of whatever monster that threatens the pair. It seems out of place now that Tsukune and Moka are connected but then again it’s fun watching the stronger Moka take down monsters … especially monsters as diverse and somewhat obscure as Miss Ririko who happens to be a Lamia. Does anyone know what a Lamia is and what it can do? If you don’t you will in Rosario + Vampire.
Change is certainly in the air for the main character and this series in general and it’s certainly making this series better. What was starting to feel repetitive is now fleshing out to be a fun story that continues its appealing humor, fan service (again, for those who care about that sort of stuff) and fun monster mayhem while going for something new. The next volume even has Tsukune and his friends going out of the school setting. If you were a Rosario + Vampire fan from the very first volume then this third one will not fail to please.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Tsukune is going through some changes in this one and I don’t mean hormonal changes either. A returning threat is behind these changes and Tsukune also discovers that his friends – even Gin – are behind him even knowing his secret.
Ikeda’s art remains relatively the same in this volume and that’s good/bad depending on how much you like the art. Personally, his style works well for the story and theme.
Finally, Rosario + Vampire breaks out of the familiar formula for a continuing story that adds something uniquely different from the past two volumes. Volume 2 ended with the promise of a continuing threat and Volume 3 follows up on it nicely and – by the end of its first chapter – changes things dramatically without losing the light humor or fan service. The next volume promises to bring more changes and I can’t hardly wait.