Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: Geneon Entertainment (FUNimation Entertainment)
Running Time: 100 minutes
Rating: 13 & Up
Release Date: November 25, 2008
A bloody good time finally comes to an end.
I have to admit a strong love for Karin, a vampire anime that started off wonderfully enough, lost some steam along the way but bounced back in the best way possible. I even love the manga (released as Chibi Vampire). So when I got my hands on Karin, Volume 6, I was sad to see this series come to an end but was happy to see that this likeable vampire story has a good ending.
The Maaka clan has a long history since they are a family composed of vampires that have long since been the target of a family feud. You see, the noble Sinclair family hides a dark secret that is tied a member of the Maaka family. Then there’s Karin Maaka, whose parents, youthful grandmother and siblings are full vampires with the exception of her. You see, Karin is sort of a reverse vampire that can go out in the day and doesn’t feel the need to drain humans of blood. As a matter of fact, she actually releases blood via a horrible nosebleed. We watched Karin as she tried to live a normal life by going to school, falling in love with a boy named Kenta Usui and even get courted by a member of the Sinclair family named Winner Sinclair.
A lot has happened in the first 20 episodes of the series and in Volume 6 of Karin (that covers the final four episodes), the feud between the Sinclair family and the Maaka will reach a major turning point as Victor Sinclair and his grandson Winner have finally found the neighborhood that houses the Maaka clan. Victor’s target, of course, is Karin’s grandmother (who looks just as young a Karin). In Episode 21, they actually even clash as Grandmother attempts to protect Karin. In the melee, Karin encounters Winner who finds himself in a difficult position. Does he follow his grandfather’s orders and kill Karin or does he follow his heart that has ached for her ever since is laid eyes on the half-vampire?
I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that he doesn’t since Winner has always loved Karin. Unfortunately, her heart belongs to Usui and he has already kept him waiting. Meanwhile, Karin’s brother finds Usui and tells him about the ritual that would eventually turn Karin into a full vampire. He pleads with the young boy and thus leaving him conflicted.
Oh, but the fight takes a rather nasty turn when Victor Sinclair finds the Maaka home and a finally battle between Karin’s grandmother and Victor unveils the truth about her relationship with the Sinclair that began the feud in the first place. While the memory is touching and heartfelt, Victor doesn’t care and continues his hunt for the rest of the Maaka family on his own seeing as his disappointment in his grandson has led him to take on the task solo.
Karin does come to terms with a lot of things in the final episode and does accept to participate in the ritual that would turn her into an actual vampire. The final confrontation with Victor also takes place and Usui and Winner race to save the girl they so love. I will stop here because if I went any further I would spoil the various surprises that make up the ending. I’ll add that the cuteness of past episodes does show up in the final episodes and the fan service is still very much present … although I’m happy to say that the nosebleeds are down to only one.
When all is said and done, Karin as a whole was by far a truly enjoyable vampire series worth – dare I say it? – sinking your teeth into. The last four episodes of Volume 6 completely overshadowed the few gripes I had with the series (such as the constant nosebleeds) but in the end, the good overshadowed its weaknesses. If anything, Karin was fun and a real treat for those that like vampire stories with a pleasantly fun aftertaste.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
The feud between the Sinclair vampire hunting clan and the Maaka family heats up considerably and there’s tragedy in the wake of a major confrontation. Karin’s two suitors also join forces to rescue Karin from a blood ritual in the final four episodes of the series.
VIDEO QUALITY: A
The Anamorphic Widescreen works beautifully for this series. While not completely original, the animation for Karin has always worked for this series.
AUDIO QUALITY: A-
The Japanese voice cast is definitely my preference but the English isn’t entirely bad. The score is actually really good with a great opening theme song.
There’s very little here in terms of extras but the two English subtitle streams is nice to have either way.
Karin’s final volume is a fitting end for this series that has seen its ups and downs but remained interesting and totally fun to watch from start to finish. Actually, I rather enjoyed a lot of the episodes and the final four will remain to be as memorable as the Maaka family. If you followed the series since day one, this one will actually surprise you.