Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Akihisa Ikeda
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shonen Jump Advanced)
MSRP: $7.99 US
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Release Date: Now available
It’s a monster mash!
In Volume 3 of Rosario + Vampire, the series has strayed from its cycle of meeting a monster, battling said monster until Moka’s Rosario is removed and walking away victorious and never seeing the monster again. This time around, the enemies were defeated but left licking their wounds and waiting for their chance to strike again. Take Kuyo, the leader of the Security Enforcement Committee, who was defeated by Tsukune and Moka. He not only found an ally in a former teacher defeated by the pair but he also knows Tsukune’s secret.
Oh but after every storm there’s a calm and Volume 4 begins with Tsukune waiting by the bus stop to go on a field trip to the human world with Moka, Kurumu and Yukari. You see, Ms. Nekonome thought it would be an educational experience for the members of the Newspaper Club (minus wolf-boy Ginei who is stuck in summer school) to see the human world. When the bus arrives, Tsukune notices that the driver happens to be the same strange man that had driven him to Yokai Academy when he first came to the High school filled with monsters. Tsukune also happens to find out an interesting bit that explains how a simple bus ride through a tunnel could lead to a place filled with monsters.
Just about the only one who feels uncomfortable about being in the human world is the young witch Yukari and she lets everyone else know. When Ms. Nekonome and the bus driver decided to take a little detour to a field filled with wild sunflowers, the pair suddenly leave the foursome to the field that – according to the bus driver – is not only going to be plowed down to build a factory on the site but its also the focal point of inexplicable disappearances. The rumors even lead two college girls to go to the field to see if the place is actually haunted by the “witch of the knoll.”
When Yukari and Kurumu fight, Yukari goes off on her own only to see the two college girls being attacked by the sunflowers that have transformed into a magic plant known as Garigari Plant that swallows people whole. While she doesn’t really trust humans, Yukari does risk her life to save the two girls. As it turns out, however, a young witch named Ruby does live in the knoll and reveals herself to Yukari. As a fellow witch, Yukari can’t help but want to side with the young witch who says she’s defending the field from being destroyed by humans.
When Ruby attacks the others, however, it’s clear who Yukari prefers to stand with even if it does involve another witch. Ruby’s hatred for humans pushes her to really lash out and in the battle she manages to injure Tsukune. Just as she did in the previous volume, Moka lends Tsukune her vampire powers and Tsukune is able to defeat Ruby. It isn’t until the others nurse the misguided young witch in an inn that Ruby comes to see that this isn’t a normal group. How can a vampire, a succubus, a witch and a human be so friendly with each another? Can a friendship really be possible with humans?
Unfortunately, Ruby is under the orders of an older witch who isn’t able to see the possibilities of an alliance between the humans and witches. She even uses Ruby’s tragic past to convince her to continue siding with her but, when that fails, this powerful witch summons creatures to attack the group. Knowing that the human city is in danger of being burned to the ground, Tsukune and his friends battle the witch that intends on killing them all. If that doesn’t have you seriously awaiting Volume 5 then I don’t know what will!
It’s great to see Tsukune and the others outside the school setting and Volume 4 is actually a lot more violent and action-packed than the first three volumes of this series. It’s actually quite an interesting change of pace for a series that’s lighthearted and filled with fan service. While not as great as the Volume 3, this is one seriously engaging chapter in the Rosario + Vampire series.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
What was suppose to be an educational field trip to the human worlds ends up being a battle to save the human city that happens to be Tsukune’s hometown. Human disappearances are linked to a supernatural cause and Tsukune, Moka, Kurumu and Yukari are attacked by a carnivorous plant that is linked to the source of the disappearances.
The action sequences are becoming more elaborate and more detailed and that’s a very good thing, indeed. This volume is also a bit bloodier.
While a bit on the darker side than usual, Volume 4 of Rosario + Vampire is definitely a more interesting volume in the series. We’ve seen these three in some pretty hairy situations and even more so since Volume 3 but this one just ends up being one of the more exciting chapters so far.