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: Available Now
Here comes a dramatic turn of events in Yokai Academy.
While a lot of good things happened to Tsukune Aono since he become a member of the student body at Yokai Academy (such as being the object of affection of four cute girls), a lot more bad things have happened over the course of his stay in a school filled with monsters. While the first few volumes of Rosario + Vampire have been light on violence and heavy on fan service, the past few volumes have been heading in a startlingly bloody and exhilarating new direction.
In Volume 7, Tsukune is recovering from his last encounter that had cost him his life and, on top of that, was nearly pummeled to death by Moka’s “other half” if it wasn’t for the witch named Ruby and her mysterious exorcist companion. Unexpectedly enough, so soon after coming out of that mess, Moka is attacked by a Monstrel posing as a nurse with the ability to control her victims by injecting them with a syringe made out of her own fingers. Before Moka could do any damage, she is stopped by Kurumu who has finally had enough of Moka being the reason Tsukune keeps getting hurt. In fact, she is starting to reveal that there is more to her feeling for Tsukune than just playful rivalry with Moka.
Like they have done with other monstrous opponents, Tsukune and Moka put a stop to the Monstrel nurse who has caused a lot of damage to the infirmary and has injured a few students just to get to Tsukune. It’s crystal clear that the Monstrels want revenge and want to see Tsukune dead. Without spoiling what happens at the end of this particular chapter, let’s just say that Tsukune’s words finally changes everything about the whole Tsukune-Moka relationship enough that it upsets Kurumu. As I mentioned above, it’s starting to seem that Tsukune means more to the sexy succubus than first expected.
In the following chapter, however, we find out just how much Tsukune means to Kurumu when she encounters another Monstrel who offers a tempting proposal. If Moka was to be suddenly out of the picture then she would have him all to herself. She manages to confront Moka and said confrontation is surprisingly dramatic and intense. In the end, Kurumu’s words are more to protect her rival in love that has become her friend. As strange as it is a true friendship was formed as the two battled side-by-side against the Monstrel and his Cyclops companions.
The third chapter in this volume introduces the result of the blood Moka infused with Tsukune in order to save his life. Although the exorcist had placed a Spirit Lock on him that is similar to Moka’s Rosario, he feels the insatiable thirst that vampires feel and no amount of water can quench it. He nearly even bites Moka … an act that his new attacker (a centipede, of all things) can relate with and breaks Moka’s heart. The Monsterels are right, it is her presence in Tsukune’s life that is tearing him apart but the person who sent the Centipede isn’t who you might think.
In the final chapter, a graffiti artist has tagged some menacing words along with some fake Yokai Times editions that Tsukune’s Newspaper Club was not involved with in the beginning. Tsukune is naturally blamed for the vandalism and the fake school newspapers that have some anti-school messages and as he is taken to see the headmaster our boy makes a rather interesting discovery about who is in charge of the school. In an effort to bring order to the school, Tsukune is made an example and is kicked out of Yokai Academy … or se we are lead to believe after Tsukune faces the vandal.
There is certainly a lot of blood in the series lately and more so now that Tsukune has vampire abilities and uses it well in this one despite the Spirit Lock. More importantly, though, the relationships between the characters has changed especially when it comes to Moka and Tsukune. We know Tsukune likes Moka but it isn’t until this volume’s last chapter that we find Moka is willing to give up everything for Tsukune. It is in this final chapter that Tsukune gains a new role in the school as well.
Volume 7 of Vampire + Rosario is a very meaty volume with a lot to sink your teeth into and, make no mistake, the outcome of this volume will change the course of the series. A lot has changed in Tsukune as the Monstrel threat continues to leave him badly injured and on the brink of losing what little humanity he has left in himself. This is, by far, one of the more darker and intense volumes in the series and – by the looks of it – will only get more interesting in the upcoming volumes.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Moka’s attack on Tsukune feels like the work of an outside influence and when the culprit does show her face it becomes clear to Tsukune that the Monstrels will not leave him alone. In fact, he and others are attacked by three different monsters sent to destroy Tsukune. In the middle of all of this, our boy finally makes it clear that he wants the relationship between him and Moka to change … but first he must clear himself from expulsion from Yokai Academy.
Ikeda-sensei has turned up the bloody violence in his series as the blood flies often in this volume alone but he cheerfully continues displaying the light fan service to keep the manga from being too morbid. This definitely works.
Things have gotten a bit darker and a little more dramatic in Rosario + Vampire and even more so in Volume 7 of this series. After having flirted with the relationship between Moka and Tsukune, their feelings for each another finally shines through in one of the more gripping volumes this series has produced. Things are definitely going to change for these characters.