Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Akihisa Ikeda
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shonen Jump Advanced)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Release Date: Now Available
The fight to save the school begins here and now.
With the series jumping into its “second season” after Volume 10, the wild ride that was the first part of this manga is far from over. The student that had once inspired all the students – including Tsukune Aono – betrayed them all in an effort to bring the peaceful co-existence between the monster world and the human world crashing down all around them. In Volume 9 of Rosario + Vampire, it is up to Tsukune to stop him.
Unfortunately for Tsukune, he is the only one free from a barrier that trapped Ruby, Kurumu, Mizore and Yukari. With Moka being distracted by another monstrel, Tsukune begins to unleash the power within him in order to defeat Hokuto Kaneshiro who is close to completing his plan for eliminating the power that will reveal the monster world to the real world. Luckily, Moka’s other self shows up to lend Tsukune a hand in the battle.
Whisking Moka and Tsukune to the Throne of Everlasting Darkness deep in the heart of the school, both of them realize that they are fighting a foe that finally shows his true abilities as well as the reason behind his motives. As it turns out, Hokuto has a past that is the opposite of what Tsukune experienced when he got to Yokai Academy. A hatred build up within the young student to the point that he has targeted the school and the human world for the pain both worlds had caused him.
While Moka made it clear that she wanted Tsukune out of the fight, the young student joins her anyway in an effort to reach Hokuto. Tsukune still believes in the words the young man had spoken about bringing peace to the school no matter what race of monster attends the school. As Hokuto’s plan is starting to become a reality, Tsukune’s words begin to reach him. What happens next you will have to read for yourself but the battle is over and a very badly injured Hokuto ends up in the hospital.
Still, a familiar face aids Hokuto and disappears with him while the Headmaster welcomes Tsukune and the others as heroes. With the intense battle over, it’s only fair that Tsukune and his friends enjoy the school festival that Hokuto helped plan before his failed plan to destroy the school. It’s good to see them all unwind and what happens next gives the volume an upbeat and genuinely comical spin … more so than in past volumes, actually.
Moka, it seems, is a big hit in their classroom’s booth but thanks to adoring males she hardly has space to breath until Tsukune rescues her. They make plans to spend the evening together but Mizore comes looking for him with a surprising request. She wants him to meet her mother – an elegant and gorgeous snow fairy just like Mizore – who is under the impression that Tsukune and her daughter are dating. On top of that, Kurumu arrives as well to introduce him to her own mother … a flirty woman who is under the impression that they are engaged. What’s a guy to do when both mothers unwittingly invite him to dine with him? Who will he pick … Mizore or Kurumu?
In the final chapter, the second day of the school festival brings a guest who just so happens to be Tsukune’s cousin, Kyoko. Worried about her young cousin, she snoops around and realizes that Yokai Academy isn’t anywhere on the map. Her snooping leads her to be approached by a mysterious figure who tells her where the school is in exchange that Kyoko deliver an envelope.
What happens next is a series of misunderstanding as Kyoko makes wild accusations about the school and Tsukune’s friends. As Tsukune and his friends try to hide the fact that she is in a school filled with monsters, a thug who attacked Moka during the first day of the festival is looking to get even with Tsukune who interfered. Again, Kyoko jumps to some crazy conclusions until the secret behind the envelope is exposed.
Volume 9 of Rosario + Vampire not only concludes an exciting story arc that actually had some meaning behind it but it also takes some time to show some genuinely funny moments that will not fail to make you laugh out loud at least once. It’s actually a hoot to see Mizore and Kurumu’s mothers who are just like their daughters and meet somebody from Tsukune’s own family. In it’s ninth volume, it’s good to see the series has not lost its sense of humor or the ability to turn out a good story arc.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Tsukune pushes himself to his very limits in his confrontation with Hokuto who reveals his troubled history with Yokai Academy and the reason why he wants to see the peace between the monsters and humans broken. With the help of Moka’s fierce vampire side, the battle is over but the enemy goes missing. Meanwhile, the school festival is under way and Tsukune must deal with the mother of two of his friends as well as a member of his own family paying him a visit.
Ikeda-sensei’s art has always been good but the series has consistently improved visually since the first two volumes of the series. The fight scenes have really become really well detailed.
With the first part of this series ending with the next volume, Rosario + Vampire, Volume 9, still shows that the series is still a fun read for those who don‘t mind it‘s overabundance of fan service. While the first chapter closes a good story arc, the rest of this volume is just comedic gold.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media