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
School’s out … until the next season.
When Tsukune Aono first stepped foot on Yokai Academy after a most unusual bus ride, never in a million years did he think that he would be the only human at the school but also the target of affection of five very unique girls. Ten volumes later, Rosario + Vampire closes its first “season” to make room for the next chapter in the story of a human who has found acceptance amongst monsters.
In Volume 9 we met Tsukune’s dense cousin, Kyoko, who was so worried about her young cousin that she found a way to cross into the world of the monsters via a mystery woman that handed her an envelope to deliver on campus. Hilariously, Kyoko has jumped to many a conclusion about Yokai Academy but when a huge monster appears there is no doubt in her mind that the school is no “kinky school” as she pointed out.
As she runs for her life, the mystery envelope she carries suddenly begins to speak to Kyoko and when she opens it she is starring at Lilith, the spirit that inhabits a mirror with a most unusual power. You see, the Lilith Mirror has the ability to reveal a person’s true nature and in a school filled with monsters disguised as humans you can bet Kyoko is in for a big surprise. As each monster’s real form is revealed to her, the young girl finally becomes frightened and even more so when Lilith reveals everyone’s true nature … including Moka’s other self.
With monsters clashing all around them and the school’s building getting smashed all around them, Tsukune attempts to find the cause only he has his hands full with his friends trying to seduce him … even Ruby isn’t immune to the Lilith Mirror’s effects. Yet what crushes the poor boy is the fact that Moka’s other self sees the mirror as a chance to bring out her true vampire self any time she likes without using Tsukune to rip out the Rosario. Has she always seen Tsukune as just a tool or is there a real reason behind wanting the mirror?
It doesn’t take too long before the culprit behind the whole disaster makes an appearance and the enemy’s identity isn’t a big surprise but I won’t spoil things by revealing said identity. What I will say is that this person has targeted Moka for some payback but for another creepy reason. Once again, Tsukune joins Moka in confronting the threat and in the end the bad guy is taken out but the school is devastated. It is the Headmaster who makes the decision to send all students back home and this means Tsukune will return to the Human World.
Of course, his return home is not destined to be a quiet one. Just as he’s about to have tea with his mother, Moka appears at the door. She has come to visit him out of a strange feeling that she might never see him again. Amusingly enough, she’s not the only one in the Human World because Kurumu has snuck into his bedroom and so has Mizore and Yukari. With so many girls in the house trying to declare their love for him, Tsukune’s mom is going crazy trying to distract them. However, Tsukune’s mom has some surprising words for Moka.
Interestingly enough, the best part of this chapter isn’t Mizore’s confrontation with Kurumu in the Human World but it’s Moka’s other self who finally says what was need to be said. The competition for Tsukune’s heart is getting out of hand and it is time that Tsukune make a decision about who he wants to be with in the romantic sense. Here’s hoping that he finally does make a decision in Season II. In the end, the girls are ordered to go back home, leaving Tsukune in the Human World.
The final chapter is like a lost chapter in a time before Mizore and Ruby joined them. It seems that a good-looking guy with an interest in Moka reveals that they both share a similarity … they’re both vampires. Like in ancient tradition, the young vampire named Junya invokes an ancient vampire right. Only vampires are suppose to marry other vampires. While Tsukune thinks he should give Moka up, another part of him makes him realize that some things are more important than old traditions.
In the end, Volume 10 of Rosario + Vampire doesn’t go out with a bang but rather sticks with what it has been doing since the first volume. Sure, that might be a bit disappointing but the story is still a good one with plenty of fun moments scattered throughout so whose complaining, right? Overall, the first part of Rosario + Vampire had its weak moments and its strong ones but fans were never really disappointed by the story that still has a lot to offer.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Having been convinced that the suspicious-looking school was for perverts, Tsukune’s dense cousin finally comes to learn the truth about Yokai Academy as a dangerous foe makes a return to destroy the school and have her revenge on Moka. The result of the battle leaves the school in a bad shape so Tsukune decides to go home until the school reopens. Of course, he’s in for the surprise of his life when his friends start showing up in the Human World.
The art in the first half of this series never disappointed whether you like a good fight sequence, the interesting monster design or – if you’re into it – the excessive fan service. Akihisa Ikeda is certainly a talented artist either way.
Volume 10 of Rosario + Vampire doesn’t go out in a spectacular way nor does it shake things up story-wise but it continues its long tradition of being a fun series that had its ups and downs but still managed to entertain in its own way. Here’s hoping that Tsukune’s cousin, Kyoko, shows up in Season II as well but either way we will definitely look forward to the next chapter of this series.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media