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
Never piss off Mizore’s mother.
The “second season” of Rosario + Vampire has certainly proven to be a tad darker than the first part of this manga series and that’s not a bad thing. However, no matter how dark or bloody each volume gets, you can still rely on the humorous bits and abundant fan service to remind you that no matter how violent things get there’s always room from panty flashing. In Volume 3 of Rosario + Vampire: Season II, though, the serious chapters in this series take center stage over the comedy and fan service to make this one of the best volumes thus far.
Of course, if you’ve been reading the series for its decent laughs and fan service parts you will still find plenty of that in Volume 3. In fact, the first chapter has a morbid-yet-comical feel to it. You see, there are reports throughout Yokai Academy that some prankster monster is attacking girls by slashing their clothes. As Koko is walking in the creepy forest, she hears the howl of a wolf so – smelling a newspaper scoop – she goes to investigate only to find a werewolf with a headband and choker standing over his latest bloody victim.
While the girl named Kohko wasn’t murdered, this is still troublesome news. As Koko returns to the newspaper club, she meets Ginei Morioka … the sleazy, grope-crazy President of the News Club who also happens to be a werewolf that fits the description of the attacker! Despite denying it, Koko tries following Gin with the help of Mizore and Kurumu who reveals something about Gin that is actually quire surprising in a way. What isn’t surprising is that he spent the break (when Tsukune went back to the human world) groping them too so they want payback.
There’s a comical conclusion to this chapter as Gin freaks out when Mizore and Kurumu attacks him and there’s a surprising twist in the end as well as we learn the identity of the culprit. I won’t ruin the surprise but I will say that Gin might not be that entirely selfish as he makes himself out to be … although he still hasn’t changed Mizore and Kurumu’s mind about him. It’s actually interesting to see that Tsukune and Moka do think of the womanizing werewolf in a better light, though.
The volume then shifts it attention to Mizore who invites Tsukune to her Snow Fairy world where she will be participating in a traditional coming-of-age ceremony. Of course, the other girls want to tag along and Mizore feels like she has no other choice but to take them too and since it’s the summer break even Ruby comes along. It’s a good thing too because, despite the fact that the world of the Snow Fairies is beautiful, the ceremony has a very specific meaning to it that could very well change things between them and Mizore.
You see, as Mizore explains to Tsukune after she led him to a field filled with the Snow White flowers that the coming-of-age ceremony is to ensure the survival of her people. You see, the Snow Fairy population is decreasing and Mizore – despite her young age – most find a suitable mate and procreate. Since she has a major crush on Tsukune, she chose him instead of being forces to accept an arranged marriage to somebody she does not love.
Unfortunately, Tsukune isn’t able to act in time as Mizore is snatched away by a snow being who is known in this world as the Snow Oracle who has plans for Mizore. Those plans include a human male who forces himself on Mizore in an unsavory way that makes Gin’s pervy ways seem charming in comparison. It is – interesting enough – Kurumu who decides to stage a rescue. It is Mizore’s mother who supplies them with all the guns (that shoot non-fatal snow bullets) they can use. It’s hilarious to see Mizore’s mom access her impressive arsenal as if she were some mercenary.
So Tsukune and the others set out to save Mizore from the Snow Oracle on a mission to interrupt the ceremony. It’s a bit out of character but seeing Moka, Ruby and Koko get into a gunfight with the ceremony security force is very unusual. Meanwhile, Tsukune, Yukari and Kurumu face off against the human who tells him that Mizore belongs to him now. There’s a very touching scene between Tsukune and Mizore but this part of the story does not end with this volume.
Volume 3 of Rosario + Vampire: Season II takes an interesting and more dramatic turn that makes this an excellent read and even more so for those who have been following this series for a long time. While the drama is handled well, it is slightly held back by the usual funny bits that feel a little out of place at times but trust me when I say that this doesn’t stop you from really enjoying this volume.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Reports of girls being attacked and their clothes getting ripped becomes a reality for Koko who is in time to witness a werewolf at the scene of an attack. When Koko describes the attacker, the girls point the finger at the only werewolf that enjoys pawing at women – Gin. Then, Mizore invites Tsukune and the others back to her icy world for a ceremony only to find out that the fate of the Snow Fairies is in her hands but at the cost of her free will.
The art in this particular volume is strikingly beautiful thanks to a unique setting in the later half of the volume and even the action scenes look amazing. Akihisa Ikeda really
A mix of the usual comedic antics as well as a more serious tone, Volume 3 of this series keeps things interesting and even slightly heartbreaking enough to make this volume one of Season II’s highpoints. Sure, it falls back on the panty-flashing fan service in the middle of all the drama and Koko goes all The Matrix on us but in the end the drama here is good and well worth the read.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media