Writer: Clive Owen
To celebrate the release of VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump Advanced manga series Rosario + Vampire: Season II by author Akihisa Ikeda and the news that FUNimation Entertainment has acquired the rights to the anime version, I thought it might be a good idea to create a short guide for those who have come late to the party as the manga jumps to the next real chapter in the story of a human boy who meets a cute monster girl in a school filled with monsters.
Spanning 10 volumes, the first half of the series introduces us to Tsukune Aono, an average human boy who enrolls in Yokai Academy … a hidden school outside the world of the humans where monsters attend classes disguised as humans. His first few minutes in Yokai and Tsukune literally crashes into a gorgeous girl named Moka and thus begins a beautiful friendship that turns into infatuation. You see, Tsukune likes Moka and Moka likes Tsukune … well, his blood actually. You see, Moka is a vampire with a secret that Tsukune uncovers when he yanks off the Rosario hanging around her neck that unlocks her true power.
Transitioning into Yokai Academy isn’t easy and even more so when other monsters target Tsukune out of jealousy. I mean, how can a guy that unimpressive has the school’s most beautiful girl hanging on his arm? On top of that, he meets monsters and two witches who later become his friend and not-so-secret admirers. In later volumes, Tsukune is so badly injured that Moka’s “other self” has no choice but to transform him into a ghoul.
However, Tsukune’s ghoul self is too dangerous that he needs a strange padlock around his wrist. Saved by the mysterious Headmaster of Yokai, Tsukune and his friends in his newspaper club also uncover a plot to destroy the school. The enemy is a group of monstrels whose leader reveals himself at the end. With the school in ruins, Tsukune returns to the human world waiting for school to be back in session.
Overall, the series caters to teenage boys who like their shonen manga with lots of bloody fights and even more fan service moments that comes from the girls who are the real main attraction of this manga. Fortunately, the girls aren’t just pretty eye candy. Each one actually has a personality that stands out to the point that you will have a hard time picking out a favorite. Aside from that, the manga has a good sense of humor and a good cast of characters.
THE LADIES OF ROSARIO + VAMPIRE
MOKA AKASHIYA (VAMPIRE)
Considered one of the most beautiful girls in Yokai Academy, Moka is a sweet and down-to-Earth girl who also happens to be a beautiful vampire. It becomes clear to us that Tsukune has a crush on Moka although he doesn’t really declare his love for her. Instead, the two have a long running gag where it appears as if Moka is about to kiss Tsukune but instead bites his neck to feed on his tasty blood.
Moka has another side to her that comes out whenever Tsukune yanks off her Rosario. This “other Moka” has white hair and a ferocious nature that makes her a formidable opponent during a fight. This Moka doesn’t hold back whether it’s a swift kick or her true opinion of Tsukune that isn’t as generous as her other self. In this form, Moka is unbeatable and has white hair and skin.
KURUMU KURONO (SUCCUBUS)
On the surface, Kurumu is a bombshell in the classical sense. Beautiful and curvy in all the right places, she’s the type of girl that boys flock around and she loves the attention. Deep down inside, though, Kurumu dreams of being with her one and only soul mate and this is unlike her monstrous race that is the Succubus. In her case, Tsukune is her “mate of fate” and she is stubborn in the idea that she will win his heart with either her loyalty or her generous bosoms.
Called “bazooka girl” by her rivals, Kurumu sees Moka as her chief rival in winning Tsukune over and they fight and argue often throughout the manga. A part of Kurumu does respect Moka and the result is that she often helps Moka in times of trouble. In the meantime, she does not hesitate to smother Tsukune in her bountiful bosoms often. Unlike Moka, she has declared her love for Tsukune often and she genuinely means it.
YUKARI SENDO (WITCH)
The youngest student in Yokai Academy because she skipped a few grades due to her good grades, Yukari is a cute young witch who becomes obsessed with Moka and Tsukune. She often tells them both that she’s got a crush on both equally and dreams of dating both.
Yukari often sees Kurumu as the one that gets in the way of her dream and often casts a spell that drops a pan on Kurumu’s head. She joins the newspaper club to be around them and, in the end, becomes one of their most powerful allies.
MIZORE SHIRAYUKI (SNOW FAIRY)
Mizore is introduced half way into the first half of the series as an abominable snowgirl obsessed with Tsukune’s journalistic skills. She’s a cute young girl who is often seen with a lollipop in her mouth and a rather emotionless expression on her pretty face. Her only real interest is in Tsukune who finds her obsession in him rather creepy to the point that, at one point, she is accused of encasing two students in ice. As it turns out, it wasn’t Mizore and she realizes that maybe Tsukune wasn’t really meant for her.
Then again, it doesn’t matter because she has fallen in love with Tsukune anyway and is often seen following him around in the background. She later makes her intentions known that she wants Tsukune for herself and this often has her battling Kurumu. With the power to use ice, Mizore is a powerful ally in battle.
RUBY TOJO (WITCH)
During an outing in the Human World, Tsukune and the others confront a powerful witch that has been attacking humans. This witch uses a much younger witch to do her bidding and during a confrontation, the young with named Ruby is injured and Tsukune in the others come to her aid. If humans are so bad then why did Tsukune help her?
In a later volume, Ruby comes to Yokai Academy and the pretty girl with dark hair develops a crush on Tsukune as she comes to their aid. It is Ruby who rescues Tsukune during a tragic moment when the human boy is turned into a ghoul and it is Ruby who joins the others in a battle to save the school from a Monstrel who unleashes his master plan to destroy the school.
ROSARIO + VAMPIRE AS AN ANIME
The anime series has been running in Japan for a long time and, as you might have guessed, there’s plenty of fan service in that one as well. As I mentioned, FUNimation Entertainment has acquired the rights to the anime series and we can come to expect it in 2011. You can bet we will be reviewing it for you.
ROSARIO + VAMPIRE IN VIDEO GAMES
In 2008, a Rosario + Vampire game became available in Japan for the Nintendo DS and will probably not be available in our side of the shore … unless you purchase it in Japan, online as an import or in an anime expo. A friend had bought a copy at his local Fry’s Electronics store … which is a good place to try seeing as I bought a rare BLEACH import title for the PSP there.
Animanga Nation’s Rosario + Vampire Reviews