Rosario and Vampire ReviewJason Leyanna
Rosario and Vampire is based on the Japanese manga series of the same name. The anime first launched on TV in Japan in early 2008 and was later brought to the U.S. in DVD format by FUNimation during the 2011 holiday season. The DVD set includes two discs with a total run time of 325 minutes.
Rosario and Vampire starts by introducing the main character, Tsukune Aono, a boy who ends up getting enrolled to Yokai Academy, a school full of monsters, despite not being a monster himself. On his first day, he runs into Moka Askashiya, a vampire, and they become fast friends. On subsequent days in the first few episodes, Tsukune meets Kurumu (a succubus), Mizore (a snow fairy), and Yukari (a witch). The story of Rosario and Vampire is cute and engrossing. As the series progresses, we see the girls all pine for Tsukune as he constantly seems uncommitted to any particular one of them. As you get acquainted to these characters, you can't help but become somewhat attached to them.
The group of friends end up joining the newspaper club and have some adventures associated with the club, even one episode where they enter the "human world." They end up meeting another witch on that particular trip. In another episode there is a rival newspaper club and Tsukune et al. must try to compete and make their paper stand out among the newfound competition.
The drama and development of relationships between the female characters and Tsukune adds to the value of this series. This also continually complicates things, while keeping it interesting.
The series has some cute moments, as well as some that touch on events of a more serious nature. You always wonder who Tsukune is most interested in and if he will fully admit his love solely to Moka. Tsukune and Moka also have adorable moments when they say each other's names so caught-up in each other in the moment. This happens fairly often throughout the series.
There is constantly drama within the series and each episode has a generally short battle sequence. During intense action sequences, Tsukune unlocks Moka's hidden monster form and ass-kicking ensues. Despite being mostly helpless against monsters, Tsukune still makes the attempt to protect his female companions.
There is comic relief at times as well. I absolutely loved the bat that sporadically shows up on screen and proclaims the length of each battle before flying off the screen. This spurt of comic relief lasts only for a few seconds but occurs almost every episode.
On the whole, the plot kept me interested and enthralled. The voice acting for the dubbing is spot on. The DVD set allows access to both the Japanese (with subtitles) and English (dubbed) versions. I watched the dubbed version only. The scenes are usually filled with lively color and the anime style is well done though there seems to be more fan service than would have been necessary.
I would recommend Rosario and Vampire. It included memorable characters, plot that draws you, some drama, and a little action. The first season intrigued me enough to watch the subsequent season.
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