Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rosario + Vampire vol. 1 Impression

Rosario + Vampire manga volume 1
Meet Tsukune Aono, a below average 15 year old student whose only hope for school is a random facility his parents enrolled him in, when they found a brochure laying around. It’s not enough to have to go to a school in the middle of nowhere with no friends, but to be sent to a monster school, well that just takes the cake. Yes, the school Tsukune’s parents enrolled him in; the only school that would have him is a school for monsters. Before he can even reach school he’s run into by a beautiful young girl, who proceeds to nip at his neck and taste his sweet, sweet blood. Yes she’s a vampire and her name is Moka Akasiya and she just happens to be the most beautiful girl in school and she has a thing for her first love … er drink which only complicates Tsukune’s time in school. So he’s the only human in a school full of monsters, have of which want to hurt him bad for taking Moka’s affection while the other half want to upstage Moka. The only rule of the school, monsters must stay in human for, which saves Tsukune’s butt. The challenges begin and when the cross pendant, the Rosario, around Moka’s neck is removed her true powers come out as her hair turns silver, attitude matures and the royalty of monsters is revealed in a full fledged vampire.

With excellent art and story by Akihisa Ikeda, Rosario + Vampire is a treat for fans of awkward love, monster and harem manga. Yeah, strange combination, but this is not your average manga. The character designs are funny as well as violent and sexy, all at the right time. The design never gets too complicated and does an outstanding job of relaying the cranked up action and the subtle romantic moments. The story contains humor, seen right off the bat with a chance blood sucking encounter and action that always seems to end in one big punch/kick by Moka as she tells the recipient to know their place. We’ve got an encounter with a school bully, no biggie right? Yeah, he’s a demon. Next up, encounters with a swim club that turns out to be run by man draining mermaids, news paper club purvey werewolf and a Succubus, Kurumu Kurono, who vies for Tsukune’s affection and Moka’s status. So begins the challenges of high school for Tsukune, the most difficult challenge being his feelings for Moka … and being just a human in a monster school. Rosario + Vampire is one of the most enjoyable new manga I’ve come across in a while as it mixes romance with action in a way any man, boy, girl or woman will enjoy. Excellent art topped off by a fun story, Rosario + Vampire is moving to the head of the class and a spot in my collection.

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