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Rosario + Vampire

Rosario + Vampire

For as long as humans have been around, we've conjured up frightful creatures to explain the unknown, to warn the young of danger, or simply to tell a good story. Sirens, succubi, werewolves, lamia. The most infamous of them all, perhaps, is the vampire, known for its appetite for blood and its unmatched power. Such are products of the imagination, though not so, as Tsubuke Aono comes to learn in Rosario + Vampire.

Tsukune isn't that bright of a bulb. He bombed every high school entrance exam there is, and his last hope of finishing his primary education is an institution way out in the sticks. So far out in the sticks that it's in another realm. Yokai Academy hosts, true to its name, a student body comprised entirely of ghouls and monsters—the exact creatures our ancestors told fearful tales of. And he won't make it to his graduation ceremony if any of his carnivorous classmates catch wind of him being human. He catches a lucky break, though, when he befriends—and romances—a gaggle of battle-capable young ladies, beginning with Moka Ayakashi: a vampire whose power is sealed away by the rosario dangling from her neck.

Adapted from the manga by Akihisa Ikeda, the anime borrows its source material's characters and plots to create its own identity. The manga is more story-driven, emphasizing the queue of villains seeking to defeat Tsukune, while the anime assembles a monster-of-the-week framework, which sees a new antagonist each episode. It's laxer in tone and performs a ton of trimming to the original narrative, shuffling arcs around and introducing the members of Tsukune's harem sooner than they debut in the manga. It retains the chapterly formatting, however, with much of an episode's airtime devoted to the girls throwing themselves at Tsukene and each concluding with a one-sided battle, where he, in the nick of time, pulls Moka's rosario free, unleashing her awesome power on whatever bad guy or gal was brazen enough to pick a fight.

- Article by C.C. Cooper

Rosario + Vampire is out now