Rosario + Vampire: Season One Limited Edition and CAPU 2
by Amber Burnham
Now available on DVD from FUNimation Entertainment
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Rosario + Vampire is a fun and entertaining high school drama with girls kicking ass and plenty of fan service! With both seasons available from FUNimation, you will be able to enjoy all twenty-six episodes.
Tsukune Aono is a hopeful high school student in Rosario + Vampire: Season One. There is only one problem, he failed the entrance exams and has been rejected from all the schools in town. One day his father comes home with information to enroll Tsukune in a high school named Yokai Academy. Shortly after arriving Tsukune befriends a beautiful pink haired girl named Moka Akashiya, and as it turns out, is a vampire. Come to find out everyone at Yokai Academy are monsters and there are no humans allowed: what is Tsukune to do?
In this high school drama with a monster twist, you will enjoy watching Tsukune live everyday with only Moka knowing that he is a human. He manages to get himself in trouble because at this school he is a heartthrob! There are many girls who fall in love with him. These girls end up becoming friends with Tsukune and Moka, which creates a team of beautiful girls to save Tsukune at every turn. Despite the team, most of the saving comes from Moka. But not in her pretty, sweet-natured pink haired form. She wears a rosary that locks her true power and form inside. Tsukune is the only person who is able to remove the rosary from her neck. When this happens, Moka becomes a strong S-class vampire, and is able to beat the enemy quickly. This is not to say that Tsukune doesn’t play a part in saving his friends, it is just not done in the same way.
The comedy in Rosario + Vampire relies heavily on sight gags and repeated jokes, most of which are done in a way that remains funny through the whole thirteen episodes. One gag that is done well is where Tsukune and Moka look longingly at each other as if they are going to kiss and then it ends with Moka sucking Tsukune’s blood. At first it is funny, then it begins to get old, but as soon as this happens, the bat narrator and other characters begin pointing this same fact out with makes it funny again. Many of the gags are done in the same way, which keeps you laughing, even if the joke or gag is the same you saw in the previous episode.
There is a common theme running through the show; accepting people, or in this case monsters, for who they are. The theme is not forced due to it being shown that there is not only prejudice between humans and monsters but also between the monsters on campus. This theme comes to the forefront when the rest of Tsukune’s friends are forced to face the reality that he is a human and that Moka was helping him to keep the secret. It adds an undertone of a serious nature to the otherwise fun-loving episodes. This also helps to give the end of the season the real background that is needed in order to make the battle that is being fought feel as serious as it is.
Rosario + Vampire: CAPU 2 has the whole gang of friends returning to Yokai Academy for another year of high school. In this season, there are new threats but for the most part it focuses on the girls fighting over who is going to be with Tsukune romantically. Some of the girls’ parents get involved in the dispute and this leads to strange and hilarious circumstances for Tsukune.
The second season was put together much like the first; with there being a dramatic circumstance surrounding Tsukune and his friends that is solved by bringing out Moka’s strong vampire side. The few instances that they did attempt to change the format did not really work in the series as a whole. There seemed to be a lot of musical numbers throughout the second season, many of which did not fit inside the action and felt more like time fillers. Also, some of the gags used in the first season were reused, which in itself is not the problem, but they tried to change them up ending in gags that were not as funny this time.
A part of the second season I felt they should have focused more on is the latent power that was now inside of Tsukune. Due to the fight at the end of season one, Tsukune was a little more than just human. This aspect of him was not explored until the last two episodes of the second season, although there were plenty of opportunities for it to be shown earlier. It almost felt like it was only used to help him achieve his goals instead of making a critical part of his growing character. If this aspect would have been explored in further detail, perhaps the other changes would not have been necessary. The plot would have had enough depth to support the normal routine of the show.
I did feel that the fighting in Rosario + Vampire: CAPU 2 was done better than in the original season. The other characters were given a chance to show their worth, instead of it just being up to Moka. Although in the end Moka still played the “save the day” character, this time she was willing, and at times asked for the help of the other characters. This gave the fights more depth and variety.
Rosario + Vampire is available to buy in three ways; the Rosario + Vampire Limited Edition First Season, Rosario + Vampire: CAPU 2, or Rosario + Vampire: The Complete Series box set. Rosario + Vampire Limited Edition First Season box set comes with a full color art book. This book contains beautiful drawings of the girls from the show.
Amber Burnham has a BA in Early Childhood Education from Kendall College. She is also a regular panelist on Kichicast, the all-girl, Chicago-based podcast devoted to anime, manga, and Japanese culture. You can listen to Kichicast at kichigi.com.
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