Aono Tsukune is so hard up on luck, that he can't even get admitted into high school. His parents finally find him a school with no tests required for admittance, out in the middle of nowhere. He finds out the school is a youkai (monster) academy, Just as he is about to resign himself and get back on the bus home, he bumps into a beautiful girl. Turns out this beautiful girl, Akashiya Moka, is also a vampire who bites him right off the bat. They become friends and Tsukune is ready for a happy school life with her, until he finds out that if a human is found on the school grounds, he or she should be killed. Now Tsukune must conceal his identity from the rest of the monsters at school, while at the same time being a ready snack for Moka when ever the urge takes her. What effect will this have on Tsukune and will Moka be able to keep him out of harm's way?
Rosario to Vampire was published in English as Rosario+Vampire by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint from June 3, 2008 to November 3, 2009. A complete box set (that includes the entire Rosario to Vampire: Season II) was released on November 3, 2015. The series was also published in Italian by GP Manga from July 22, 2012 to April 27, 2013.
After years within the anime & manga community, I have come across a particular argument time & time again; "the manga/light novel/visual novel is better". This is usually in a bid to get people to check out the original source material, after witnessing a lacklustre anime/live action adaptation collapse in on itself.
Well Rosario + Vampire is a perfect example of such a case, whether you enjoy this kind of manga or not, the community has come to a unanimous agreement that this particular manga is worlds better than it’s unexpectedly popular anime adaptation. And it’s surprising how serious people get about it, given that
it is merely a Shounen Supernatural Harem manga, with a bit of Comedy & Action thrown in for good measure.
Yet there’s no need to come into R+V expecting a fantastic story; as this simply is just your average high school Rom/Com, with some monsters thrown in. Well that’s how it is at first, as Tsukune Aono (a.k.a. Generic Male Protagonist No.91), through some odd circumstances, ends up as the only human in a Monster Academy. Now if he were a sensible human being he would GTFO, but sometimes going to school is more important than one’s well-being. Well it may also have something to do with the attractive girls throwing themselves at Tsukune, giving him less of a reason to leave. And there we have our story, with Tsukune tying to enjoy his Harem Haven, whilst dealing with life-threatening monster encounters, all while trying not to reveal his human nature to rest of the student body.
Sounds like one heck of a school-life fantasy, but the actual content does get somewhat stale and repetitive; with Tsukune getting into the usual mishaps & misunderstandings. Then closing things out with a monster spawn and having some contrived reason to force an altercation of sorts with Tsukune or the girls… rinse & repeat. So it’s good that the mangaka quickly realizes that this is a stale formula, rather quickly and focuses on developing the characters through more in-depth mini-arcs, which is a welcome change from the previous episodic storylines.
The characters are what help elevate R+V, but even with that said; there’s nothing unique about the character set-up to set it apart from your average harem. We have yet another “loser-kun” as our male protagonist, who somehow happens to attract cute girls like a magnet. The cute girls in question come in a variety of shapes & sizes but I like that there’s more to them than their initial personality traits. Each of them has some depth to their character, to ensure that they are more than just an otaku’s dakimakura (love pillow), which helps make them all appealing in some way. However we come back to Tsukune, who’s even less appealing and less developed than the generic villains, until about the point where the anime & manga storyline splits off. It is from that point on that Tsukune undergoes some surprising developments… for the better.
In my opinion the best as aspect of R+V is the artwork, which comes in 2 varieties. The most prominent being the usual day to day high school occurrences, with fairly simplistic yet serviceable artwork and then there’s the pockets of action, with bloody intense artwork. The characters & monster designs are somewhat imaginative but they tend to lack detail in their features. However when expressing a distinct mood or emotion, the mangaka makes fantastic use of shading. And I must add that the artwork undergoes some dramatic improvements, as the mangaka improves as an artist, along with the story.
Overall Rosario + Vampire is a mediocre harem manga that eventually grows into something that people, who crave more than the odd flash of pantsu-service, can enjoy. Unfortunately it is a manga that has an issue with inconsistencies in the story, creating some noticeable plot-holes, and inconsistencies in character behaviour, creating some questionable moments. Even with its issues and the incredibly repetitive “monster of the week” set-up in the earlier chapters; it is good when the story breaks free from its episodic shackles, to surprise the reader with a fairly in-depth set of stories & characters. Thus allowing me to recommend R+V, to anyone who is not initially turned off by the premise of reading such a manga.
I keep asking myself why didn't I read this sooner?!?!Actually I know why : because of a stupid reason.While browsing the database of one of my favorite manga websites,I stumbled upon this manga.The title was good,the summary was good,everything was good except for the "ecchi" part included in the genre tags.So I just thought to myself : nah!I'm not in the mood for reading ecchi stuff.This is for boys,maybe some other time....So I kept on avoiding Rosario + Vampire ( actually those ecchi stuff are barely noticeable;they're not even worth being called ecchi,so I avoided this manga basically for nothing
XD) .But after continuously hearing and reading about it almost everywhere I decided to finally give it a try.
STORY : I gues this might be the only weak point of this manga.However,even if the story is,well,more or less a cliche story (vampires + mosters school + hero with no power whatsoever/ hidden powers - basically elements that we encounter in many other manga as well),the author's style and the superb art transform this average story into an unforgettable experience!Moreover,I can't find even a single detail that I don't like about this story.The adventure is harmoniously combined with romance,comedy and a lot of supernatural , offering the reader the occasion of experimenting a wide range of emotions : delight,suspense,curiosity,impatience,happiness etc. Truthfully, a fascinatig and pleasant story.
ART :Just like I mentioned earlier,the art is absolutely irreproachable.The characters are superbly drawn in extremely varied situations : while fooling around,while being nervous,angered,worried,while fighting,while expressing their feelings and so on.There isn't a moment whatsoever when the characters aren't being expressive.On the contrary,they're emotions are so easy to read the reader himself will be immersed in the story without even realizing it.
CHARACTERS :This somehow reminds me of harem genre.An average boy,with no particular qualities -besides being kindhearted ad a loyal friend maybe - surrounded by plenty beautiful and talented women - and even a 13 years old girl.Of course,he is in love with the most beautiful and powerful of them all ("know you place!" I would say if I were Moka XD).But of course Moka,also likes him a lot so they go through all hardship together.What a perfect couple!The other girls are fun too.You'll definitely like them!And they all fight for his sake...What a like guy,isn't he ? XD
ENJOYMENT : I can't find enough words to describe how much I enjoyed this manga!If there were higher marks than 10 I would surely give the highest to Rosario to Vampire,but since 10 is the only mark possible,then I'll give this manga a 10 + for enjoyment ^_^
As a conclusion,whether you like shounen manga,or shoujo manga,or supernatural manga or whatever other genre,you should at least TRY to read Rosario to Vampire.I guarantee you will be so into it that you'll read it in no time.I think this is a manga that will suite anyones tastes.
Now to talk about what I consider to be one of the best cases of the manga being superior to the anime, Rosario + Vampire.
Story - 10/10
15 year old Tsukune Aono enrolls at the Youkai Academy, due to the fact that no other high school will accept him, and while walking from the bus to the school, a girl named Moka Akashiya crashes into him - who reveals herself to be a vampire by sucking Tsukune's blood. After arriving at the school, he quickly realizes that the school is actually a school for monsters. And it turns out that Moka is in his
The story in the manga isn't exactly ground breaking on it's own, but it's actually like it's completely different from the anime - mainly because it feels like they take more time to flesh out the characters, as opposed to the anime, which felt like it was basically trying to rush to introduce all of the characters from the first season (I cannot comment on the second season, since I have not seen it, and to my understanding, the second season of the anime is not adapted from the manga). True, they do establish that this is a harem by introducing Kurumu in the second chapter, but after that, whenever a character is introduced, it feels like said character is actually being introduced to the story, instead of being forced into the story. Also, the fight scenes actually feel like fight scenes - they don't have a lot of fanservice, so it's easier to take them seriously. Also, the manga has a lot more content than the anime - however, I'm not going to list out all the things that the manga has that the anime doesn't, since that would be spoiling the manga, and it would also take me a long time to do so.
Art - 9/10
The anime has ONE advantage over the manga in this area: it's colored. Other than that, I would actually say that the art in the anime was a downgrade from the art in the manga (although I think that the studio responsible for making the anime adaptation is to blame for that).
Character - 10/10
While the personalities of the characters in the manga are similar to their anime counterparts, as mentioned previously, they have more time to develop, and as a result, they feel more fleshed out. Also, because there's more content in the manga, we actually get to see aspects of the characters that the anime doesn't show. For example, Mizore and Kurumu's parents are actually introduced - and it's apparent that the traits of those 2 are passed down.
This has easily earned itself a spot on my top 5 favorite manga, and I'm definitely going to read the second season. Stay tuned for when I eventually tackle the second season of the manga.
Rosario + Vampire isn't anything special. Now I'll start by saying it isn't your typical harem manga, being set in a school full of different monsters, so I'll start with a good note and applaud them for abit of originality on that part.
But the praise dies there; the same recycled plot device and non-existant character development gets painfully old fast, the characters in general are so generic it's unbelieveable, like "here's typical loser harem protaganist"surrounded by lots of women who love him...*yawn* Now atleast with other harem mangas the setting changes abit, like there'll be a scene in school, then maybe at lunch or after
school at someone's house or in town, this manga always has the same settings, and always the same suspicious character who ends up being the villian for that chapter, it's more predictable than scoopy doo. Alot of fan service is presence, I mean i'm not complaining i'm a guy afterall but it seems to me that the fan service is used to cover up for the flaws of the series, like they think people won't notice if they shove a chest into the readers face.
There's now a second series of the manga out but I couldn't care less, I haven't read it but I'm guessing that they've probably made the characters abit older and added a new fanservice girl.
So to summarize:
- The setting is pretty original; applause
- The art is also good so thumbs up to the artist
- Same recycled plot device; very predictable
- Generic and uninteresting characters; non-existant development
- Lack of settings makes the story get boring fast
- Over reliant on fan service; used to cover flaws
- Typical whinny protagonist
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