By Leroy Douresseaux
March 7, 2009 - 20:14
|Rosario + Vampire 6 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
Fifteen-year-old Tsukune Aono, an average student, failed to gain admission to any high school, so he ended up at Yokai Academy. Yokai should be named “Monster High,” because every single student is a monster, which Tsukune learns only after he arrives. He thinks he’s finally gotten a lucky break when he is befriended by the beautiful Moka Akashiya. She turns out to be a vampire, and she loves to sink her teeth into Tsukune’s neck every now and then.
In Rosario+Vampire, Vol. 6 (entitled Ghouls), it’s Tsukune versus the monstrels – mixed breed monsters who hate purebred monsters. Monstrel bigwig, Kusabi Mido, seeks Tsukune as his target, until Moka, or her vampire self, steps in to declare that she is the one upon whom the monstrels seek vengeance. Tsukune, however, isn’t about to let his beloved Moka take the sound beating that Mido is giving her. When Tsukune is fatally wounded, Moka is forced to make a decision that could be the end of her friend and the birth of something terrible.
THE LOWDOWN: Like many shonen fantasy titles, Rosario+Vampire combines big fight scenes, fantastic creatures, and super-powered youths, but like the standout shonen series, Rosario+Vampire has something that sets it apart from the crowd. Creator Akihisa Ikeda has made this hugely entertaining monster manga also a heartwarming high school love story. For all its monsters (and this series does have an ever-growing menagerie of monsters) and amazing fight scenes, Rosario+Vampire always comes back to the heart of the matter, the love story of Tsukune and Moka.
Don’t think that Rosario+Vampire will ever go sappy on the reader; an inset encyclopedia of the series’ creatures makes frequent appearances, and Rosario+Vampire sometimes feels like the Addams Family’s dream version of Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Students. Readers should simply be aware of the heart felt romance at the center of this monster-y goodness.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: With the tease of Strawberry 100% and the creature feature fun of a B-movie, Rosario+Vampire will delight fans of Shonen Jump titles.