Thursday, 22 June 2006 00:00

Karin (TV, 2006)

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Overview

What do you get when you turn a vampire inside out? Apparently, you get Karin, a series about a young girl named Maaka Karin and her family... of vampires. If not for one minor problem, that'd be perfectly appropriate, as Karin herself is a vampire. Well, sorta. You see, Karin is rather unique among her kind. Rather than being unable to produce blood for herself, she produces far too much, and so when she goes out for a bite, it's to inject her excess blood into somebody else. It's either that, or getting enough of a nose bleed to paint the walls. Aside from that, she's just a normal, growing vampire girl... well, not really.

Review

Ok, enough on the story, onto the characters. Karin is one of those series that can't quite seem to decide what it wants to be, when all is said and done. Unusually, however, that's not a bad point - it just makes the story more interesting. The characters are the best reflection of this. In Karin, you have the typical school girl, only with fangs. Usui Kenta isn't the Typical Anime Wuss, but he does share some of the traits, and his character design leaves him permanently bug-eyed, something commented on several times throughout the course of the anime. The Maaka family is fun and varied, hitting on some cliches and ignoring others completely. Anju is easily one of the cutest EGL characters I've seen in a long time, and her talking, knife-wielding puppet Bge-kun makes for some great comic relief. Overall, I did enjoy the characters - I'll explain the exception in my summary.

The music is excellent overall, though for the subject matter was perhaps a little too light-hearted at times. My pet peeve of the music never controlling the scene was met, so it's fair to say that you won't be annoyed by any of the tracks. The Op and End themes are fun, though I found myself skipping past them to get to the show proper after watching them once, so your mileage may vary.

The voice acting is very good, with Karin's VA in particular getting into her role. Anju's actress did a great job too, especially when the script called for a rather abrupt change in the character's direction, so high marks are deserved. The rest of the cast seemed quite comfortable in their roles, with the exception of Winner's - more on that in the summary. A great job, overall.

Overall

While overall I have to call Karin a good series, I can't call it a GREAT series, for a couple of reasons. One is that the story, while good, just isn't what I'd call great when you consider what the series premise is. A reverse vampire? That's a basis with remarkable potential... yet Karin spends most of her time trying to just be a high schooler. I understand that that was her goal, but so much more could have been done here - and was done, in the manga, or so I'm told. Still, the plotline was good, and well worth watching, so don't take that too harshly.

As I alluded to above, there was one major reason that I couldn't truly enjoy the series, and that reason was named Winner. It takes effort for one character to ruin a story, and unfortunately the writers went to that effort. Winner is a vampire hunter, and is a character made expressly for the TV series - he doesn't appear in the manga. On the face of it, Winner could have been a likable character... had he SHUT THE HELL UP!! He was introduced as a... well, to be honest, I'm not even sure what he was introduced as, because I started skipping past his appearances pretty quick. Supposedly a vampire hunter, Winner was loud, obnoxious, and liked to run around shouting catch phrases, accompanied by on-screen flashes and Kanji appearing... Without him, the series would have been far, far better. It might even have managed to be great, despite how little the writers did with the potential of Karin's character

Instead the result was a good anime with some nice character development and some pretty good twists and turns that ultimately felt unfinished and like a wasted chance. Go ahead and watch the series, it is worth it, but don't expect too much out of it.

Additional Info

  • Title: Karin, Chibi-Vampire, かりん
  • Genre: Vampire, Romance, Slice of Life, Comedy
  • Director: Shinichiro Kimura
  • Studio: J.C. Staff
  • Licensed: Geneon Entertainment
  • Network: WOWOW
  • Format: Television
  • Episodes: 24
  • Animation: Good (+2)
  • Writing: Above Average (+1)
  • Pacing: Good (+2)
  • Voice Acting: Very Good (+3)
  • Soundtrack: Average (0)
Last modified on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 23:20

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