Saturday, 19 April 2008 00:00

Rosario + Vampire (TV, 2008)

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Overview

Tsukune Aono just failed the entry into pretty much every High School around...except for one. A school in another dimension that caters to the education of the monster children of this world into the human sphere of influence in a Masquerade situation. Though he doesn't realize this at first, not until he runs into the one of the students, the beautiful Moka...who immediately uses him to slake her thirst being a vampire. So begins his problems of collecting babes who represent the forces of darkness, trying to stay alive in a place whose denizens typically see humans as chow, all the while slipping into the role of your basic soulless harem anime protagonist...eventually with awesome power.

Review

You know, I always wanted a harem of busty evil type babes. Like Ataru, I wanted to partake in some debauchery right after I first heard the term. Succubi, Vampire babes, Ice Maidens, Fire Maidens, you name it. It'd be great, it's like twice the bang for the buck...not only am I engaged in polygamy, but I'm consorting with the forces of darkness all at the same time. Twice the sin, none of the guilt. I have this dream, you see, of taking over a small chunk of Hell...nothing major, just about the size of Texas. There I would raise whole crops of demonic babes...engage in cross breeding, and come up with newer and more exciting busty forces of pure dagnasty evil. Truly, the entire enterprise would be everything a horny dark lord could ever hope to or even want to achieve in any lifetime...or afterlifetime as it were, heh.

So imagine my delight at hearing about an anime that was attempting to do just that. Rosario + Vampire...a really odd name all things considered Still, a guy that starts collecting the molestable forces of darkness? Hell, sign me up for that. I really should learn to just keep my big flap shut sometimes.

The basic premise just appeals to the part of me that just loves the way many girls in fantasy look. The exotic nature of girls like elves, drow, vampire girls, succubi, etc, etc...I suppose you might consider it a fetish of sorts, but I'm certainly not the only one who has it. It seemed like this particular anime was about to bury the hatchet once and for all.

Terrible, TERRIBLE shame about that. Fantastic premise, but an absolutely poor execution. Rather than dealing with several girls, each with their unique, and at times, outright alien instincts and points of view, we have a harem anime with nothing more than a gathering of magical girlfriends with an artificially induced theme of everyone living together in peace and harmony despite their differences. Humorously this is contradicted by the fact the monsters go to school to learn how to blend in to human society, ala the Masquerade, despite the near world killing power of the forces arrayed in that school alone.

If you haven't figured it out, I'm calling shenanigans on the whole fucking thing. You've read this before. You've watched this before. You've seen it better done. This story is only worth it for the artwork.

However, I'm not really here to talk about the story as a whole in reference to both the anime and the manga. No, the manga, despite it's assinine weaknesses, lack of story telling imagination, monster of the week premise, and eye rolling haremisms, has one thing going for it that the anime (which is what I'm actually supposed to be reviewing here, heh) lacks.

COHERENCE!!!

I did not finish Rosario + Vampire's anime. It is flat out impossible to finish it for anyone who is interested in logical progression of events in their story. It's certainly not that the animators did their own thing, oh no...we've all seen varying degrees of success in that. It's that when they did their own thing, they didn't bother to make it make any sense...and then there's the entire annoying self righteous moralizing they tossed in there for reasons unknown, but that's irrelevant to the overall complete and total lack of story telling ability from script writer and director.

Before I get to that, I'd love to talk about the characters. Well, I'd love to talk about them, but to be perfectly honest, you've seen these guys before. There's the tsundere (the vampire Moka...with a bit of a twist), the horny babe Kurumu (the succubus virgin...yeah), the loli Yukari (the young witch who snagged Aliel's supply of Spanish Fly), and...you know, I'll just stop there. There's really no point in going much further since we have copies of these characters in the harem too. Oh, the main character? Tsukune Aono...he looks and acts about as you'd expect for someone like him, which is to say, he's only one step shy of being a complete cypher. A typical anime soulless wuse...who eventually even gets awesome power, but I have no intention of talking about that since the entire concept of what that boy was dealing with isn't explored in the least. Oh right, the mothers of the girls want to fuck him too, yup...just thought I'd toss that out there so you could roll your eyes at the extreme cliche that represents. Harem anime at it's finest...gotta love that.

There were two MASSIVE problems that prevented this show from being a guilty pleasure vice the collision of two planets in a cacophony of destruction on a galactic scale. No, it wasn't the inclusion of the emo Yuuki Ona, Mizore, way before she should have been...that could have been easily handled if the script writer and director had that big a hard on for her. It wasn't even the self righteous moralizing that occasionally popped up...and I don't recall seeing THAT in the manga. No, it was episodes 9 and 10. That's right, the WHOLE eps.

I've not seen a character (such as she was) assassinated with such overwhelming firepower since Kajishima did Kiyone and Achika with his Unicron sized scriptorial dildo. To be strictly accurate though, that was only a consequence to Transformers Armada-esque (I need to find a better word for that) temporal disassociation that occurs through the entire thing.

These are the eps that introduce Ruby, the second witch in the harem. Yeah, he has two...don't worry, he has two vampires as well. You'd think he could have mixed it up a bit with that lamia teacher that he probably got fucked by. In any event, by this point in the manga, the cat is out of the bag, everyone knows that Tsukune is human...sort of. Being used as vampire food for so long does have its drawbacks, though being a super powered ghoul has certain perks, I must admit. Like being able to survive being nearly bisected (and I don't mean dodging, I mean, his stomach muscles are about the only thing keeping the two halves of him from falling apart) from behind by an enraged witch...then getting up and kicking her right lovely ass.

Guess what he's NOT by this point in the anime. So what happens next is all the girls in the anime go completely BERSERK, and...somehow Ruby wakes up not dead and Tsukune is talking to her as if nothing happened with a few token bandages on himself. I mean, Moka transforms without removing the Rosario, and that's bad enough (there are...bad things that happen when that happens in the manga), but the rest? There is just plain flat out no excuse at all for it. You just don't walk away from something like that if you're human. And Ruby wouldn't have walked away either; where instead we get some token protests from the girls, after which they go back to being cheery and amiable...until Ruby goes intergalactically postal.

What happens in episode ten is a completely destruction of the character (such as she had) of Ruby, and any lingering shred of continuity the characters (again, such as they are) or story (such as it was) had. In the manga she was under the command of her 'master' who had a bone to pick with the human race. I can certainly understand being rather disgruntled with us...I mean, most of us are rather disgusted with us, so it stands to reason someone else likely is too. Ruby acts as her master's proxy at first, but after being haremified by Tsukune (and there's no other word for it), she finds herself not feeling up to turning us all into Soilent Green anymore, despite her parents dying in a car crash. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Anyway, this is not what's going on in the anime and I don't even know why the script writer did it. Ruby's master is dead, and she can't seem to get over this in the anime...to the point she starts pulling out nuclear fucking evil and destroying damn near everyone and everything eventually even herself...and the characters are relieved she didn't off herself when the bus driver shows up with her unconscious later. They've flipped people the bird for less.

Sorry, my I believe hit me with a fusion blast, but that is something not even the VA of Rainbow Brite could convince me of, though I'd love to listen to her voice as she tried. Man, I'm getting a restaining order from Bettina for that one. Seriously though, I can't begin to imagine what they were thinking. Even Oh! Great, with his complete lack of ability to tell any story at all could have done better than this dreck. I didn't check the script, but I'm curious if they hired the writer of Transformers Armada to do this...it would certainly explain it.

Hell, I'm running out of euphemisms for this shit. I actually deleted it off my hard drive...I don't DO that! Well, not without making a backup anyway, but the point is, that this is a classic example of no real quality control. A once over from a critical eye and enough power to say, "The fuck was this?" would have been more than enough to set this straight. You didn't even need to have read the original story from the manga...just noting a does not proceed to b...it went from a to "orange arbyfish prevent scurvy," only not remotely as cool.

I can't believe they fucked this one up. This was a gimme! Pity the company that picks it up, because you know SOMEONE will...this will not sell. And let's find out who is really responsible for this...we'd only be doing the whole world a favor by getting him/her/them out of anime and just flipping burgers for the rest of their lives. Just remember avoid that McDonald's at all costs...like this anime.

Characters Voice Actors/Actresses
Tsukune Aono Daisuke Kishio
Moka Akashiya Nana Mizuki
Kurumu Kurono Misato Fukuen
Yukari Sendo Kimiko Koyama
Mizore Shirayuki Rie Kugimiyai
Ruby Dojo Saeko Chiba
Shizuka Nekonome Kikuko Inoue
Ririko Kagome Aya Hisakawa
Ginei Morioka Tomokazu Seki
Bus Driver Norihiro Inoue

Additional Info

  • Title: Rosario + Vampire, ロザリオとバンパイア
  • Genre: Action, Harem, Romantic Comedy, Supernatural
  • Director: Takayuki Inagaki
  • Studio: Gonzo
  • Licensed: Funimation Entertainment
  • Network: Tokyo MX, Chiba TV, TV Kanagawa, TV Saitama, TV Osaka, TV Aichi, Aomori Broadcasting Corporation, Kids Station
  • Format: Television
  • Episodes: 13
  • Animation: Groovy (+5)
  • Writing: Very Bad (-3)
  • Pacing: Kill it with Fire! (-4)
  • Voice Acting: Very Good (+3)
  • Soundtrack: Very Good (+3)
Last modified on Wednesday, 21 March 2012 13:47

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