Personal Favorites: Rosario+Vampire

Allow me to paint the picture.

You have a young, teenaged boy trying to navigate high school and adolescence just like any other. Sounds simple enough right?

The only problem is, he goes to a high school where he is the sole human being. The only one.

Tsukune Aono isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, so he was unable to get into any of the local high schools with to his lackluster academic performance. Because of this, his parents are forced to enroll him in Yokai Academy, a school for monsters, ghouls, beasts, and all other types of non-human entities. Imagine that being your safety school.

The purpose of Yokai Academy, aside from educating young monsters, is to show monster youths how to interact with human beings as well as disguise themselves as human beings. Despite this, human beings are absolutely not allowed to step foot on the grounds of Yokai Academy, with the punishment for this being death. With this in mind, Tsukune is forced to hide his identity as a human being and blend in, while simultaneously trying to navigate adolescence like a regular high school student.

However, while trying to navigate life as a regular high schooler, the same thing happens to Tsukune that happens to many young men while trying to navigate high school. He meets a beautiful girl that throws his life into a frenzy. Her name is Moka Akashiya.

The gentle and soft-spoken Moka Akashiya is one of the very first friends that Tsukune makes at Yokai Academy. With this, it is only natural that they get along and become close friends. Unbeknownst to Tsukune at the time however, the girl he met on his first day of school would turn out to be a vampire, as well as the most sought-after girl at Yokai Academy.

Throughout the course of the series, Tsukune is forced to deal with his new reality of living in the world of monsters. This transition, however, is made somewhat easier by his friendship with Moka and other students who take a liking to Tsukune.

As the series continues, Tsukune and Moka are forced into many tricky situations that come as a result of being in the world of monsters. They are forced to fight, go through the daily struggle of running the newspaper club as well as try to live a normal life as high schoolers. However, its only natural (with this being manga and all) that there are actors and forces above the level of simple high schoolers that play a role in making this story more complicated than it first appears.

The development of both plot and characters during Rosario + Vampire is excellent as the story really ramps up in the second part of the series called Rosario + Vampire Season 2. Season 2 is where the story is laid bare and everything is put on the table to play out as written by Ikeda.

The story really reaches its peak in Season 2 as it turns everything great about Rosario + Vampire up a notch (action, comedy, romance) and gives you exactly what you want.

Rosario + Vampire is a series that is exciting, funny and genuinely hard not to love.

I hope you enjoy Rosario + Vampire as much as I did when first reading it.

Note: In 2008, an anime adaptation of the series was made that garnered a but of a cult following. While this anime served as many people’s introduction to the series, my honest assessment is that this anime is not the best, despite being good for a few laughs.

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“S… surely… I’m a… weak… worthless guy… Moka-san, but I realized, it wasn’t right running back home and parting with you like that… because I, want to be your friend Moka-san, even if you are a vampiress, I like you Moka-san.” – Tsukune Aono

Physical volumes of the Rosario + Vampire manga are available on:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

(I recommend the box set as it contains the entire series from start to finish)

The manga can be read digitally on:

iBooks

Comixology

Kindle

If you absolutely must watch the anime, Season 1 is available on Hulu and the entire series (Season 1 and 2) is available on Funimation.

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