There really hasn't been any Anime that has made me sit down and watch through the whole thing after I've skimmed through the videos besides the 5 Centimeters per Second movie and Code Geass so far. Now a few new series have started for the winter season so once again I decided to download and skim again to see if there was anything interesting. One more show has managed to catch my interest namely the Manga to Anime show, "Rosario + Vampire".
Episode 1 - A New Life with a Vampire
The story begins with a boy gazing out of the bus at a group of school girls riding by on their bikes. It seems he's looking forward to his high school life... Or at least he was.
Tsukune Aono has failed his high school entrance exams and so he won't be going to the same place as his friends. Just when things looked bleak, his father picks up a high school brochure from some strange passerby on his way home. The parents become so happy that Tsukune can now continue onto highschool without another exam. On the other hand, Tsukune didn't like the idea of just going to some random place but he had no choice. Now he was on the way there, being the only passenger on the bus.
As the bus continues along the road, the driver turns round to ask if Tsukune was a new student at Youkai Academy. Tsukune answers yes hesitantly. The driver with his eyes gleaming on his ominous dark face, he warns it was a terrifying place. Just as Tsukune was about to ask why, their conversation is interrupted by Tsukune's mobile. It was his cousin Kyoko who was concerned about Tsukune's move. She never heard of this "Youkai Academy" (note the Kanji is 陽海 and not the "demon" 妖怪) before so she done some research about it but before she could say anything more, the bus enters a long dark tunnel and the call is cut off.
Getting off the bus, a blood red withering world awaited Tsukune. He couldn't believe the difference. The driver, still with the dark look on his face, tells Tsukune to be careful and drives off. Just before Tsukune walks off, he decides to try and call Kyou back but the line was dead for some reason. Picking up his belongings, he enters a dark eery forest which should lead him to the school. Some crow cries scares him making him fall onto the ground. Something seemed to have startled them. A creaking sound is heading in Tsukune's direction.
Tsukune pushes on. He didn't want to know what it was but it was getting ever so close. He turns round and looks up only to see a squeaky bat flying by and greeting him. Thinking that was all it was, he breathes a sigh of relief but it seems he relaxed too soon. A bike comes flying into him and a girl is sent flying to the ground. Clasping his head Tsukune gets up accidentally putting his hand on the girl's thigh. As she apologises, Tsukune was stunned by the cute long pink haired girl before him. He backs off realising where his hand was and his nose starts to bleed from all the excitement.
Seeing the blood the girl panics and quickly taking out her handkerchief, she rushes over to wipe it off Tsukune but she stops midway. She was captivated by the smell of the blood. She goes onto tell Tsukune that she was a vampire before apologising and taking a quick bite. Tsukune cries out but is surprised to find there's no blood or mark where she bit.
The girl gets up and catches eye of Tsukune's brochure. When she hears that he's a new student at Youkai Academy too, she becomes very happy knowing there is someone in the same situation as her. However, something was bothering her. Hesitantly she asks if Tsukune hates Vampires. Thinking it was just a joke he replies he doesn't and also agrees to be the girl's friend. She jumps towards him to give him hug, introducing herself as Moka Akashiya. Tsukune couldn't be happier that he's going to attend high school with such a cute girl.
After that little event, Tsukune finally arrives in class. As the teacher Shizuka Nekonome welcomes everyone and starts introducing the academy, Tsukune soon becomes wary that something is wrong. Youkai Academy was a place where Youkai learned how to live in harmony with humans that ruled the world. Nekonome continues to introduce the rules but one of the students isn't very happy to go along with them. Saizou Komiya thinks he can just eat all the humans instead if he ever comes across one. Unfortunately for him, it wasn't likely any humans would be found on the campus because it was a secret world hidden by a powerful seal.
Meanwhile, Tsukune was scared stiff as he watched Saizou flicking his snaky tongue in and out of his mouth and tried to avoid his gaze. He never expected the school to be really full of Youkais. Just then a new student is introduced to the class who is the very same girl Tsukune met earlier. Moka is overjoyed to see him and wastes no time in jumping over to him a big hug again.
After class, Moka leads Tsukune to a vending machine outside holding his hand. They were already attracting a lot of attention and the males were very jealous of Tsukune. As they sit down to sip their drinks, Tsukune begins to wonder if Moka really was a vampire. Their little time is interrupted when Saizou appears, not happy that such a beautiful girl like Moka would hang around with such a weakling. He picks Tsukune up by the collar and throws him violently against the vending machine. Saizou tries to take Moka away but she refuses, rushing to Tsukune's side to see how he was doing. Together, they head to the school roof and are left alone for the time being.
Up above, Moka was relieved they got out of the little conflict safely and was laughing at Tsukune. It looked as if he saw a Youkai for the first time. She goes onto ask what kind of Youkai he was but then remembers it was against the school rules to reveal your identity. She only did it earlier because she didn't know and explains that the rosario around her neck was a seal that stopped her from turning into a horrifying vampire. Only someone else could remove it from her. Suddenly, she remembers the blood she tasted earlier as she closes in on Tsukune trying to take another bite. Scared, Tsukune draws away and runs. He had to get away from this school full of Youkai.
Soon Tsukune was packed, standing outside the gates and ready to leave. He never expected Moka to be there. He tells her that he's leaving. He wants to go to a human school. She tries to stop him because didn't like humans. Back in junior high, none of the human students believed Youkais existed and because of that, Moka knew she was different from everyone else and shouldn't be around. Tsukune was the first person that said he didn't mind her as a vampire and thus, she didn't feel alone any more. However, Tsukune knew it was time to reveal the truth. What if he was also human? Moka couldn't believe it. Tsukune forces himself to shout out he doesn't want a Youkai as a friend and runs off towards the forest in search of the bus stop.
Despite what just happened, Moka gave chase only to be stopped by Saizou. This time, he wasn't going to let her off so easily. Not being able to stand staying in human form anymore, he reveals his original giant self and assaults Moka. Her scream reaches Tsukune. For a moment, he hesitates briefly wondering what he could do but eventually turns back. Mustering all the courage he could, he shouts at Saizou to get away from Moka. Being no match for Saizou's inhuman strength, he gets flung away down a steep slope. Saizou laughs at Tsukune's unaware that he isn't a Youkai but gives chase.
Down at the foot of the slope, Moka is crying and apologising to Tsukune. She realises the difference between Youkais and humans now even though she wished they could be friends, putting it all aside. It looks like it's going to be impossible. Saizou soon catches up with them. Tsukune wasn't going to admit defeat. He gets up ready to receive another hit. Just as Saizou rushes towards him, he shouts out that he too wants to be friends with Moka no matter whether she was human or a Youkai. Telling her that he likes her, Tsukune pulls off her rosario seal.
With a burst of bright light, Moka transforms into a taller, more mature version of herself. Saizou couldn't believe the powerful Youkai aura he could sense just by looking at her and was trembling. He tries to encourage himself to calm down but is sent flying from a single kick from Moka. Just before Tsukune faints, he wonders which version of Moka is the real her. Falling into Moka's arms, he remembers the very scent he smelled from her earlier in the forest.
The next moment, Tsukune wakes up finding himself on Moka's lap who back to her normal self. He then remembers he had a bus to catch and takes out the timetable to find out when the next one was. To his disbelief, he finds out it only drops by the school once a month. There was nothing he could do about it. He decides to write a short e-mail to his family even though he couldn't send it saying that he's going to try and stay longer. Seeing some blood still on Tsukune's cheek, Moka takes out her handkerchief once again to wipe it off but once again, couldn't resist taking a bite.
Next episode, "The Dream Demon & Vampire". I can guess what kind of dreams Tsukune will be having but how will the demon react when she sneaks into them?
This show is just teeming with fan service. I mean come on... Panty shots right at the start? There's so many more throughout the episode that if there was a camera being used for this, it would probably be one of the "low angle" camera men stalking Akiba that's carrying it. And what is it with Moka and twitching? Well, I guess it's cute and funny anyway. Her vampire transformation and character design reminds me of Maya from Tenjo Tenge.
That aside, I really like the sudden jumps this show has from slapstick comedy to dramatic moments such as when Tsukune first entered the forest and when he was finally forced to reveal he was human. I hope the rest is just as interesting.
Fans of the RosaVan may want to know there's going to be a DS game coming out this March 20th from Capcom. The academy is having a "Miss Youkai" contest and hearing that the prize is a box that allows the owner to obtain anything desired, the girls decide to participate. It's basically a visual novel with a number of mini games including tapping the hearts of your favourite girl and command based reaction battles.