Takehito KoyasuMisato FukuenChiwa SaitoNana Mizuki
Rosario + Vampire Capu2
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2008
Director: Takayuki Inagaki
Writer: Hiroshi Yamaguchi
Original creator: Akihisa Ikeda
Actor: Chiwa Saito, Daisuke Kishio, Kikuko Inoue, Kimiko Koyama, Misato Fukuen, Nana Mizuki, Rie Kugimiya, Saeko Chiba, Takehito Koyasu, Tomokazu Seki
Keywords: vampires, anime, SF, harem, rubbish
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=9727
Website category: Anime late 00s
Review date: 22 August 2022
rosario vampire
Well, what a surprise. Season 2 of garbage is also garbage.
A no-personality shred of nothing (Tsukune) attracts monster girls who fall in love with him because this is a harem anime. They fight over him. They behave for all the world as if Tsukune's an actual person, rather than an "insert your wish-fulfilment here" hole in the script.
Episodes 9-13 have a genre shift into "not pointless".
The art improves wildly and the manga continues that genre shift. Instead of being generic harem trash, it becomes a shounen action series with character exploration and a serious, complex plot. (Apparently it's still badly written, though.)
The anime retreats back into "pointless" (with a side order of "annoying" and "shit") and stays there beyond all sane limits. There's no continuous narrative. The last two episodes change gear, introducing a plot and higher dramatic stakes, but unfortunately these are built around how much everyone loves Tsukune.
Welcome back to harem trash.
What's interesting (in a rotting, post-mortem sort of way) is this show's relationship with watchability. The harem antics are insufferable and you'll want the cast to sod off and die... but the stupid, inane comedy plots are normal for this genre and would have been okay had the characters worked. They don't, obviously. In descending order of success:
1st. Moka is likeable, since she's the Designated First Girl and the show's putting actual effort into her. She also has two personalities: sweet Outer Moka and slightly scary, ass-kicking Inner Moka. (She's a wet drip as Outer Moka and has a habit of staring into Tsukune's eyes while they repeat each other's names in a way that even the show's quietly mocking, but never mind.)
2nd. Kokoa, who hates both Tsukune and Outer Moka, because she's in love with Inner Moka. This is a breath of fresh air. The show needed more Kokoas... so it generally sidelines her as an idiot on a bicycle.
3rd. (staring at a blank wall for 25 minutes)
4th. Shirayuki actually has a personality. She's a snow woman, which serious problems for both her and everyone else. She can make ice and blizzards, but she's a socially stunted and possibly autistic stalker. She gets dialogue like "I'm confident in my inability to read the mood, but that woman has me beaten!" That's more characterisation than the rest of the harem put together... but she's a one-dimensional joke character with no motivation except "wants Tsukune" and idiotically expects to get him even though he's locked to Moka.
5th. Yukari's likeable in her focus episodes, but is otherwise just another one-dimensional harem member who shows her knickers and is as romantically fixated on Tsukune as everyone else is. While being eleven years old. Eurgh. Yukari looks even worse compared with similar characters from other harem shows, like Tenchi Muyo's Sasami or Love Hina's Shinobu. Putting children in a non-children's show can be powerful. I love Sasami and Shinobu, but Yukari is a smudge of nothing.
6th. Kurumu, the succubus. That's a problem. Shirayuki can use her snow woman powers for both unfunny comedy and non-drama, while Yukari can use magic. (Usually to drop basins on people's heads.) The show can't let Kurumu act like a succubus, though, because: (a) this isn't hentai, and (b) she's harem-locked to Tsukune. The show has no ideas how to use her. Her characterisation is just "boobs", really.
7th. (sticking pins in yourself)
8th. Ruby, who's been left over from Season 1. She's not a school student and she's not a harem member, but she's in every episode anyway. She's deliberately implausible. Every time she appears, she's got a different school-related job and explaining this with her catchphrase ("various things happened").
9th. Tsukune's (human) cousin, Kyoko. It's amazing how hard and fast the show made me hate one of its most promising characters. Theoretically, I like her. Kyoko realises that Tsukune's supernatural school is strange and sneaks in to investigate. That's in ep.11. She's perplexed by what she sees and keeps inventing hypotheses to explain it all, which is okay so far... but unfortunately her ideas are all painfully stupid and she thinks each one is the god-given truth, not just speculation. "It must be the porn industry! This school's a training ground for porn star talent! If that weren't the case, Tsukki couldn't have befriended such cute girls!"
Her next theory is that this is a tokusatsu TV show and that everything she's seeing is CGI. She believes this even when talking to a palm-sized fairy who's right in front of her and doing magic. Then, later, she goes with no transition from "IT'S ALL FAKE!!!!" to "MONSTERS ARE REAL!!!!!" because the episode wants her to be suspicious of Moka, even though they'd previously befriended each other and Moka's currently defending her from monster attacks. (This becomes an exploration of their feelings for Tsukune.)
Until now, I'd liked Kyoko. She's a nice girl who isn't driven by her hormones. Alas, though, that wasn't good enough for this show.
10th. Tsukune. The show's ignoring his earlier sexism and he's nice enough in a personality-free way, especially when trying to save Inner Moka in eps.12-13. His presence, though, destroys the show. He's like a black hole, destroying all characterisation around him. In outline, theoretically, this should have been the same show as Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun.
11th. The dechuu bat who says dechuu.
The fanservice has improved, up to a point. There's actual nudity, with nipples... but the show's bread-and-butter is still those never-ending panty shots. They're repellent. If this show were a human being, it would be unpleasant and creepy and you'd call the police even if one of the girls being put on display weren't eleven years old. That arse-wiggling post-credits thing also makes me want to hide.
The scripts are still so stupid that it's clearly deliberate. You can imagine a scriptwriter accidentally writing an episode with meaningful dramatic content and being ordered by the horrified showrunners to strip it out. You could break this show by adding a well-written character.
EPISODE 1 = has anonymous letters from someone who's threatening to kill Moka, so she cringes and cries incessantly without putting even a millisecond's thought into how she could reduce the risk. Like, say, turning into her arse-kicking alter ego, Inner Moka, who's the strongest monster in existence. (The episode even demonstrates this by turning Godzilla-sized youkai deliver overdone expositions of terror as Inner Moka, uh, walks towards them.)
EPISODE 2 = Tsukune jumps out to protect Moka from a vampire. This is a bit like a hedgehog jumping into the road to protect King Kong from a steamroller. Generally speaking, the whole thing's too silly to care about and the gang's ideas for dealing with Kokoa are downright tiresome. On the upside, though, her kanabou reminded me of Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan.
EPISODE 3 = Kokoa hits Tsukune with an absurdly huge spiked ball that should have been 100% fatal. It's not, of course, ho ho. Kurumu and Shirayuki have been telling their mothers that Tsukune is their boyfriend or fiancee. Sigh. (Admittedly, though, the mother vs. mother bitch fights are amusing.) At one point, the episode stops the plot for a musical number, not having realised that this only worked in Season One because the songs were good. Season Two does this a lot.
EPISODE 4 = Yukari gets aging-up magic, yet for a while goes around wearing her old skirt. This was inadequate even for an eleven-year-old. Now, it's a belt. Her knickers are on full display from all angles. Moka gets intense about Yukari's clothing faux pas... by which she means a bra.
Yukari's one-man fan club is in despair because she's now of legal age. Kill me now.
The episode has a good moral, though ("be yourself").
EPISODE 5 = Shirayuki tries to cook, which is inherently difficult for a snow woman. This is a decent concept and one of the season's best episodes, but it's still staggering under way too much stupidity.
EPISODE 6 = when there's a commotion inside it, a house's walls bounce as if they were made of rubber. This is a Looney Tunes cartoon.
EPISODE 7 = another decent story idea. The girls visit Tsukune's family, who are ordinary humans and know nothing of vampires, witches, etc. We meet Kyoko again. This is promising... but again the show's deliberately leaping off the biggest "sod off and die" cliff in sight, with a competition to see how much the girls care for Tsukune.
By this point, I'd stopped even liking Kurumu, Yukari and Shirayuki. Being written as shrill harem-ettes has done them no favours.
There's quite a nice scene between Tsukune's mum and Moka, though.
EPISODE 8 = feels like an adaption of a four-panel gag manga. Lots of joke-based micro-episodes, all bad.
EPISODE 9 = Kokoa gets swept away in an avalanche that she accidentally started herself by yelling. Uh-huh. However I appreciated the Tsukune-Kokoa scene afterwards, trapped in a cave. She sticks to her Tsukune-hating guns, when I'd been terrified that she'd fall in love with him too.
EPISODE 10 = the show's most annoying character turns into a sexual predator, albeit with no sex. Kokoa is still the show's only meaningful character.
EPISODE 11 = Kyoko, no no no no, why why why.
EPISODE 12 = Outer Moka sacrifices herself to restore a magical barrier. Suddenly we have a story. This episode's actually quite good, if you can forgive things like Kokoa turning into a possessive cretin. (This show is incapable of portraying genuine attraction, being driven instead by a zombie harem surrogate for it.)
EPISODE 13 = after a Moka-centric episode, we get a Tsukune-centric one. This includes melodramatic affirmation of his harem's adoration of him, the girls' mothers trying to kidnap him for weddings, etc.
When someone suggests that Tsukune actually choose one of the girls... "Please understand. I can't decide right now!" Moka hits him for saying that.
There was a way of making my watching experience even more painful, though. An American dub exists. Shockingly, this show has fans. They tried to destroy life on Earth, i.e. they campaigned for a third season. For what it's worth, most harem shows aren't this excruciating. I'm sure the memory cheats and I'd be shocked if I rewatched any old favourites, but this show has problems even from a harem genre viewpoint. Its girls are third-rate. Kurumu's presence is indefensible, while Yukari's no better except in her focus episodes. Outer Moka is a nice person, but pairing her with Tsukune is like bland squared.
This show is so aggressively implausible and one-dimensional that, for me, it broke. I couldn't buy its character interactions. Tsukune-Moka dialogue is a crime against writing. There are people who disagree with me on that, but they're wrong.