Creator: Akihisa Ikeda
Translation: Kaori Inoue
Adaptation: Gerard Jones
Publisher: Viz
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genres: Action, Supernatural, Fan Service
RRP: $7.99
Rosario + Vampire v3
Reviewed by David Rasmussen

When in doubt, write a series with hot-looking vampires interacting with human beings. You can't go wrong there, right?

That, if you're wondering, is why series like Death Note really stand out, mostly-- because there's a ton of also-ran series that MAKE unique concepts like Death Note really stand out. For every Death Note, there's five Rosario + Vampire concepts.

Really. This title. Broccoli Books' My Dearest Devil Princess (sure it's a demon instead of a vampire but same difference). The Erotic Kristina : Queen of Vampires (Amerotica). If I think hard enough I can come up with other similar titles.

However... No, sure, I needed one more title with the hot slinky female vampire and the not-so-hot male human in her life� sure, why not.

It's not very far into the series, so it's going to be easy to do a quick recap, mostly because the first two volumes are recapped in the start of the volume.

Through a weird and bizarre set of circumstances, teenage male Tsukune can't get accepted into any high schools except one that's a school for monsters (Seven Seas' Hollow Fields & VIZ' own Vampire Knight). Somehow he ends up becoming attached friendship wise with a hot female vampire who likes Tsukune as a friend AND part of the undead vampiric food groups! They end up as part of the school's newspaper club and trouble comes when those who enforce certain rules of the monster community (like humans who find out about their existence must die... like Tsukune) find out about the newspaper and threaten to shut it down. Conflict ensures and Tsukune and Moka (the vampire girl) end up fighting for the newspaper in the name of freedom of the press.

However, as the third volume starts, word of Tsukune's human status (and what he knows of the supernatural's presence at the school) is making its rounds amongst the enforcers, making for bad news for the newspaper club (as it seems their new human friend is going to be the death of all of them). Speaking of the club, they're presently being chewed out by their "president" for getting into a toss-up with an enforcer (which can't be good for the club's future, let alone the future of its membership� as in future as part of the "living").

That's when the Enforcers arrive and take Tsukune, hellbent on revealing the truth that he's human (though they know it already so why bother pretending?). However, surprise surprise, the rest of the newspaper club (along with Moka, who was taken with him when the Enforcers came) come to his defense against the Enforcers and a former disgraced teacher/medusa out for her own revenge. Things get crazy, lots is revealed� and heck, it looks like Tsukune may be able to fit in after all, since he's been giving blood as mealtime to his vampire girlfriend and usually when you do that... well, you know.

After that, Tsukune needs to figure out if he really wants to be a vampire or not (maybe a visitation by a bitchy nasty troll will snap him out of his mixed up indecision, especially when he threatens Moka). Finally, a Lamia tries to put her overtly-curvy human female form to "good" use on Tsukune for her own reasons... Then it's over.

I'm going to dig back into previous volumes to see if I can get hooked on this, because here's some potential for what I call an Essential series. It's damn cute, the relationship between Tsukune and Moka... yeah, I know, the cuddly relationship between geeky loser guy and unattainable hot female lead is nothing new, but it's still my favorite one trick pony plot device, dammit... I just hope all three volumes reviewed make me a stronger fan of the series over time. Oh, and the other female main cast are cute too (possibly bi-curious witch-gal Yukari, spunky energetic succubus Kurumu and female feline homeroom teacher/newspaper club advisor Shizuka), thus fulfilling my usual requirement that the cast be likable/lovable.

As for the rest, it's pretty good reading, is drawn well and has the potential to be something great in its own right. It's more of a light action/drama than a horror, but there's nothing wrong with that kind of reading now and then. B+ (More reviews of this series coming, stay tuned!).

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16 September 2008
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