Japanese Title: Rosario + Vampire
Related: Rosario + Vampire Capu2 (sequel – included in this review)
Similar: Love Hina
Watched in: Japanese & English
Length: 26 episodes over 2 seasons.
- The art is clean and the voice acting decent.
- Your typical harem with the same cast of clichés as seen several times per anime season with a premise that doesn’t try to be original.
- Monster-girls that have nothing monstrous about them, never mind the flat personalities.
- Repetitive episodes structure and conflicts. Manages to be formulaic in three genres at once.
- I’m sure a joke was intended somewhere.
- Can’t forget the paedophilia implications included in most harems.
- Writing so poor, they included a character just to explain what the writing means.
I hate Rosario + Vampire. The harem genre isn’t great to begin with, but this reaches an all-new low in idiotic characters, repetitive storytelling, and general lack of humour. Let’s get this over with.
Like all harems, it starts with an ordinary guy moving to a new place, in this case, accidentally, a school for monsters. On arrival, a pink-haired girl drives her bicycle into him and they fall in love (just roll with it – this will end sooner that way). She is a vampire tempted by his blood and wears a Rosario that keeps her timid. But when removed, her full “vampire” self emerges, larger breasts and shorter skirt included. With no bus back for a month, the human guy must contend with hiding his lack of monster traits from others; the school however, has a policy that all students must remain in human form to practice blending into the human world – how lucky.
It isn’t long, one episode, in fact, before the rest of the harem begins to enter the picture. Each one is introduced in more or less the same way. They hate or want to attack the main guy, the Rosario comes off and the vampire saves him (she does everything) with the guy providing a “noble” act that makes them fall in love with him, including the teacher that rapes him (not hyperbole). First up is a succubus, the seductive one from every harem, then a witch, the pre-pubescent one for pedo material, followed by a snow demon, who fills the psychotically obsessed slot, another witch as Evil Spice, and a second eleven-year-old in season two, as if one wasn’t enough. What are their names? It isn’t important; they have no personalities. I’m sure they thought breast size would make up for flat characters.
The narrative in Rosario + Vampire is so lazy that it manages to not only be harem formulaic, but also monster-of-the-week formulaic (a monster after the guy or a harem girl) and transformation formulaic. That has got to be some sort of achievement. The quality for this presentation is awful as well, so much so that a bat familiar character has to tell the audience directly what the anime tries to show you.
Look, I have nothing against clichés as long as there is something worth seeing, something entertaining. If I had fun, I don’t care that I have seen similar before. In Rosario + Vampire’s case however, they always select the obvious jokes, those that a novice comedian would make in a second. The anime also plays the serious parts about “love” and “friends” (if you’re friends, then, please, enlighten me on their interests) with a straight face, which comes off as laughable, and not in a humorous way. And the attempts at eliciting an emotional response through “tragic” backstory are pathetic. ‘Oh, humans were so mean to me because I was a vampire. I hate humans.’ ‘My life is so hard as a witch. No one understands me.’ Shut the hell up and spare me.
Rosario + Vampire couldn’t be any worse if it tried.
Art – Medium
The visuals are clean, if generic. No creativity in monster design. I understand that this show was designed purely to sell sexy love pillows, but it would have been nice if the monster-girls weren’t “monster”-girls. Even with little to show, each episode relies on a repetitive transformation sequence.
Sound – Medium
Music is rubbish outside of the decent ending theme. The voice acting is okay – would have been great if the script had this elusive element called ‘emotion.’
Story – Very Low
Rosario + Vampire is a harem anime through and through. The characters are awful, the plot goes nowhere, and the jokes never attended the meeting.
Overall Quality – Very Low
Recommendation: Avoid it. Anime doesn’t get much worse than Rosario + Vampire. This repetitive harem that is fifteen years behind the originality curve is one to push off a cliff.
Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)