Rosario & Vampire Capu 2 Collection (Cert 15)
2 Discs (Distributor: MVM) Running time: 306 minutes approx.
It’s a new term at Yokai Academy meaning a reconvening of all the monster students and the one lone human Tsukune Aono, and more fan service heavy supernatural hijinks with his harem of blood curdling babes – vampire Moka Akashiya, succubus Kurumu Kurono, junior witch Yukari Sendo and ice maiden Mizore Shirayuki. Aside from a new faces this is business as usual which will be either good or bad news depending on how much you enjoyed the first series.
We kick things off with a mini arc that opens with a near reconstruction of the initial meeting between Tsukune and leading lady Moka when he collides with another bicycle riding schoolgirl, this time an orange haired, truculent first year student who instead of falling in love with Tsukune kicks him into the middle of next week. As it transpires this girl’s abrasive attitude isn’t reserved just for Tsukune, she loudly rude to everybody she comes into contact with. Rather coincidentally, meek Moka, the school idol, receives an endless delivery of bat shaped cards warning of her impending death at the same time as this girl’s arrival? Are they related?
Actually, that is a loaded question as the girl turns out to be Moka’s younger half sister Kokoa, who adores her older sister but only in her original vampire form. Thus Kokoa gets it into her head that attacking the nice girl Moka will draw out the “Inner Moka”, unaware that their father sealed this Moka away in a Rosario charm which can only be released whenever Tsukune removes the Rosario. From hereon in Kokoa’s role is to show up at the most inopportune moments – or most often after the event – during one of the many mini crises that occur. Remember that bat which acted as the narrator of the first series? His name is Ko and he is Kokoa’s pet. He even gets an episode to himself later on in the series when he assumes a human form and seduces all of the females at the academy.
Much like series one, the formula for this second outing is “calamity of the week”, concluding nine time out of ten by Tsukune inadvertently removing the Rosario to allow “Inner Moka” to clean up whatever mess they’ve got themselves in. That is until the last three episodes when we get an exciting arc to conclude this series, that sees Moka make a huge personal sacrifice to repair the barrier that hides the monster world from the human world to crumble. To get Moka back, Tsukune must face his most dangerous foe yet, an opponent so chilling even his usually fearless friends are too scared to help him out.
Among the other debuting faces to cause problems for our eclectic cast are the parents of these scary students, an equally troublesome bunch in their own right. It appears that Kurumu’s mother, the sexy cougar Ageha and Mizore’s Ice Queen mother Tsurara have a long standing rivalry dating back to their school days which resurfaces when both their daughter’s proclaim Tsukune to be their Mr. Right. Returning to assume a number of roles at the school, from cleaner to administrator to morality police, is Rubi, the witch the group met in the Human World, complete with her own catchphrase “It’s a long story”….
One of the big complaints, or joys according to your personal tastes, of the first series was the over abundance of fan service. You will therefore be appalled/pleased to learn (delete where applicable) that the panty shot quota has increased twenty fold this time round and is more shameless than ever. It is less than ten seconds before we get out first flash of Moka’s tiny whities and from then on it is a veritable smorgasbord of skimpy knickers courtesy of even the most innocuous background character. The camera angles are deliberately set up to ensure maximum exposure while the jiggling booty that accompanies the next episode preview now has a companion – because it is series two. Geddit? While nudity was largely restrained in the first series, this consideration has been dropped so viewers get the full works this time round, including a new transformation scene for Moka to reflect this relaxation of the covering up rules.
Again the frustration with this series is the missed potential of the storylines. Instead of producing intelligent and dramatic arcs like the one which closes this set and exploring the supernatural depths of the characters, we get episodes featuring young witch Yukari having her wish of having a larger chest granted, resulting in a parade of tawdry sexual clichés to accompany her social status growing along with her bra size. Yes, sex sells but too much of a good thing etc….The difference in tone, attitude, atmosphere and pacing of the final episodes compared to the frivolity of the other material is almost tragically conspicuous when you think about what we COULD have got out of this series. At least the artwork and animation is consistent and of a high quality.
Rosario & Vampire Capu 2 is like an itch that one scratches to some degree of comfort then finds oneself looking forward to scratching again because of that tangible but unexplainable moment of bliss one gets from it. There are worse shows on the market that exploit the fan service remit to insufferable levels but this show just about keeps its head above that mire because it is fun, while the potential it wastes with the stories is borderline tragic. If you’ve seen the first series you know exactly what you’re getting in this panty laden sequel.
English Language 5.1
Japanese Language 2.0 w/ English Subtitles
Disc 2 only:
On Air Closing
Ratings – ** ½
Man In Black