"Chibi Vampire: The Novel 1" - Mania.com



Manga Review

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Info:

  • Written By: Tohru Kai
  • Illustrations: Yuna Kagesaki
  • Publisher: Tokyopop
  • Rating: Teen

"Chibi Vampire: The Novel 1"

By Nadia Oxford     February 10, 2007


Chibi Vampire: The Novel 1
© N/A

It's a little hard to determine who Tokyopop is targeting with their "Pop Fiction" titles.  According to the publisher, their novel adaptations of popular anime series are for fans and non-fans alike, but Chibi Vampire is an embarrassing read even for anime veterans. 

Karin Maaka is a vampire schoolgirl whose body produces too much blood for some inexplicable reason.  Every month she has to find a victim and inject him with blood, rather than suck it away like "normal" vampires.  Karin's misadventures as a blood-viper eventually cause her to cross paths with Youichiro, an astoundingly wealthy young heir to a Corporation.  Youichiro's sliding luck started to change for the better when Karin stumbled into him one night in a park, but what he doesn't remember is Karin also bit him and pumped him full of her blood before erasing his memory.   

The premise of Chibi Vampire is extremely odd, though it's probably not the weirdest plot manga has to offer.  Even though the idea of injecting blood into strangers is cringe-inducing for a generation that sat through health classes dictating the dangers of sharing needles and bodily fluids, Karin's strange life might still be worth following if it weren't narrated so badly. 

The writing in Chibi Vampire is over-descriptive and juvenile, as was the writing in Scrapped Princess, another Pop Fiction title.  But whereas Scrapped Princess redeemed itself with an intriguing plot and likeable characters, Karin is a hardcore ditz who has a recurring problem with slipping and flashing her panties (that's right fans, you've seen the famous Panty Shot from every angle and now you can read the novel!).  Her sexy habit of freaking out and gushing literal gallons of blood from her nose would make her a social outcast even in demonic covenants.  But in Chibi Vampire it puts her at the peak of a love triangle between Youichiro, who wants to reclaim his "Lady Luck", and Kenta, a classmate who's also grown fond of her clumsy, anemic ways. 

Karin does have a few unique traits that almost make her a sympathetic character.  Aside from her odd reverse-vampirism, she's the only member of her traditional vampire family who is scared of the dark and therefore stays up during the day.  She can't turn into mist or control bats.  And she still has the same mundane problems normal teenagers have to deal with, primarily catty schoolgirls who try and blacken her as a tease because of Youichiro's romantic interest.  But when the narration quickly assures the reader they're just mean girls who are jealous of Karin, sympathy evaporates instantly. 

Make a special note to avoid Chibi Vampire if you like to read while taking public transit, unless you actually want to make people wonder about you when they steal a glance at the book over your shoulder.  It's an excellent way to stress out the older generation about the future of the world.

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