Mania Grade: B
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- Art Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Text/Translatin Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: TOKYOPOP
- MSRP: 7.99
- Pages: 214
- ISBN: 978-1-59816-922-5
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Left to Right
- Series: Chibi Vampire -the Novel-
Chibi Vampire -the Novel- Vol. #01
By Danielle Van Gorder
July 06, 2007
Release Date: January 30, 2007
Translated by:Andrew Cunningham
Adapted by:What They Say
Karin isn't like all the other teenage girls. Once a month, she experiences intense bleeding - from her nose! Karin is from a family of vampires who love to suck blood. But she prefers to give blood to her "victims." If done right this act of giving can be extremely positive. The problem is that Karin seems to never do things right!The Review
Can the bizzaro vampire survive the rich pretty-boy's attentions?Packaging
The front cover has an closeup of Karin, while Kenta and Youichiro face off in the background. The logo is slightly overpowering and busy, and the abundance of bats on the front cover make it look slightly cluttered. There are several pages of art reproduced in the beginning of the book (spoiler-sensitive readers might want to skip these until they've read the story), as well as several illustrations throughout the story. The text and paper quality are very nice, and the printed bats as section separators are a nice touch.Text/SFX:
Overall, the adaptation flows smoothly, with few awkward or out-of-place lines. The target audience seems to be fairly young based on the way the story is written, but it doesn't feel nearly as clunky as some translation attempts for younger readers. Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Karin is a vampire from a family of vampires, but she's definitely the odd one out of the bunch. Sunlight and garlic give her no problems, she can't see in the dark, and most importantly, rather than drinking blood, once a month she finds herself having to give an unsuspecting victim blood, a situation she finds terribly embarrassing. Of course, Karin seems to find a lot of things embarassing, not the least of which is just being anywhere near her classmate Kenta Usui. Embarrassment at being around him caused Karin to stay home from school for two weeks, getting back just in time to do horribly on her exams. While frantically studying for the makeup tests, Karin discovers that there have been a rash of kidnappings at the park she goes through on her way to and from school. What's more, the kidnappings have only been girls from Karin's school, and they all wake up with their clothes dishevelled and a large amount of cash.
As if this wasn't bad enough, there's a new student at school, the rich and handsome Youichiro Juumonji. What's more, Karin recognizes him as one of her past victims. She's desperate to avoid him so he won't recognize her, but fate seems determined to bring them together in a way destined to cause the maximum possible embarrassment - in front of a large group of students, where she all but admits to being the girl he's been searching for. When the embarrassment gets to be too much and she starts struggling to get away, it's Kenta who comes to her rescue. Sort of - in the process, he manages to start some rumors that get Karin ostracized. And Youichiro isn't one to give up easily.
The story progresses with more hijinks, more embarrassing situations for Karin, and more opportunities for comedic misunderstandings, as well as some twists and turns as she discovers the root of Youichiro's unhappiness and eventually helps him overcome it, in her own blundering way, and with a little help from her family.Comments
This is not War and Peace
, and readers who come in expecting a literary classic are setting themselves up for disappointment. However, it is a fun little piece of fluff that should appeal to both old and new fans of the franchise. While there are some semi-serious notes here, the comedy is really the focus and what makes the series work so well, even if it does get a touch predictable and repetitive. Karin gets embarrassed, Kenta is involved with a misunderstanding, and then Karin gets even more embarrassed and clumsy. It's easy to sympathise with Karin, even as her overreactions make a situation that wasn't all that bad in the first place into something far more embarassing than it should have been. The story is a little clunky and more than a touch telegraphed, but this isn't a series you read for the story in the first place - it's all about the characters, the interaction, and the comedy, and those are well worth the price of admission. It's surprisingly easy to laugh and cringe at Karin's antics, simply because they're so familiar to anyone who was ever embarrassed as a teenager.
In the end, what you have is a sweet story about a girl who doesn't quite know who she is yet who's still trying to grow up. It has a very universal appeal in all its forms, and the prose version is no exception.