Set to become the new source of life for the Psyche, Karin finds herself in a very untenable position as the series closes out.
Writer/Artist: Yuna Kagesaki
Translation: Alexis Kirsch
Adaptation: Christine Boylan
What They Say
Who knows what horrors await our little dysfunctional vampire when Karin is kidnapped by a rival gang of vampires, intent on siphoning off her blood for their own survival! Now it's up to the Marker family and the steadfast Kenta to rescue her from the evil clutches of these brazen bloodsuckers. And when the final twist is revealed, Karin's life will be forever changed in the concluding volume of Chibi Vampire!
After enjoying the Karin anime series a lot and reading the first novel that came out awhile back, I was glad when a new volume of the manga came through for review so I could possibly see what else was done with my favorite characters. Of course, I discover that this is the last volume of the series which puts a bit of a damper on things, but it’s also a very big positive because in the final chapter we get a very good epilogue that advances the story forward a couple of decades. While I would have loved to have seen more of Karin and Utsui’s adventures, having this kind of ending is something that I always liked as it’s the closest we usually get to a happily ever after with a hint of what potential fun there is afterwards.
The series is ending at an interesting point where the past comes to haunt the present again as a rival group of vampires has decided that they’re going to take Karin for their nefarious purposes with regards to the psyche, something that essentially is used to keep a vampire clan in proper strength. Keeping her out of sight in their own mansion, the Marker family is set to come and rescue her because they simply cannot abandon her no matter what has gone on in the past. Her father, Henry, has always been an amusing character but when he’s serious, much like he is here, it really makes him look good as he sets about to confronting the head of the Brownlick family. Their desire for Karin’s blood which will fill up the Psyche again and make them the most fertile of vampire families is key to their survival, but there’s such pent up issues in there because of the Marker family past with it that it’s very personal. Even more so because in order for events to happen, Karin must go through… breeding.
While the Marker family makes a strong play for rescuing Karin, there’s also a very good push made by Kenta since he’s very much in love with her. With their relationship dramatically changing things from a few volumes ago, he refuses to sit by the sidelines as the Marker family seems like they’re going to sacrifice themselves for her. Since his sadness can cause so many problems with how it affects Karin, having him there may make things worse. But with the Sophia angle pushing him along, he gets very involved in all of it which also crosses over with Tachibana, who finally reflects on why she hates their relationship so much and what her life has been like. Misunderstandings are often the order of the day in situational series like this and resolutions at the end of a series do feel forced at times, but with the scope of events playing out here it doesn’t come across as bad as it could. With the vampire clans facing dwindling ranks and a need for the fertility that Karin can provide, it’s understandable why so many are frantic and beside themselves.
While the anime diverges heavily from the manga in a lot of ways, it was pretty easy to slide into this final volume, make sense of what’s going on and enjoy it all. The artwork is spot on with really appealing designs and plenty of good backgrounds, a solid flow from panel to pane and the mood of it fits the story perfectly. There’s a good sense of fun and danger to be had here and everyone that’s key gets a great moment to shine in their own way. The epilogue piece that moves events forward a couple of times, eventually all the way to 2028, really helps provide some closure to these characters while also hinting at what may be possible in the future, though likely to go untapped. This is a franchise that’s really just good fun that looks to have closed out on a good note before becoming too unwieldy and uninteresting. Definitely a series worth checking out for romantic comedies with vampires, which wasn’t the book that the author set out to create going by the end notes.