Flash Review – Rosario + Vampire Season II

The odds weren’t in his favor, but Tsukune Aono managed to survive to his second year at a school for ghosts and ghoulies. His first year was nearly the death of him, but it was easy-peasy compared to what his second year will be, because lurking behind the scenes are actors far more dangerous than who he and his friends faced before, and it’s that cast who will draw to light the secrets of Moka, her true identity, and the hidden purpose of her rosario.

The Kind, Dumb Protagonist:

Tsukune’s whole shtick is that he’s a sweetheart who wants everybody in the world to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, and that’s commendable, but sometimes, he’s too nice and forgiving. A former foe offers to work with him because their interests briefly overlap, and Tsukune grins and proclaims how they’re finally BFFs, and the former foe laughs in his face and calls him a brainless amoeba. He’ll still kick the ass of anyone who hurts his friends, but Tsukune’s the sort of imbecile who’ll get literally stabbed in the back, but then when the backstabber apologizes, he’ll smile and tell them all is right in the world before tipping backwards and dying.

The Wildness:

The best parts of Season I by far were the battles, and Season II ramps them and the stakes up so much that one almost forgets that this series originated as a mildly trashy harem manga, and because of its less-than savory origins, I was fully expecting to have a review segment on the many plot points and small details it left by the wayside, but as you can see, none of these segments are labeled The Forgotten Details. It superbly rackets action from bad to the-Old-Ones-have-awoken, it’s ornery about picking up after itself, and the plot takes some crazy twists. I have nothing else to say other than that it’s great shonen material.

The Forgotten Side Characters:

Of the six girls in Tsukune’s harem, aside from main girl Moka, only one gets her own arc, and the others can only munch on whatever crumbs are dropped on the carpet. They do get their moments to shine, but they’re fleeting, and they often have to share the spotlight. Yet the overall narrative is so tightly written that you’d have to perform triple bypass surgery to smoothly insert additional arcs. One character I definitely wish the manga devoted more time to is the bus driver. He’s the most interesting character in the series because you know nothing about him, yet he knows everything about Tsukune. I waited so long for the reveal that he was essentially God, but nope. Just the mysterious bus driver with frequent chuckling fits.

The Verdict:

This manga gets so incredible. I wasn’t expecting it to be half as great as it is, so I finished it quite satisfied. My 500 words are almost up. Sink your fangs into it.

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