Hmm, a manga series with the word “vampire” in the title? Of course I’ve read it :-P. This 10-volume series by Akihisa Ikeda features the usual elements of shonen manga: a school setting with an average teen boy surrounded by plenty of cute girls, but with an additional twist – the “average teen boy” is human, and the girls are not!
Tsukune can’t get accepted into any high school except Yokai Academy, which turns out to be a high school for monsters! Despite being the lone human, Tsukune manages to befriend several of the beautiful female monsters (be aware that since this manga is aimed at older teen boys, there is a fair amount of “fan service”); in particular there’s Moka, a vampire who wears a “rosario” (crucifix with a rosary bead in the center) to keep her powers in check, thus explaining the title of the series. Naturally, with Tsukune’s kind and accepting disposition, all of the girls want him for themselves, and not just to suck his blood or devour his soul. Tsukune, of course, is generally too busy just trying to stay alive XD. It’s a fun series – there’s the classic high school love triangles (though technically, the love subplot has more sides than a triangle :-P), epic fight scenes between monsters, and hapless Tsukune caught in the middle! And there’s actually a second, “sequel series” that I haven’t yet acquired. But the story, which is relatively straightforward, isn’t really what catches my interest.
What I like about this manga is how it humanizes the monsters. Literally. The monster students are required to maintain human form at all times (they don’t always, obviously ><) as they learn how to integrate into the human world beyond their school. And that’s what I love to do. Although, I prefer to dive deeper than this series does when giving monsters their humanity, focusing on redemption rather than just a purely physical level. I love to explore the “darker side” people try to hide and in turn give hope that all is not lost just because you aren’t perfect.
The other fun aspect to this book is the twist on monsters and society: typically, we see monsters struggling to be accepted by the humans. This time, it’s the singular human who is trying to be accepted by the monsters! Not only does this remind us how deep the need runs for acceptance, but it capitalizes on traits that bring people together, such as kindness and forgiveness. When a human manages to make friends out of monsters because he doesn’t judge them or penalize them for being who they are, it’s an incredible reminder of how we are all called to love one another ;-).
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.