What They Say:
Tsukune, Moka and the rest of the gang return for another year at Yokai Academy – where the supernatural student body rules the school!
Tsukune’s a real slacker in the human world, but in the monster realm he scores an A+ as a high school heartthrob. Keeping up with a hellacious bunch of hot demon girls has its perks, but Moka’s bratty little sister could burst the love bubble. His pain is her pleasure – and if the tart has her way, Tsukune can kiss Moka’s sweet side goodbye. Family values take new meaning when a MILF fight breaks out on campus, too. So forget what you know about home-economics class, because these ghouls gone wild always cook up trouble!
Contains episodes 1-13.
The audio presentation for this release is standard fare for FUNimation in that we get a solid bilingual presentation where the original Japanese language is in stereo encoded at 192kbps and the English gets a bump to 5.1 at 448kbps. Like most shows of this nature, the original mix handles the forward soundstage well but doesn’t exactly shine in a big way since it’s mostly center channel based with some fun dialogue and action effects at times. The English mix adds a bit more volumes to it overall and definitely more clarity and placement for the dialogue while adding more warmth to the music score itself, especially with the opening and closing sequences. The series has a good set of production values to it overall and the presentation here is free of problems such as dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2008, the transfer for this thirteen episode TV season is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. The show is spread across two discs in a standard seven/six format to allow for a decent amount of space and encoding with the audio tracks included. The Gonzo animated series has a pretty familiar Shonen Jump style look to it with lots of bright colors and a clean look that has a bit more darkness to it because of its setting. In the end it’s a high school series with supernatural elements. There’s a clean look to all of it and some decent animation to be sure and the transfer captures that well as there’s little in the way of serious flaws. With no cross coloration and only a few hints of line noise during some panning sequences, the most that’s there is some backgrounds showcase more noise than you might expect at times, but nothing that’s hugely distracting or problematic. Colors are generally clean and appealing and macroblocking isn’t an issue.
The release for this is designed to fit inside the limited edition box from the first season, though it stands well on its own as well. We get the standard clear single sized keepcase that uses the same artwork as the front of the slipcover that has Kokoa attacking Tsukune and Moka which has its cuteness, though it doesn’t quite gel together too well considering Tsukune’s expression and even feels a little off the more you look at it. The back cover is laid out similar to the first season with the dark background and a lighter interior that deals with the shows premise and several shots from it as well. The layout is fairly standard material with a list of the discs extras, episodes and the production information along with the technical grid. There is a good piece of artwork on the reverse side that’s really nice though that has all the main girls together sprawled out on an oversized bed as they lounge about in their school wear rather than lingerie or something else inappropriate. It’s definitely a good, cute reversible cover that fits the show without going too far.
The menu design for the series is very, very simple as it features just a static screen image with some decent character artwork that has a color split to along the bottom half where the navigation is. The background is a simple series of dots and widgets of sorts that gives it a bit of definition, but the primary draw is the character artwork, which is decent, but not enough to really sell the thing as a whole. It’s very basic and not all that inspiring unfortunately and doesn’t set the mood well. The submenu navigation is solid with quick load times and easy movement throughout the menus when needed for language setup and options as the discs did not read our players’ language presets.
The only extras included in this release is the clean version of the opening and closing sequences.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After a rather fun and enjoyable first season that played out well with basic harem building set against a supernatural high school background, the second season of Rosario+Vampire, entitled Capu, things ratchet up a few notches here when it comes to cast and fanservice. The general idea is true as it is in most series of this nature in that if things are going well, they can go even better if you add more characters to this mix. This time around it brings in one new primary character that affects storylines revolving around the titular character but it also more firmly brings in the parental units of a couple of the characters. And as one can imagine, some rivalries go beyond generations.
With the first season encapsulating the first year of school at Yokai Academy, this set starts us off with everyone coming back for their second year and ready to have more fun. Tsukune has really grown to like the place and the people, having survived the challenges of the Security Committee which thankfully has almost no real appearance here, and is just ready to go through a quieter year. OF course, that won’t happen with the kinds of friends he has as the girls are all ramping up their game to get closer to making him theirs. It’s kind of annoying in some ways because they go at it with such gusto so as to actually throw the friendships they have established with each other into disarray. It’s pretty intense at times with how they deal with each other and honestly, it makes most of them unflattering. Only Moka comes across as relatively sane and “pure” for the most part with it.
Because of this renewed push, the show has to have one additional element to make it all the more complicated for Moka, and that’s the arrival of her younger sister Kokoa. Kokoa’s the fiery little orange haired girl who has a real love for her sister, but the Moka she considers her sister is the silver haired one. We get a pretty decent little look at how the family history has worked in that Moka’s other self had to be put behind the restraint with the rosary because her powers were so strong and she got out of control easily. With the seal, Kokoa doesn’t care for the docile sister she now has and that leads to her doing all sorts of things to try and free her. Of course, making matters worse is that the docile Moka cavorts with such an obviously poor suitor in Tsukune so there’s a lot of conflict to be had there throughout the run.
Unlike the first season where it had a definite progressive push to it by introducing different girls over the first several episodes and some of their encounters, this one has a bit more of a free form approach since it’s largely dealing with Kokoa at first and then just some other things that crop up along the way. One of the fun elements that is brought in deals with though is in the parents that are brought in for parents day, so we get to see Mizore and Kurumu’s parents who have their own history together. They’re just as pushy now like their daughters are in this season and they see the competition between the daughters as their own, which draws Tsukune into it pretty unwillingly. And that becomes one of the central themes of the season since it continually pushes Moka off to the side while the others push their own agendas, accented by Kokoa.
The series does go serious towards the end with a shortcut of an event that changes things for Moka, but largely it’s working through the season on the idea that she’s finding herself increasingly on the outside as everyone else grows more overbearing with their desire for Tsukune. There’s some fun time had in the human world when they take some breaks there, either to visit family or go on a school trip, and that lets Tsukune spend time with his mother which is cute but also his cousin Kyoko who has certain feelings for him herself and concerns over the girls that are throwing themselves at him. It’s decent stuff, certainly fits within the context of the series as presented so far, but the season as a whole feels like it keeps running into the problem of just trying far too hard at what it’s doing.
The second season of Rosario+Vampire largely carries through on the premise of the first, moving the leads up to the second year status and bringing in a couple of new characters. It doesn’t dramatically rewrite the show at all but it does change the tone of it a bit by making the girls far more aggressive than they already were. I do like the characters but they’re a bit larger than they were before here with their personality and their actions match that. There are fun things that they do here though of course and the kind of wacky supernatural comedy that populated the first season is replicated here with just a few variations. The movement between the two worlds helps to helps to open things up a bit more which is welcome and there’s definitely some cuteness added with the inclusion of the human characters to the mix. Combining that with the parents of those other members of the harem and a brief look at Moka’s own parents and you have a decent mix of fun and fanservice with lots and lots of sexuality.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Closing, Clean Opening
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-
Readers Rating: [ratings]
Released By: FUNimation
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.