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 she 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!
The Review :
I watched the release in both English and Japanese (Discs 1 in English, Disc 2 in Japanese) – I have no issues with the visual quality on the DVD release, there was no problems synching in the sound with the subtitles and no issues with glitches or errors during pausing the show, with the animation being fantastic ratio to ratio. Both tracks were excellent as well, as the 5.1 was very strong and the 2.0 Japanese was of very high quality as well, with no glitches regarding pausing and transition issues, overall a colourful and quality release.
The menu is very standard; we have each of the main girls lying on a bed (Moka, Kurumu, Yukari, Mizore and Kokoa) in an artistic but tasteful pose – the menu selection is set up diagonally from left to right, selections of Play All, Episodes and Set Up on Disc 1, with Extras included on the 2nd disc. I noticed there is no real issue when putting this on a DVD player as left to right just works as normal but on a PC adjusting the mouse to select the menu is a bit harder as need to get the right position so it’s a little awkward if you are watching it on a PC. Aside from that, no issues regarding selection from the menu or returning to the menu when watching the show.
The only extras on this release are the clean opening and ending songs(shown as DVD closing, On Air Opening and DVD closing – the On Air Opening and DVD closing though appear to be identical?) with some trailers for Rozen Maiden, Mahoromatic and Fate/Stay Night…three series I would recommend easily over this…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
To say I was not a fan of the original Rosario Vampire series is an understatement. Knowing the manga, the anime takes a lot of what makes the manga good (unique setting and dark undertones) and replaces most of that for comedy and fan service. However, at least the first season did incorporate some of the manga’s storyline…Season 2 does not, and instead ups the ante of what made the first season poor, and multiplies it by a factor of 10.
The plot…well, it’s hard to really say because until maybe the last couple of episodes there really isn’t one. It’s very episodic with a similar theme – at first, you may think there may be a storyline because the first episode reintroduces the characters enough (even lampshading the exposition for first time viewers) It even does the same opening as Season 1 as generic male harem lead Tsukune is hit on the way to school by a bicycle, similar to how he met Moka in Season 1. Only it turns out to be Moka’s apparent half-sister Kokoa. In the first two episodes, I thought this was going to be the main storyline, as Kokoa is trying to remove Outer Moka and separate her from Inner Moka, but for the time being it fails. So the story I felt was set up with Kokoa trying to do this and possibly succeeding.
Nope. Instead for pretty much most of the season, we instead get one episode shots of one of the other cast trying to get involved with Tsukune. For example, we get Kurumu (the big-breasted succubus) and Mizore (a girl with ice powers) getting their parents to basically approve of Tsukune in marrying them…which of course leads to the very young looking mothers also at times seem interested in Tsukune, which leads to several hijinks. We get another episode with Yukari (the token loli witch) upset at the fact she doesn’t have breasts, so she gets a spell from the nurse to basically make her look mature for Tsukune. All these episodes have the conclusion of someone pulling the strings which is never really explained, and for Inner Moka to defeat them and revert back to normal. Not only is it predictable, but it isn’t really entertaining – the fan service is plentiful with panty shots galore, but it doesn’t really add anything to it aside for the obvious reasons.
Up until Episode 8 there is hardly any mention of a storyline – it’s just the girls trying to get into Tsukune’s pants…which itself is a mystery because if you come into this series blind you can’t understand why Tsukune is special – it isn’t explained, he’s just a general guy in a school full of hot monsters. And the series never explains if he has any special qualities, abilities, etc which make him this attractive to the yokai, it just seems he is. Again, it differs from the manga in this respect which makes the viewer unfamiliar to the series just wonder why. Curry battles, ski trips and family visits later, we are still confused by why this guy has all the luck, and Kokoa’s role as the antagonist slips into comic relief where she tries a plan and fails spectacularly. In Episode 8, there is an exchange being two of the teachers about a barrier that separates the yokai world from the human world is under threat, so at that point with 5 episodes to go, you think that the story is going to focus on this now?
Nope – instead we get two more one shot stories, one about a ski resort where Mizore tries to basically kidnap Tsukune (though it does actually give one rare moment of development for both Tsukune and Kokoa when they are separated) and then Kokoa’s familiar disguising himself as a transfer student with the ability to charm the entire female population of the school to get the girls away from Tsukune (again, very minor elements of development for Kokoa and Moka as Moka even hypnotized still tries to fight it for her love for Tsukune, whilst Kokoa is struggling to see if we wants to separate the Mokas). And at the end of episode 11, the barrier finally crumbles after another one shot involving a magic mirror…and is almost instantly resolved in the beginning of episode 12 where Outer Moka sacrifices herself to keep the barrier intact using her Rosario. Here, at least there is some conflict when Inner Moka is now the only one, and the girls think they have a shot with Tsukune, but he is missing Outer Moka, so he learns from one of the teachers that the creator of the rosaries is in a castle that could bring her back – which turns out to be Moka’s father Issa, who despises humans. This leads to basically the girls having to decide whether to try and stop him or help him get there, with Kokoa not wanting him to restore her, which does lead to a battle sequence and some slight hints on why Tsukune is beloved by the entire cast. The end of course, is predictable and despite some interesting moments with Inner Moka and how she interacts with Tsukune, it does feel too little, too late.
The final couple of episodes do try and add a bit of depth to the main characters, but unfortunately it feels incredibly rushed in an already short series, and pretty much most of 11 episodes were dedicated to fan service, attempted humour and chasing after a male lead who has little personality, back-story or reasoning to like him. This makes people who have not seen Rosario Vampire or read the manga confused, and it also makes people who have read the manga wonder why they took this route. Fan service sells I understand, but considering the amount of unnecessary fan service (usually in the form of panty shots, and even then if the story does have engaging characters (like Najica) that can at least be entertaining) it really felt both as a rush job, and a series I kept checking if it was over. There was a few moments when it did make me laugh, and if they had focused on the last couple of episodes maybe back in episode 8 and spread it out, it would have got a better grade. However, with the rush job combined with an episodic nature which had no real payoff, I can’t say it’s the worst series I’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely the worst I’ve reviewed.
Rosario Vampire S2 is a poor sequel to an original that wasn’t that strong to begin with. Taking the route of fan service over story was a poor decision because the concept is so interesting with a human at a school full of monsters, but instead they focus on the male lead being a girl magnet just for the sake that he is one with no real explanation. The girls are all one-dimensional with the exception of Moka (and even she is close to it), it doesn’t do comedy well, and the story hits you way too late. It’s hard to recommend even to RV fans because if they’ve read the manga, they’ll feel hard done with this release, maybe if you just want fan service then you’ll like it, but porn without plot doesn’t work for me. Avoid.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Ending
Content Grade: D
Audio Grade: A-
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B-
Extras Grade: C-
Released By: MVM Entertainment
Release Date: October 8th, 2012
Running Time: 325 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 – 1.78:1
Playstation3, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.