Catholicism in Anime: Rosario and Vampire

Rosary and Vampire/Rosario to Vampire is a fairly bizarre little anime that came out in 2008. It did well enough that a second season has been announced, and apparently it’s based on a reasonably popular manga.

The premise of manga and anime is pretty simple. An ordinary Japanese boy has failed to pass the admission tests for any of the good high schools in town. So when his father (by chance?) obtains an admissions packet for a high school he’s never heard of, he doesn’t ask too many questions.

But it turns out that, as fate assigned Adam Lyon to an animal school, chance has sent Tsukune to Monster Academy, a school where monsters (yokai) learn human etiquette and how to pass for human by going to school in human form. And that cute girl Mocha he just met, who wears the big Goth necklace? She’s a vampire, and that “rosary”, as she calls it, is all that keeps her in human form. She chose to wear the rosary, because only through the power of the cross could she be freed from vampiric power and bloodlust enough to go to school, learn, and make friends.

Of course, then we meet Mocha without the rosary. There’s apparently a whole long storyline about these two opposing versions of Mocha, which one is the real her, and whether Tsukune can come to see the Mocha he loves in them both.

You can see that a series like this could be lots of fun and a good think piece, too, with a nice blend of horror adventure to keep it from being too fluffy. But the manga apparently was focused on making it a fluffy harem comedy full of monster girls all mysteriously falling in love with Tsukune, along with some suggestive high school situations and action plots. Unfortunately, the anime producers decided that they needed lots of panty shots and gratuitous flesh, so I can’t really recommend it even as fluff.

I really wish anime companies would make more of the tasteful anime they can do if they try. They are such bottomfeeders. Sigh.

Btw, the “rosary” really isn’t one. Mocha wears a big leather choker around her neck, with a cross — not a crucifix — attached in front and rosary beads along the back. Mocha can’t remove the cross, since it seals her vampire form, but Tsukune can. Maybe they were afraid a real rosary would look too much like Buddhist beads?

Another amusing fact: Just as in the Tanya Grotter series, Medusa is on staff at Monster Academy. This version of Medusa likes creating chaos and destruction, however. Art teachers. Always the radicals on staff. 😉

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