Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Karin Vol 1 - Infusion|
Genres: Comedy, Anime & Manga, Animation
In 21st century Japan, a family of vampires settles down in Japan. They live among humans and sucked their blood quietly and discreetly. However their daughter Karin had a secret that she could not share? She did not suck ... more »
Most huggable vampire ever!
trashcanman | Hanford, CA United States | 10/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here's a fun fact for you: Japan is the only country in the world that does not have it's own vampire folklore. It's all imported. As a result, the Japanese almost always have a unique, bizarre, and interesting take on vampirism, be it the immortal monster who sates his eternal boredom by crushing villagers under his heel (Vampire Hunter D), a dark magical girl variation (Vampire Princess Miyu), or the bizarre alien invasion of "Goke, Bodysnatcher From Hell" (Amazon, why do you not have this DVD?). Anime in particular is rife with creative variations on our Western vampire mythology and this one takes that license further than any other. "Karin" is a supernatural romantic comedy series based on the popular manga series Chibi Vampire. That name pretty much says it all. There's nothing frightening at all about this fanged female. She's a shy saccharine sweetheart who hasn't yet come into her vampiric powers and can still attend high school during the day while her dysfunctional family slumbers. It's a flawed but bold concept that falls victim to more than a few anime cliches, but mostly wins the viewer over with fresh ideas, lovable characters, and stylish comedy.
When Karin's powers manifest themselves, she discovers that she is not a true vampire at all; more like a reverse vampire, an unvampire. She produces blood rather than needing to feed on it and if she doesn't bite a human to inject her blood into somebody, it explodes in a beautiful cascade of the red, red vino (often made to appear as a blast of pretty crimson flowers) out of her nose. Socially awkward, much!? I never get tired of her scream of "IIIYEEEEEEEAAA!!!" when it happens. One of the more interesting aspects of the series is what the vamps call "blood affinity", which is to say that each nosferatu has an individual human trait that they are attracted to in the blood. One vampire may not be able to resist the blood of liars, for instance, and when they feed on a liar, that trait will vanish from the human. Another may prefer vanity, jealousy, or any other negative trait. Karin is attracted to depression. And it just so happens that the classmate she has a crush on, Kenta Usui, has a very bad home life. So anytime she goes near him, her body goes into overdrive and her blood begins to overflow. She finds some solace early on when she loses control and feeds on Kenta's clinically unfortunate mother, temporarily relieving herself of her excess blood problem and releasing the woman from her deep melancholy. Karin is appalled at herself and does everything she can to find another way to deal with her problem; throwing herself in to making Kenta happy so that his sadness will not cause her blood to increase.
The coy relationship between the two leads takes up a lot of the series early on and is annoyingly cliche. I'm tired of anime where couples are perpetually unable to touch each others' hands on accident without blushing and always seem on the verge of the first kiss that never happens (though to be fair, it's a bite in this case) sometimes for seasons on end. Shows like Please Teacher! have a far more interesting dynamic where the relationships progress more like they do in real life rather than remaining in a perpetual state of naive limbo. But thankfully, Karin has a dynamic home life to make up for the dud romance. Her parents are a hoot, her elder brother's constant stalking of every woman he meets is amusing, and her creepy little sister with a possessed cleaver-wielding dummy always on her hand is hilarious. Early on, an obnoxious, incompetent, overbearing vampire hunter named Winner shows up at the school and (surprise, surprise) falls madly in love with our heroine. He's an annoying character that adds another layer of cliche and provides few laughs, but is thankfully downplayed for while. Later in the show when Karin's grandmother, Elda, escapes from confinement (Karin's mom piled rocks on her evil mother-in-law's coffin to trap her) then the series becomes extremely entertaining and even compelling. The final run takes a seriously dramatic turn as Winner's hardcore vamp hunter grandfather shows up to exterminate Karin's entire clan. The final episode is mostly in black-and-white save for a lake of blood which produces a very cool effect and makes for a hell of a showdown. While the show appears set to end on a seriously dark note, it ends up disappointing on that front. But the incredible imagery of the climax largely makes up for the lame ending that follows. Another season is somewhat hinted at at the end of the credits, but has yet to materialize so far.
"Karin" is a fun series for someone who is looking for a little light-hearted vampire humor. The art is extremely endearing (except for Kenta's perpetually vacant, beady-eyed expression) and there are several laugh-out-loud moments like when a curious Kenta asks Karin's mother if she'd die from a stake through the heart and she draws back, aghast and snaps back "wouldn't anyone?". There's plenty of dark humor, some cool imagery, very interesting ideas, and -as I said before- some really likable characters. It's a very different twist on the vampire genre and anybody curious should give it a shot.
3 1/2 stars rounded up for turning a well-worn genre on it's ear."
Karin: the lovable vampire
M. Zacky | USA | 10/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Do you like vampires? If so, you may like this dvd. This dvd is all about a life of a vampire who is not your normal vampire. Karin (who's the main character) is a vampire who likes: garlic, and the sun, which are normal vampires worst nightmares.
What is there to say about this dvd? well, there is alot of comedy, romance, and oh yeah, vampires. This dvd includes extra content of the textless main theme song and it has trailers which are very intresting. I don't want to tell what the main plot line is so if you are intrested at all go and get this dvd. All I can say is it has comedy and romance in it which makes this dvd very entertaining."