Also known as Chibi Vampire (English title of the manga, the anime is being translated using the original name.) Created by Yuna Kagesaki.Karin Maaka is a bubbly, slightly ditzy, cute sixteen year old girl, dealing with many of the problems faced by girls her age. Her family doesn't understand her. She's easily embarrassed. The new guy at school makes her feel funny. And she seems to have a condition that leaves her out of sorts about once a month...OK, maybe it's not that simple, when you factor in that most of the above is related to her — and her family — being vampires.To make it worse, Karin is a very strange little vampire. It turns out she is a "blood-maker"; instead of needing to drain the blood of others, she has to inject her excess into someone. If she doesn't, it builds up and eventually, she gets a nosebleed that puts one in mind of the elevator scene from The Shining.Karin is understandably put out by this state of affairs. She doesn't have any real special abilities to keep this under wraps, relying on her little sister to cover up any mishaps. Even in temperament, her sunny but easily flustered demeanor does not a creature of the night make. This puts her at odds with her family, who despite caring for her, call her "mutant" and "failure", and make her work to pay bills; after all, she's the only one who needs electricity or food in the house.But she makes the most of it all, until life sends her a new delivery of trouble in the form of tall, creepy-eyed, earnest Kenta Usui, the new student. One look at Kenta and her considerable store of blood starts racing. The reason, of course, isn't hormones — it turns out that vampires have "tastes" in blood related to a certain emotional quality. Karin's mom Carrera craves the blood of liars; her father Henry, that of prideful people; and her eldest brother Ren, the blood of stressed women. Despite her condition, it turns out Karin has a taste too, and Kenta is apparently Flavour of the Month. Being around him puts her at risk of painting the town red, literally. Too bad they share a class. And a route to school. And look who just got hired on at Karin's part time job....For all the hijinks and strange setups, Karin is a remarkably natural boy-meets-girl series. The relationship between Usui-kun and Karin is never rushed, developing smoothly from the admittedly supernatural set-up and arrangement of convenience into understandable affection. The secondary characters are generally well-rounded and, if not deep, consistent. The notably grating exception is anime-only Winner (pronounced "Weiner") Sinclair... and even he manages to pull off a little sympathy near the end.Not to be confused with the Magical Girl series Kamichama Karin, or the character from the Dragon Ball or Naruto franchises.
A-Cup Angst: Yuriya from the manga who goes into this on occasion (No thanks to ANJU of all people calling her "flatty").
Adaptation Distillation: Not so much a 'distillation' exactly, since the manga doesn't have extra bits to prune out. But the anime veers off the manga plotline rather quickly, especially when Winner is introduced.
Applied Phlebotinum: Bats. Anything beyond one's normal capabilities, particularly memory manipulation, wide-range surveillance, and, somehow, restraining persons, is done via bats, which appear to be magical creatures rather than natural. Possibly a vague reference to or misinterpretation of Batman's bat-themed bat-gadgets stored in the Bat-belt or Bat-Cave, which may or may not be kept in Bat-shape by Bat-Alfred. Bat bat bat bat bat bat bat.
In a side story in the additional issue "Karin Airmail", a relative of Karin forms bats into a WEAPON!!! (Used somewhat like a two-handed sword but still very visibly a swarm of bats.)
Anything That Moves: Kanon. First time we see her, she's trying to wake up her father with a kiss. When her mother tries to stop her, she tries to give her a kiss. And when said mother mentions that Kanon's grandmother is coming over, Kanon clearly starts fantasizing about kissing her. Probably justified, due to her nature. She was Sophia, a slave and martyr to the vampire race for thousands of years, until she was freed by the Power of Love and reincarnated in a young girl, who is now Kanon.
Art Evolution: In Vol. 1 of the manga, eyes and hair are slightly more detailed in all of the characters, but most notably are Karin and Kenta. Karin's hair is longer, Kenta's hair has more spikes, his jawline is more squared, and Kenta's eyes, which evolve into just plain dots by the third volume. This tends to create some problems when Kagesaki is drawing him, as she tells in the notes/omake at the end of each volume.
Badass Grandma: Elda Marker could be the poster girl for this trope. When Karin is kidnapped, one of her captors starts cowering in terror when he meets her, thinking she's Elda. Not that he reacts much better when he finds out that she's Elda's granddaugter.
Bait-and-Switch Credits: Karin appears naked in the opening possibly more often than she does in the entire series combined.
Bicep-Polishing Gesture: Done by Fumio when she declares that she "has faith in her body!". She's referring to her work ethic, but thanks to her Hello, Nurse! qualities, it winds up being grossly misinterpreted.
During the climax, Karin's brother Ren is forcing Bridget to be burned by sunlight by bending her over and sticking her head out the window while he is bent over her from behind, grabbing her so she can't struggle. That doesn't seem like rape at all, right? Oh, and then they later confirm that he spent the rest of the night forcing sex on her. She also calls later to say she's pregnant.
The bleeding. When Karin and Anju's respective first times at biting a victim are shown, both of them have the fronts of their white dresses conspicuously covered in "virginal" blood. Afterwards, both are referred to as vampires and adults.
That certain time of the month where Karin's blood begins to multiply is reminiscent of... a certain other time of the month...
Cry Cute: When Anju and Karin hug after Karin's release, and few later while begging Kenta to make the now-mindwiped Karin happy.
Enjo Kosai: One of Kenta's first encounters with Karin was seeing her in the park with her arms around a middle-aged salaryman, lips on his neck. Not knowing about her condition yet, he puts two and two together and comes up with squickiness.
Face of a Thug: Kenta, to the letter. A mundane version of the "Things aren't what people say they are" theme of the series.
An omake has it that Kenta's ancestor seven generations back had the same creepy eyes, couldn't make any friends, and became a murderous swordsman. He killed a man with kind eyes out of jealousy, who then cursed the males of his lineage to have the same creepy eyes for seven more generations.
Fanservice: The anime has a lot more of it than the manga - nothing quite tops having suggestive naked poses of the title character thrust at you in the OP. Karin's cup size also seems to have increased.
The manga lampshades Karin's bust. She inherited her looks from her grandmother on her father's size, but her breast size from her mother. Grandma isn't too happy about this.
First Kiss: Winner. Sort of. More like First Bite.
The Gift: As opposed to her awakened-but-powerless older sister, Anju displays great aptitude for vampiric control over familiars and human memories, despite being unawakened. Naturally, this leads to negative comparisons from the rest of the family, and yet more embarrassment for Karin. Carerra and Ren remark that Anju will be "one of the greats" when she finally becomes an adult. She also ends up making the change much earlier than anyone expected.
Give Him a Normal Life: What the Maakas do to the depowered Karin in the manga, by erasing her memories so she can marry Kenta and live normally.
Good Parents: While Carrera and Henry can sometimes be hard on Karin, the moment she truly needs help is the one where they (and specially Henry) leap to her defense.
Hellish Pupils: All adult vampires have Supernatural Gold Eyes and these, though since the adults are typically drawn with smaller eyes, it can be hard to notice. Elda Marker's eyes are drawn larger, showing us that the adult vampire pupils remain circles but also gain vertical slashes - a merge of human and feline pupils in one package. Karin's eyes appear completely normal unless she's surprised, angry, or really feeling the need to bite someone. Anju's eyes usually remain normal too, after she changes, so apparently one still has to grow into it. And then there's Yuriya, who usually gets it just once a month.
Hello, Nurse!: Kenta's poor mother Fumio suffers from this in spades. She's constantly sexually harassed, which results in her losing her jobs rather quickly.
Karin also gets this kind of attention from Winner... and Winner gets it from every female character apart from Karin.
Heroic BSOD: Manga!Karin has a HUGE one while captured by the Brownlicks. She can't be blamed, since she has just learned that they plan to have her raped and forcibly impregnated, followed by them draining all of the blood out of her body.
High-Pressure Blood: Karin's blood builds up if she doesn't bite to release the excess, leading to explosive bursts of blood from her nose. In the anime, to lower the gross-out factor, this appears as a shower of red flowers. But afterwards, there's still a bloody mess to clean up. The manga just has blood. Of course, the finale of the anime looks like it tries to make up for all that...
I Have the High Ground: Anju stands atop a lamppost to watch Karin covertly, Ren mounts a powerpole to give Winner the slip.
Identical Grandson: Sort of. Grandmother Elda and granddaughter Karin apparently bear an uncanny similarity to each other, differing only in Elda's hair colour and length, and Karin's taking after her well-endowed mother in the cleavage department.
And in the manga, Anju looks just like their other grandmother (Carrera's mom).
Ill Girl: Everybody in Anju's class believes that she has a terrible disease that keeps her mostly at home. It is noted that she only comes when it's cloudy or raining, though.
Impossibly Cool Clothes: Subverted in Winner's mantle; it simultaneously marks him as somewhat unbalanced mentally, yet he draws enough admiration from looks alone that it gets viewed as part of his charm by his groupies.
Karma Houdini: Glark and the other Brownlicks kidnapped Karin, and planned to rape and eventually murder her. They fail, but the worst punishment they receive is Elda Marker staying at their mansion for a few years as an uninvited and very unwelcome guest who allegedly beats them all black and blue as a regular thing. Also, the one who started the idea of raping Karin gets raped herself by Ren so this qualifies as a subversion.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Vampires wipe the memories of their victims to prevent panic, being caught, etc. Naturally, Karin does not have this power, and her family frequently has to do this for her so she can keep living her normal life.
And at the end of the manga, they do it to her so that she can finally go on to live a normal life.
Leap Day: Kenta was born on 29 Feb 1988. Elda threatens to wipe his memory back to his fourth birthday, not realizing that she is doing so on his fourth birthday.
Lethal Chef: Carrera and Anju nearly killed Karin and Maki making a normal human meal for them. More or less understandable when you recall that Carrera can't really taste human food and doesn't cook or eat it, and that Anju is like, 12.
Likes Older Women: Kikuchi (a side character) falls in love with Fumio in a side story. Then again, it's Fumio.
Luminescent Blush: There is lots of blushing in this series, and Karin does a ton of it. As Boogie-kun snipes at one point, "Her body is 98% embarrassment!"
Magic Skirt: Somehow, busty breasts and nudity are okay but panty shots aren't (allusions to them are as far as it gets). Go figure.
Medical Rape and Impregnate: In the manga, when Karin's condition as the non-vampire of her family actually was a consequences of being a spirit of psyche (a special type of vampire that can bestow fertility in other vampires), she's kidnapped and locked away by another vampire clan, who plans to do this to her.
Nosebleed: Subverted - Karin's nosebleed is caused by her "blood maker" nature. But the situations in which it happens are still very similar to the standard usage. A played-straight example actually winds up saving her life at one point: her top accidentally comes undone in the final confrontation with Winner's Knight Templar granddad, and the old man passes out from blood loss before he can harm her!
Played far more seriously in the manga. Karin lets out far more blood than any mortal safely could, and had to be hospitalized the first time it happened. Later, Kenta is so stressed that she goes off twice in a three-day period, and almost dies.
Not What It Looks Like: The scene where Karin and Kenta are discovered in a closet together with their clothes off. In reality, they were hiding from a vampire hunter and Karin had one of her nosebleeds, hence the removal of garments. Everybody else who saw them (including said vampire hunter) had different ideas.
Omake: lots of it in the manga, including the mangaka's travails in getting that particular tankobon volume out.
Our Vampires Are Different: Spun twice for good effect. The vampires of Karin don't suffer from most of the lesser-known traditional vampiric weaknesses, and they are noted for having a particular "taste" in their victim's blood related to emotions. Karin, on the other hand, is different even from other vampires, as noted above.
Among the traditional weakness normal vampires of the series do have is an aversion to garlic - but it's because they can't stand the strong smell with their acute senses. They also burn in sunlight (Henry once goes through this to save Karin from being taken to a clinic and have her secret revealed, and Anju only goes to school in cloudy/rainy days), and apparently this was a popular method for vampire executions at one time. And they sleep in coffins, though whether or not they need to do this or simply prefer it is unclear. Anju continues to sleep in her bed, after Ren boards up her room's windows.
In one of the manga omake stripes, Carerra enumerates to her human-nosed daughter the sorts of strong-scented vegetables she is not allowed to bring home. Karin realizes with a start that they are all vegetables that cats are allergic to, and wonders about a possible connection.
Holding up a cross for protection means nothing. In the anime, it's because Karin's an atheist. In the manga, they just plain don't work.
Driving a stake through their heart works too, although Karin's parents point out that such a thing would kill anybody, vampire or not.
Overprotective Dad: Henry, who's not exactly thrilled about Kenta's effect on his daughter's life.
Papa Wolf: Henry uproots and throws full grown trees at some other vampires when protecting Karin. And he planned to burn to death with them under the dawning sun if necessary. There's also the time that he had to rescue Karin from well-meaning but ignorant human emergency-responders before they got her to the hospital and learned what she was: he flew through the sky in broad daylight and suffered some truly nasty full-body burns.
Phenotype Stereotype: Winner-kun is a foreigner with blond hair and blue eyes. He also has a rather strange accent.
Please Dump Me: Karin can't get Dogged Nice Guy Winner to understand that she's not interested in him. So she tries going on a date with him and being a total demanding bitch so he will lose interest. It doesn't work.
Rich Bitch: Carrera loves playing with this trope, although she's rarely downright malicious.
Right Behind Me: In the manga Maki spots Karin giving a lunch to Usui. She and the other girls then demand that Karin tell them all the "juicy details" of her love affair with him. Karin insists that He is Not My Boyfriend — without success, given her Luminescent Blush. Finally she yells "I Don't Have Feelings for Usui-kun!", just as Usui comes around the corner Right Behind Her.
In a splendid subversion of the usual awkward-teenage-romantic-comedy dramatic plot point, practically the next scene has Karin and Kenta talking about the incident, rather than letting it turn into a misunderstanding that could damage their relationship.
Secret Keeper: Kenta, partially of his own free will, and partially because Karin's family threatened him with Laser-Guided Amnesia (and possibly worse) if he doesn't. Then he has to become the family's secret-keeper against Karin, after they wipe out her memories of them and vampires.
Shipper on Deck: Maki towards Kenta and Karin. Though she almost always helps and encourages Karin, the few times she helps Kenta with his feelings toward Karin are the times that really stick out. Probably because she gave the poor guy some porn to learn from and possibly use on Karin.
Spell My Name with an S: The Marker/Maaka family name. There is a definite change from the original "Marker" (used by the parents and Elda), and "Maaka", written with the kanji that means "crimson" (and used by the naturalized Japan-born children). However, subtitling for the anime has been known to be inconsistent even from this.
Also, Carerra, Carrera, or Calera? You'll find all of them on this page, but the manga sticks with Calera.
The Sociopath: Ren, going by the clinical definition of the term. An inability to empathize, impulsiveness and a tendency to use charm and manipulation to get what he wants. This could be chalked up to the way vampires view humans overall, but even among his family these traits seem to be frowned upon, such as when he tried to drink Fumio's blood.
Spoiler Opening: Subverted - the only character that doesn't show up in the first episode is represented as a black silhouette in the opening until after he is introduced to the storyline.
State The Simple Solution: Karin's family suggests early on that Karin just bite Kenta to keep her multiplying blood under control.
Stealth Pun: In the manga, the blood is uncensored. In the anime, though, it's replaced with... flowers. Granted, you see the blood after the sequence. In any case, the Japanese word for "flower" is "hana" (花). Because of the limited sounds in Japanese, there are many homophones, such as "hana" (鼻), which is "nose", which is used in the compound "hanaji" (鼻血), meaning "nosebleed".
Boss: Are you sure you're okay taking an all day shift? Karin: Yeah, it's fine. Boss: OH! You're working for that! (he means christmas bonus) Karin: I'M NOT DOING IT BECAUSE USUI-KUN IS THERE!!!! Boss:............eh?
The Unfavorite: Karin's family have this as a Jerkass Fašade. They are later shown to be very sympathetic towards, and protective of, Karin. So much that they'd rather remove themselves from their life than keeping her bound forever to said condition.