Reviews: Karin

Sweet and surprisingly touching (manga review)

Usually, the determining factor in whether I like a series or not is its characters and their interactions.

Karin offered me a lot of great characters, and the comedic moments didn't make the emotional ones any less effective. The relationship between Karin and Kenta, his mother and her family are really heartwarming. This is a series with characters that deeply care for each other, and that felt good to read. Volume 11 in particular, where Anju awakens as a vampire, hits all the right (and heartbreaking) notes.

Now about the ending… I'm usually a sucker for bittersweet endings, so I didn't mind it that much, BUT… I couldn't help but feel that the whole memory erasing thing was unnecessarily harsh. There really was no need to do that, when you think about it.

Despite that, I really enjoyed Karin. It's a well-paced and well-executed emotional story overall.

Twilight could take some pointers from this

For future references, this is a review of the manga, not the anime.

When I read the first volume of Chibi Vampire (as it is known to me), I just got off Bleach feeling a bitter taste in my mouth about angst-filled characters overused in such mangas. So approaching a character like Karin Maaka was a HEAVY sigh of relief for myself. In the first chapter, I was introduced to a clumsy but happy-go-lucky girl just trying to make ends meet while keeping an optimistic point of view on the world, despite her troubles. The other main character, Kenta Usui, was a breath of fresh air too. While he had this cold exterior at times and focused more on work than making friends, it was clearly justifiable as he was struggling to support both himself and his mother, both who are way too young and inexperienced to be out on their own.

The interactions between these two are hilarious during the first few chapters, and when they grow closer, their relationship is steady and believable. It's these two I enjoy the most as the manga progressed. The other characters were great too, with one or two being only slightly intolerable. The plot was a fairly easy and simple love story with a side plot to it involving the vampires as a whole which becomes the complete focus of the second half of the series.

I'll admit the ending was a bit of an ass pull and it took me several re-reads to understand what happened, but otherwise the relationship paid off in the end and I was treated to an enjoyable though bittersweet ending.

This may not be the love story for some but for those who can enjoy what this manga presents, it is all here.

The Reason For The "Mute" Button

Proof that if there is a god, he/she is deaf.

Normally I would make one comment on voice acting and then move on, but not this time. Oh, no, not this time. I can't let this one slip. If someone asked me for advice on voice acting, I would point to this show and say "DON'T DO THAT."

I lasted three episodes into the [English] dub before switching to the sub. It was much better. I managed to last ''five'' episodes into the sub before walking away to take out my anger on inanimate objects. Without a doubt, Karin has the worst voice acting I have ever heard, both the dub and the sub. I kinda want to know who did such a terrible job but I'm afraid that if I do I'll write off every single production they're involved with as absolute s***.

*Deep breath*
Okay, to the rest of the show… I can see what they were going for, and it wasn't so bad I suppose, but it lacked substance (for me). It tried to be comedic and romantic and fell flat on its face for both. The characters were irritating, bordering on rage inducing, and lacked the depth you need to make a show like this work. That's not to say that they were flat characters, they just weren't developed enough to be interesting. The animation too was lacking, not especially bad but not that great either and the plot… Let's say I felt it was shallow, boring and didn't like it and just move on.

I do not recommend this. While it's true my standards for this genre are rather high and that I am not the target audience, that is no excuse. I can see why people could like it, I just can't imagine how they would. Then again, I'm probably still paying far too much attention to the crappy voice acting, and of course Your Mileage May Vary. Now excuse me while I go break something.

Pretty Good

Karin is a cute little tale about a teenager named Karin, who just happens to be a vampire. The anime is a bit more light hearted than the manga, which ends on a rather bittersweet note. Nothing about the show is exactly groundbreaking, and the plot is less than original, but it can be sweet, dramatic, and even funny. The show was a bit fanservice-y for my tastes but overall, a fun watch, and it remains among my favorite series.

Good teen vampire series with a somewhat forced ending.

NOTE: this review only addresses the manga. I've not seen the anime.

Karin is a Friendly Neighborhood Vampires series with a few twists on the typical vampire ideas (both the western/Hollywood version and the normal Japanification of them), a lot of cute and comedic moments, a serious undertone at times, and a bittersweet and somewhat downer ending.

Vampirism is often used as a sexual metaphor, and that's definitely the case here, in a manner that both manages to be pretty heavy-handed (vampires develop their vampiric abilities in puberty, among other things) and yet not obnoxious.

The titular Karin is a messed-up and easily embarrassed teenager whose personality and issues ring pretty damn true despite the fantastical origin of many of the issues, and her love interest Kenta is a more interesting, and believable, young man than many such in manga and anime; although in many respects he is the "perfect boyfriend" character, he manages to be both believably manly yet not a jerkass, sensitive yet not a pushover, nice but tough.

If there's one thing in this that kept me reading more than anything else, it's because the manga manages to make the reader care about Karin and Kenta and hope things work out for them, especially because it becomes quickly obvious that this is not going to be a story in which a happy ending will be handed them on a plate; this is serious Earn Your Happy Ending territory.

A criticism I'd have is that I think the creator forced an ending a bit sooner than the subject matter really warranted, and left quite a few subplot threads hanging in space. Some will probably hate the ending completely; I wasn't there, but I felt it was a bit arbitary and sudden. Almost felt like the kind of ending a TV show gets when it hears it's only got half a season left to tie things up before it's cancelled; it wasn't a BAD ending, per se, but it felt rushed. I wonder if it was that the creator got bored of it or the publisher got tired of it? At least it didn't just cut out in the middle and got an ending.