Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table: Aono Tsukune the main character of “Rosario + Vampire.”
“Rosario + Vampire” focuses on the life of a high school student Aono Tsukune, a regular old kid. He is given a letter by a strange monk, and that letter changes his life forever. The letter is for enrollment in a school called Yokai Academy. This isn’t a normal high school, however, this is a high school for monsters. Tsukune is the only human being learning in a school entirely filled with monsters, who are not huge fans of human beings.
In the beginning of the show, Tsukune meets his first and main love interest, Moka Akashiya, a young vampire girl. This show is a harem style comedy, so Tsukune gets many other women after him, but Moka is the main love interest. Tsukune is an awkward guy right from the start, so as soon as he meets this new cute girl who decides to be his friend, he already acts like an idiot. Tsukune didn’t realise where he was going at first, but he quickly figures things out and has to learn to hide the fact that he is a regular human. He is a very goofy and timid kid, and has some pretty close run ins with some of the monsters at the high school, who don’t really like him. Thankfully, Moka is always there to protect Tsukune from danger. Eventually, the harem is a young witch girl, an ice princess, Moka, and a older witch girl, who all of course want Tsukune and protect him constantly. As the show goes on, Tsukune gets more and more annoyed about the fact that he has to be protected; he doesn’t want his friends to always have to worry about him. Tsukune is a pretty brave guy throughout the show but because he is just a human he is pretty weak. To deal with his weakness, Tsukune gets pretty clever and does whatever he can to help his friends or the fight in general. His friends, of course, keep telling him to stay back and be safe but he always refuses. As character, he is a pretty likeable guy. He is nice, brave, funny, and friendly to pretty much anyone. Even with five different girls all wanting him at once, he never really acts like like a macho man or a pimp. He’s just a goof.
The manga is actually a very serious story and is considered a shonen. When they made the anime, however, they made it a comedy with less of a focus on the action. The Tsukune in the manga, because it is a shonen, has to gain powers and become awesome, which makes sense. When the anime was made, they kept some of the aspects of the manga’s action focus. What this did was create a weird situation where they didn’t want to get too serious but they still wanted Tsukune to become awesome.
What ends up happening is that Tsukune almost dies when the other are fighting. To try and save his life, Moka gives her vampire blood to Tsukune and he comes back to life. Tsukune even jumps in and saves Moka from an attack that was heading straight for her. So naturally, because of this save and the vampire blood you would think, “Oh Tsukune is going to become really awesome now!” It would make sense because that is how things went in the manga, Tsukune becomes a super ghoul-vampire-beast thingey. The anime, however, wanted to keep the funny going, so Tsukune while he does become more serious, he doesn’t really start fighting like I was hoping he would. The only sign you get again that Tsukune has powers is in the last episode where he has a “DBZ” style clash with Moka’s father, but it isn’t really a fight. I think they missed an opportunity there. I get that the anime is a comedy, but a cool fight with Moka’s father and Tsukune would have been pretty awesome, and a nice homage to the manga. Now, to be fair, the anime was never finished so they could do more if it were to get more seasons, but for now they missed a chance.
Now, for a verdict on Tsukune. Well Tsukune gets: What The? He isn’t Bad because he isn’t a character I dislike and he does grow and change. However, he isn’t Good because he doesn’t live up to what he could have been, there was more to work with than they gave credit for. I say What The because in the end, they missed a chance on a character that could have been much much more awesome than he ended up being. I think that because the change from the manga was sooo drastic, they hurt themselves on some of the plot points. I really liked this anime a lot, it made me laugh almost as hard as my two favorite comedy animes, “Baka and Test” and “Highschool DxD”, but what I think what they should have done was choose one side or the other and stick with it. Either go with the manga shonen style or commit to the comedy full on. That said, maybe the comedy would have been too boring? It is hard to say. I do recommend this anime to anyone who is a comedy anime fan, but be aware: the humor is very lewd with a lot of boob and panty jokes.