Karin, an anime series based off the popular "Chibi Vampire" manga book series, places focus on a family of vampires called the Maaka family living in 21st century Japan. The storyline consists of a female high school student, whom is a vampire in secret, named Maaka, Karin & her daily interactions with the human world. This proves to be difficult when a male transfer student named Usui, Kenta indirectly provokes Karin's blood level to spike therefore giving her painful nosebleeds. As the storyline progresses Usui discovers Karin's vampire secret but promises not to tell anyone ever. Karin thanks Usui for keeping her secret by making bento lunch boxes for Usui every school day. Eventually Karin & Usui befriend each other & start to spend time together evolving their friendship into affectionate love. Can love between a vampire & a human coexist? The plot paces well with the romantic comedy & drama from the storyline ensuring that very little dull moments occur during the progression of the anime series. The dialogue mirrors very closely to the original Japanese version of the anime series which is appreciated. The voice acting is exceptional & very well developed with the characters personalities & emotions portrayed perfectly. This anime series is a requirement for all anime fans. It will make you laugh, scratch your head, & even cry. Thank you.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Chipper Anime For Viewers of all TastesMay 27 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Karin is one of those unmistakably quirky but loveable Geneon properties that many anime fans (such as myself) feared would go down with the ship. Fortunately, Funimation has been diligent in their efforts of tossing out the lifeboats for countless such titles by re-releasing them to the North American market in all their original glory.
Released across 6 DVDs, the Funimation version of Karin consists of three thin packs (each containing two discs) within a tasteful cardboard slipcase. The show comes in at a 580-minute runtime and wears a fairly conservative 13+ rating. There is no real nudity to report (save for some covered-up body models in the opening) and the language is friendly to viewers of all ages. Sure there are a few juvenilely creepy vampire moments, but in all, this is definitely a title that will charm members of all age demographics.
The story goes something like this: Karin Maaka may seem like a perfectly normal teeny-bopper/ high school student with all of the usual dilemmas to keep her occupied: Dating, zits, anemia and the desire to bite into people's necks.
Sure that last one isn't that uncommon among the teenage set, keep in mind that our title character is in fact the middle child in a family of futuristic vampires who've made Japan their home.
As if being a vampire wasn't enough, Karin is a reverse vampire (or an "un-vampire" as the case may be). This means that she doesn't rely upon sucking the blood of others to live but rather makes her own supply just like the rest of us. Before you start to wonder if you are in fact a vampire as well, her condition is unique in that she makes too much of the red-stuff and has to bite others to get rid of some of her own.
Here's the catch, Karin literally has to get rid of her excess corpuscles or risk volatile nose-bleeds as her body rids itself of the extra blood. The good news is that her victims don't suffer from the bite/ injection but actually feel revitalized and refreshed (a trick that I'm forced to reply upon Red Bull to duplicate).
Another interesting facet of her "condition" is that the mood of those surrounding her has a distinct effect on her body's blood affinity. In other words, Karin's body starts working in overdrive in blood production when she's around miserable people (good thing she doesn't live around here). As such, the poor girl is often found doing all she can to try to better the moods of those around her.
Following in the footsteps of such classic shows as The Addam's Family or The Munsters, a lot of Karin's appeal comes from the fact that her family life is, for all facts and circumstances, surprisingly normal. Karin shares room and board with a brother, Ren and sister Anju with some fairly stereotypical parents (think protective father and quick-to-butt-in mother).
While her family may play the more traditional vampire role, Karin herself (don't forget she is an un-vampire) lacks some of the typical traits such as vulnerability to sunlight, night vision, and the ability to erase memories. Yes she has the fangs but that only inhibits her on class-picture day.
The show itself just plain works, partially because Karin is a lovable lead character and partially because the whole vampire angle adds a nice element of mystery to the typical high-school comedy genre.
The show is as much High School Musical as it is Twilight and that's not a bad thing. The heavy load of hiding the fact that she and hers are technically members of the "living dead", teen romance, high school shenanigans, and a whole lot of coming of age in the modern world spruces things up.
Perhaps its greatest strength is how tastefully and humorously the context manages to parallel Karin's unique blood dilemma to the budding menstrual cycles of all girls of similar age. As such many of the situations and tense moments have an inherent scale of relatability and realism.
Karin's biggest weakness comes in the form of the art and animation, which isn't anything spectacular. Not that either actually take away from a viewer's ability to enjoy the smooth pacing and just plain fun prose, the backgrounds and character models are nothing spectacular either. The fan-service that managed to cause a bit of a reputation in the manga source-material has pretty much been eliminated entirely in the transition to anime (again except for the opening sequence, which hints toward much more risqué material than the show ever delivers).
The sound track is a mixed bag as well with upbeat pop numbers and smooth instrumentals that perfectly accent the teeny-theme of the show but the English dub isn't one of the strongest out there. Like the visuals, the dub work is passable but not quite the butter-smooth masterwork that is so common with Funimation properties.
In all, this is a fun show that manages to capture the small moments of teenage life and blend them with a fictional backdrop nearly perfectly. Because the writers initially decided to add a unique twist on the vampire theme, Karin ends up being one of those rare shows that will hold viewer interest regardless of their personal genre tastes. The humor works and the drama never becomes so heavy that it drags the well-constructed prose down.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Thank You Funimation EntertainmentMarch 23 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I first began collecting the Karin Series last year when it was released by Geneon after the third volume it was gone. Gone! and all the trades said it was gone for good! Off into a vast anime oblivion, discontinued due to a failed distribution company. Thankfully My Personal Heroes at Funimation Entertainment caught the rights to distribute Karin and other Geneon Niche titles to the US and Canada.
Well enough of the history lesson. This anime is truly a great piece of art, and No I don't believe I'm overstating it either. The Original Manga by Yuna Kagesaki differs somewhat from the anime namely the anime could not be an exact expression of Manga-ka Kagesaki's vision it had to be cut down to fit into a 25 episode series, and "work for TV". The Manga covers over 13 volumes of text and art. (avilable fom Tokyopop under the title Chibi Vampire) originaly published in "Monthly Dragon Magazine" and "Monthly Comic Dragon" in Japan. The animation was done by JC Staff known for fanservice, but, though evident, it is toned way down in the this series. The now defunct Odex of singapore produced the English dub. The English version was written and directed at Odex by American voice artist and puppetteer. Mr. Paul Pistore. Who's script provided a very fluid dialect in English, which in my opinion captured the original writers intent fully. I have shaired many e-mails with Mr. Pistore regarding his work on Karin and other more recent projects. The main cast besides Mr. Pistore consists of Ms. Chelsea Curto as Karin Marker, and Mr. Yahav Rom as Kenta Usui. Both are excelent matches for their respective charicters, along with Mr. Pistore and the balance of the cast, well they should all be recognized for their work.
Karin is a very emotional story of unexpected love between classmates Kenta Usui, the new transfer student from the north with funny eyes, and Karin Marker, a popular, yet youthfully awkward child of immigrant parents who has lived her life in Japan as a native aparently since early childhood.
Here's one of the hooks, Karen is a vampire. Or rather her situation is being an outsider in her own family. Instead of sucking or rather drinking human blood Karin's body overproduces blood which she must either inject into a "victim" or she suffers painful and profuse nose bleeds, this qualifies her as an un-vampire.
"Look for a more friendly vampire mythos in Karin, it's not the same old Dracula, Twilight, Forever Knight, Ann Rice, stuff. It's much more... Friendly, as I said, and Karinesque vampires are more like a subspecies of human than the usual 'undead bloodsucker mythos' which we've all seen before."
Considering this is a vampire title I was astounded to see the morality that each charicter shows. Kenta Usui dreams of working hard and being a good citizen and a family man. Karin also works hard like Kenta is genuenly a moral person, her family, though vampiric is a traditional nuclear family, and despite family disputes they all appear in their own way to love and support Karin. There really are no villans, only people with different perspectives.
One interisting thing is that Kenta is not bound to Karin by some spell, curse, transdimentional warp, Renfield like devotion, or any other anime cliche' devise, as I would have expected. His bond to Karin Grows out of his and her personalities, and his desire to be friendly and a good man. Karin's situation is a little more camplex. She feels uneasy near Kenta and has nose bleeds, she cheers herself, and himself up by making him a bento lunch, daily! As time goes by, boy and girl together, well you know.
I think Love would have come to the couple sooner if they weren't constantly interupted by, Vampire hunters, classmates, and Karin's family attempting to stop their budding relationship.
This anime is also very much about acceptance. When Kenta finds out about Karin's vampiric heritage, he does not freak out, he accepts her as she is. Later Karin's friends find out her secret and they accept her. Even the supposed villians accept her, and eventualy Karin's family accepts Kenta, except for her father Henry Marker (voiced by Paul Pistore) who is stereotypicaly overprotective of his teenage daughter.
I think of this series and it makes me smile. It works as a shonen and as a shojo title. It's so darn emotional and downright sweet, you'll have to brush your teeth/fangs afterwards, or you'll get cavities.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
KarinApril 20 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
First, I stumbled upon Karin by accident. I wasn't expecting to like it simply because I didn't really care for the Vampire premise that it was based on, and I had already been vampired out by a series called "Moonphase" (which is also good in its own way).
This story takes its own angle to tell a story about a teenager who isn't really a vampire, but an anti-vampire (blood-giver not sucker). The style of the series reminded me of the Addams Family in the daughter's point of view (The daughter as in the Addam's Family's daughter) In "Karin's" point of view she is not like the rest of her family -a black sheep of the family. As she, a normal teenager, finds interest in a mysterious transfer student things become quite interesting as she has to deal with what any other teen goes through- the challenges of romantic relationships.
If there is one thing that the Japanese artists are best at, it's being able to convey the human emotions and realistic human situations both light-hearted and fun, and heavy-hearted and heartbreaking. I have yet to find an animation done anywhere else that is able to convey that kind of energy so easily.
Anyways, Karin is a great story and well animated and definitely worth holding on to.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Really fun story, bad production quality.Dec 21 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Karin is the oldest daughter in a family of Vampires. She has a strange deformity. Instead of sucking blood when she gets near her a person with her preferred blood type, Karin produces blood. Mostly it gushes from her nose. She actually can give her extra blood to humans and it gives them a positive experience. She meets a boy in school, Usui, who she develops a crush for. She wants to get close to him and have a relationship, but when she gets too excited around him she bleeds through her nose profusely.
This anime has a very fun and playful vibe. The characters and situations are funny and very entertaining. It's almost your typical high school romance/comedy. The Un-Vampire twist makes it quite different. My only complaint with this anime is the production quality. The animation isn't very detailed, and a little bit blurry. Especially in the character outlines. I do like the character designs and coloration though. My other issue is the bad voice acting. Most of the characters sound stoned or drunk. It takes a lot away from the series. I've listened to the English and Japanese tracks. They are both kinda bad. If you can deal with the sub par animation and bad voice acting, this series has a fun story. I have seen the prices on amazon and it's not worth it. I got it on e-bay for a whole lot cheaper. If you decide to try it out, I suggest watching it online or renting it before you buy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Karin Complete Box SetMay 25 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Back Cover: In the 21st century, a family of vampires settled down in Japan. They lived among humans and sucked their blood quietly and discreetly. However their daughter Karin had a secret that she could not share with anyone. She did not suck blood like the rest of the family. Instead, her blood level increases! She is a blood-making vampire!
My Review: Karin is a romantic comedy anime. The story is well written and fun. The animation isn't bad it also isn't the best. The backgrounds are rather banal, but the character designs are cute. The only bonus features are non-credit opening and closing sequences. The box is flimsy (as are most slim box sets) and the cases hold two discs each (which is usually annoying, but in this case the "hubs" won't break off easily leaving the discs to slide around the case). There are six discs with 4 episodes per disc (meaning there are 24 episodes total).
Overall, Karin is entertaining to watch, but only rates 4 stars. I'm happy with my purchase. Oh! Also the manga Chibi Vampire (printed by Tokyopop) was the basis for this anime. In case anyone was wondering...
EPISODES: Disc 1 01. Bleeding is Embarrassing 02. My Affinity is Embarrassing 03. Happiness is Embarrassing 04. Being Exposed is Embarrassing Disc 2 05. A Family Gathering is Embarrassing 06. Mother is Full of Energy! How Embarrassing 07. Being Chased is Embarrassing 08. Being Discovered is Embarrassing Disc 3 09. Looking Back is Embarrassing 10. Papa is Embarrassing 11. It's Summer! It's the Pool! It's Embarrassing 12. Big Brother is Really Embarrassing Disc 4 13. Awakening is Embarrassing 14. Together Until Morning is Embarrassing 15. Elda's Appearance is Embarrassing 16. Elda's Love Story is Embarrassing Disc 5 17. Elda's Farewell is Embarrassing 18. Big Brother's Secret is Embarrassing 19. A Couple's Eve is Embarrassing 20. The First Time is Embarrassing Disc 6 21. What Should I Do! This is Embarrassing 22. Being Like a Lost Child is Embarrassing 23. Farewell is Embarrassing 24. Together Forever is Embarrassing