Happy Endings all around
As of Volume 13, Karin the nose-bleeding vampire was a captive of the Brownlick clan who planned to feed off of her excessive blood in order to keep their clan strong. The Psyche, as the Brownlick calls Karin’s unique breed of vampire, has been the property of the clan for centuries and they mean to continue the tradition. Of course, the clan has a little surprise in for Karin. She needs to give birth to a successor Psyche before the clan can finish her off, assuring a next generation of strong blood for the Brownlicks. Utsui, however, has something to say about that plan!
Volume 14 concludes the long running and popular “Chibi Vampire” series (known in Japanese simply as “Karin,” the title which was also used for the anime). A vampire romantic-comedy, the series has had quite a few twists and turns, playing with the genre and injecting some new ideas into the typical “vampire romance” situation.
Because this is a romantic-comedy, ending on a high note with love all around is pretty much expected, but series author Kagesaki Yuna doesn’t take the easy way out. Even Karin’s lady-killer brother Ren ends up in a completely unexpected situation that is a bit of poetic justice for the character. “Bittersweet” is the word most associated with this kind of ending, because for every gain there is a loss, and for everyone who gets to walk hand in hand in the sunshine there are those who must shrink back into the shadows never to be seen again.
I thought the series ended well overall. It reminds me a bit of the ending to the Harry Potter series, where there isn’t a final page and dramatic conclusion but a short sequence following the main characters through the years and seeing what becomes of them. There are some surprises, some “Awww…” moments and of course a giant splash-page kissing scene to make romantic hearts go all a flutter.
For being the last volume in the series, it was a bit short and Tokyo Pop filled up the remainder of the book with some funny single-strip cartoons featuring author Kagesaki Yuna’s frustrations with being assigned to write a romantic-comedy, how she dealt with that and how the series took on a life of its own. There is also a nineteen page preview for a new series called “Deadman Wonderland” that looks really interesting.