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Karin logo


Genre vampire, romantic comedy
Author Yuna Kagesaki
Publisher Kadokawa Shoten
Serialized in Dragon Age
Original run 2003 – 2008
No. of volumes 14
TV anime
Directed by Shinichiro Kimura
Studio J.C.Staff
Network WOWOW
Original run 2005 – 2006
No. of episodes 24
OP Scarlet, by Brace;d
ED Mouhitotsu no Birthday (Another Birthday) by Fmθ


[edit] Synopsis

Karin suffers extravagent nosebleeds (ep.1 of the anime series)

Karin (かりん, Karin) is a romantic horror-comedy story by Yuna Kagesaki. The original story idea was for a vampire girl whose blood multiplies, causing her to suffer extravagant nosebleeds yet retain an air of cuteness.

The title character, Karin Maaka, is a high school girl who seems to lead a relatively normal life in modern Japan. However she is really from a family of vampires who live discreetly, sucking the blood of humans. However, Karin has an embarrassing secret: even though she is a vampire she doesn't need to suck blood like the rest of her family, instead Karin is a "blood-maker", injecting her excess blood into her victims via her fangs, and having catastrophic nosebleeds if she fails to attack anyone. Karin's life gets turned upside when a new transfer student, Kenta Usui, transfers to her school and learns her secret shame. The manga chapters and anime episodes are structured around Karin's life being a succession of embarrassments, arising most notably out of her shame at being not only a vampire, but a failure of a vampire.

[edit] Description

[edit] History and story mediums

Karin was originally conceived as a manga serial written for the Japanese magazine Dragon Age published by Kadokawa Shoten, with publication starting in 2003. Collected chapters of the manga are periodically published as tankoubon which are notable for the inclusion of an autobiographical omake by the author in which she discusses the creative process of writing Karin, and her career as a manga author.

In 2004 Kadokawa asked Tohru Kai to write a series of mystery novels based on Karin. Although this was initiated independently of Kagesaki, who in one of her manga omake's disclosed that she had been sceptical that Karin could be turned into a mystery story, in the event she declared herself delighted by the results, and acted as the illustrator for them.

In 2005 Karin was adapted into an anime series by Shinichiro Kimura. The Karin anime series began airing in November 2005 on the Japanese TV channel WOWOW and quickly became well-known amongst English speaking anime fans as several fansub groups translated it. Although the first part of the series roughly follows the first 7 volumes of the manga, it then departs company with the introduction of a vampire hunter (Winner Sinclair), and proceeds to an anime-only ending. Kagesaki was consulted in some matters such as the voice acting, but has not offered an opinion on the anime-only storyline. In February 2007, the series was licensed for Region 1 distribution by Geneon.

Meanwhile the English language rights to the Karin manga and novels were acquired by Tokyopop who published them under the title Chibi Vampire. The change of title was greeted with bemusement by the anime community as Karin is not chibi in drawing style nor in her physical stature. From her blog, it seemed that the author only became aware of the title change on receiving copies of the overseas editions.

[edit] Vampires in Karin

Although Karin is a comedy, it also has the traditional vibes of a vampire story(ep.1 of the anime series)

In Karin, vampires are depicted as a persecuted minority who are relatively harmless. They evade detection by erasing their victims' memory of being attacked. Unfortunately, Karin does not have this ability and usually relies on her little sister Anju to help out. Traditional countermeasures against vampires such as garlic or water are ineffective in Karin and are depicted as stupid human myths. As for a stake through the heart, in the anime Karin's mother says "Good grief, that would kill anyone!"

All of the vampires have specific tastes in blood, for instance Ren's is the blood of people suffering from stress. When a vampire bites someone, they not only suck their blood but also suck out this tasty attribute. thus Ren's victims become stress-free for a while, whilst Karin's victims become happy, since her taste in blood is unhappiness (不幸, fukou).

Vampires in Karin do not develop their vampirism until they reach adolescence; before that they can go out in subdued daylight and eat normal food, as happens with Anju. Once they start their bloodsucking they lose their taste for food and must sleep during the day and as is the norm with vampires, get badly burned by daylight .

[edit] Comedy in Karin

Karin is a comedy which makes use of many devices, the central one being embarrassment: indeed the chapters of the manga are enumerated as her many embarrassments or shames (恥, haji). For the demure and somewhat shy Karin, the world is full of embarrassments, not least of which is being not just a vampire but a defective one.

The traditional sexual overtones of vampirism are also a source of comedy. One example of this is when the sight of Karin seemingly "necking" people is initially misinterpreted by Kenta as Enjo kousai (in other words, he thinks she's a teenage prostitute). Karin is naturally mortified by the misunderstanding, but is unable to correct it because to reveal the truth would be even worse. Another example is Karin's attraction to Kenta which provides an opportunity for comedic confusion between love and blood lust, symptoms such as a pounding heart being common to both. Meanwhile her brother Ren clearly enjoys sexual relations with his victims, and his overt displays of lust are another source of embarrassment for the much more demure Karin.

Blood meanwhile is consistently used for comic effect rather than horror. Karin's profuse nosebleeds (鼻血, hanaji) serve both as a pun on the common manga symbolism of nosebleeds as indicating sexual arousal, and as a source of menstruation jokes: indeed the author originally envisaged Karin "bleeding from every orifice" until it was vetoed by her editor. In the anime, a standing joke is that the vampire hunter Winner Sinclair, far from being a hardened killer, actually faints at the sight of blood, such as every time Karin has a nosebleed.

Karin's buxom physique (she originally possesses an E-cup but later grows H-cups due to the breast increasing ritual in the anime[1]) is a source of ecchi (lewd) humour, especially when it inspires jealousy in other females, such as Maki and her grandmother (the latter being an A-cup[1]). In the anime, a ritual supposedly to cure her of her blood-producing condition turns out to actually be for increasing bust size, and the sight of her exposed breasts afterwards proves enough to cause a vampire hunter to faint, thus defeating him.

[edit] Characters

[edit] The Marker Family

Karin in her manga and anime guises.

The Marker family fled to Japan from the Continent a long time ago. Although the parents retain their original Western names, the children have adopted Japanese-style names, with "Marker" becoming 真紅 (Maaka), though this name is also a pun as it can also be read as shinku which means "deep crimson".

[edit] Karin Maaka (真紅果林, Maaka Karin)

(Voiced by Sayuri Yahagi) An un-vampire or blood donor, her taste in blood is Unhappiness, in other words she is drawn to people who have an aura of unhappiness about them, and their presence causes her blood to multiply, forcing her to bite them.

[edit] Anju Maaka (真紅杏樹, Maaka Anju)

(Voiced by Yuka Inokuchi) Karin's younger sister. Her blood preference variates from anime to manga. In the anime, her taste in blood is Jealousy. In the manga, her taste in blood is Loneliness.

Boogie-kun (ブギーくん, Bugii-kun)
(Voiced by Hirofumi Nojima) Anju's doll, which hosts the spirit of a serial killer. His voice was based on that of Mr Hand in Southpark at Yuna Kagesaki's suggestion.

[edit] Ren Maaka (真紅煉, Maaka Ren)

(Voiced by Junichi Suwabe) Karin's elder brother. His taste in blood is Stress. Born November 14.

[edit] Carrera Marker (カレラマーカー, Karera Maakaa)

(Voiced by Emi Shinohara) Karin's mother. Her taste in blood is Liars.

[edit] Henry Marker (ヘンリーマーカー, Henrii Maakaa)

(Voiced by Dai Matsumoto) Karin's father. His taste in blood is Pride.

[edit] Elda Marker (エルダマーカー, Eruda Maakaa)

(Voiced by Yuri Shiratori) Karin's grandmother. In the anime, her taste in blood is Love. In the manga, her taste in blood is Old Age.

[edit] The Usui Family

A one parent family. Kenta was originally told by his mother that his father had died, but in fact he had simply left. In the manga he eventually meets his father, but this does not happen in the anime.

[edit] Kenta Usui (雨水健太, Usui Kenta)

(Voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi) Karin's new classmate, who goes on to become first her confidante and helper, and later her boyfriend. He is notable for having strange staring eyes which make his gaze look unintentionally hostile. He has also been noted to resemble Ichigo from the popular anime/manga series, Bleach.

[edit] Fumio Usui (雨水文緒, Usui Fumio)

(Voiced by Aya Hisakawa) Kenta's mother. As a single parent she struggles to earn enough to put food on the table, and Kenta often goes to school lunch-less and hungry. Fumio is very young looking, and as something of a femme fatale she is unable to hold down a job because colleagues keep making advances at her which leads to her getting the sack all the time. As a result of her bad luck and poverty, she is very unhappy, which leads to Karin biting her. This cures her of her unhappiness, but not, unfortunately, her bad luck with getting jobs.

[edit] Other characters

[edit] Maki Tokitou (時任麻希, Tokitou Maki)

(Voiced by Mikako Takahashi) Karin's best friend.

In the anime she becomes jealous of Karin's luck with boys after her love for Winner is not reciprocated, he only having eyes for Karin despite her spurning him and already having Kenta. In the end Maki is saved from her bitterness and jealousy when Anju bites her.

[edit] Anime only characters

[edit] Winner Sinclair (ウィナーシンクレア)

(Voiced by Kouki Miyata) An incompetent teenage vampire hunter who faints at the sight of blood. His arrival in the anime as a flamboyant foreign transfer student (probably British?) signals its departure from the manga plot. He immediately falls in love with Karin, seeing her literally as the girl of his dreams (he believes an incident in which he met Karin as a child, and she bit him, was just a dream, remembering the bite as a kiss.)

[edit] Victor Sinclair

(Voiced by Katsumi Chou) Winner's grandfather, an experienced vampire hunter who is determined to eradicate the Marker family, and who follows Elda back to Japan. Ironically it turns out that the Sinclairs are descended from a man who was in love with Elda Marker.

[edit] Screenshots

The anime starts with an evocative scene of a blood-red solar eclipse featuring a blond boy over whose identity the viewer is initially misdirected (ep.1 prologue)

The anime uses watercolour style backdrops that viewers find either beautiful or bland according to their artistic taste. (ep.1: the local park at sunset)
Like many anime, Karin utilises stylised freeze-frame images to emphasise crucial moments. (ep.1)
Even nosebleeds are done as artistic tableau! (ep.1)
There is a lot of blood in Karin, most of it her own. (ep.1)
The end-sequence consists of a number of watercolour sketches in which we see Karin making a cake for Kenta (inscribed with the words My Love for You)

[edit] Detailed Plot

[edit] Story opening (manga and anime)

(to be done)

[edit] Anime-only developments

(to be done)

[edit] Manga-only developments

(to be done)

[edit] References

  1. �� 1.0 1.1 See rear cover flap of Volume 5 of the manga

Most of the information in this article comes from the Karin anime and manga itself, and especially from the author's notes (omake) in the first two volumes of the original manga. Some information has also come from her blog and from a transcript of a question and answer session with her at Sakura-Con 2008.

[edit] External Links

Karin (anime) at

Karin (manga) at