Rosario + Vampire – Can We Panic Now?
Five minutes after reading those last few pages, I realized I had completely forgotten everything else that happened in this chapter during that time. See, I always considered Rosario + Vampire a series that has steadily grown up over time. It started off silly and formulaic, and then became the mature, complex series it is now. However, at no point in that growth did it ever feel like a series that would bisect a main character. We’ve seen some freaky things in this manga, but nothing on this level. Not even the first time Akuha did this, since it was a flashback and the character was tough enough to survive.
Now, do I think Kurumu is actually in danger of dying from this? No, of course not. I don’t think any series would do a complete turnaround on its stance on mortality after running for this long. If someone were actually going to get killed, it would have happened over a longer period of time to put emphasis on it, rather than just offing her this suddenly like it’s something that happens every day. Not to mention that this isn’t even the first implied death the arc currently has, since we had Yukari and Fong-Fong get trapped under a collapsed ceiling a few chapters back, and we’re still waiting to get resolution on that. I’ve played enough Tales of Symphonia to know that when characters appear to be dying en masse, it’s almost never real.
It took some time and reading the thoughts of other fans for me to remember that Kurumu has the ability to project illusions. We haven’t seen it too much, but we know that everyone has gotten stronger in the time leading up to this arc. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for her to be able to make copies of herself, since we know she saw Akuha coming and the attack was always short-range, so she could have dodged it by moving three feet. Alternatively, Mizore could have created an ice clone in the split second before the attack hit that can bleed and is a perfect replica of Kurumu. I doubt it’s something that dumb, though.
Knowing the logic behind it, though, doesn’t make it any less shocking. Most of the fights in this series involve very little bloodshed aside from the generic spurts of blood people let out when they’re kicked. I suppose the idea is to reinforce how powerful Akuha’s techniques are, but I think we’ve got the idea from everyone else she’s fought so far. I’ve accepted now that there won’t be too many major deaths in this arc, so I’m just hoping the number of fakeouts doesn’t increase after this. Considering the reinforcements that arrived this chapter, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see it happen more, but there’s a certain point where I think everyone stops believing it.