Chibi Vampire, originally released in Japan as Karin (かりん?), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuna Kagesaki. The story is about an unusual vampire girl, who instead of drinking blood must inject it into others because she produces too much. Chibi Vampire first premiered in the shōnen magazine Monthly Dragon Age in the October 2003 issue, and ran until February 2008. The individual chapters were published by Kadokawa Shoten into fourteen collected volumes.
In 2003, Tohru Kai began writing a series of light novels based on the manga, with Kagesaki providing the illustrations. The nine-volume series was published in Japan by Fujimi Shobo. Both the manga and light novel series are licensed for English language release by Tokyopop. Tokyopop renamed the manga series to Chibi Vampire and the novel series to Chibi Vampire: The Novel.
In 2005, an anime adaptation was produced by J.C.Staff and directed by Shinichiro Kimura. Spanning twenty-four episodes, the series aired in Japan on WOWOW from November 3, 2005 through May 11, 2006. It was licensed for an English release to Region 1 DVD, under the original name Karin, by Geneon USA. On July 3, 2008, Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment announced that Funimation had agreed to be the exclusive North American distributor of Geneon titles, including Karin. Geneon is still the actual licensor of the series.
Karin Maaka is the middle child in a family of vampires who immigrated to Japan two centuries earlier. Unlike the rest of her family, Karin does not feed on blood, she produces it. As a result, she is forced to bite others to expel the extra blood, lest she suffer exaggerated nose-bleeds. She also exhibits no normal vampire traits, and instead lives her life just as an ordinary teenage girl would. She can go outside during the day, attends high school, and follows the sleep pattern of normal humans. However, the general peacefulness of her life is disrupted with the arrival of a new transfer student, Kenta Usui.
Any time she goes near him her blood increases. At first she tries to avoid him but they are in the same class and work in the same restaurant. Kenta begins to think that there is something fishy about Karin and eventually he learns her secret. Karin's elder brother Ren tries to erase his memory but Anju, Karin's younger sister, stops him from doing so. She convinces their parents Henry and Calera to make Kenta their ally, because he can help Karin during the daylight. Karin and Kenta become friends, and as they spend more time with one another, fall in love, though they are slow to admit their feelings to one another.
Yuriya Tachibana, a human-vampire hybrid, moves to the area at the request of her vampire uncle, Glark. As hybrids are sterile, Tachibana disapproves of Karin and Kenta's relationship, feeling any children they had would be unhappy like her. Despite this, Karin likes Tachibana and considers her a friend, unaware that Tachibana is actually there to help her uncle and the Brownlick clan spy on her. After another nose bleed leaves Karin comatose for several days, Karin's family ask Kenta to stay away from her, but the two lovers are unable to stand being apart and eventually reunite and become a couple. Shortly after they share their first kiss, Tachibana helps Glark and Bridget Brownlick kidnap Karin and take her the Brownlick estate. It is revealed that Karin is the "psyche", a blood-giving vampire that can give life to other vampires and heal the sterility currently plaguing all vampires. To do so, however, they must drink all of Karin's blood, killing her.
Karin's father Henry, her brother Ren, and Kenta go to rescue Karin. Meanwhile, Tachibana is horrified to learn that not only will Karin be killed, but also raped until she has a child to produce a new psyche to replace her. She apologizes to Karin for disapproving of Kenta's relationship and for hurting Karin, and helps her escape just as Kenta comes in with Ren. While Ren takes care of the vampire holding Karin captive, Henry battles Glark and the Brownlicks, joined belatedly by his mother Elda. Kenta, Karin, and Tachibana escape, but Tachibana leaves them to go ensure her uncle won't be caught in the sun.
It is later revealed that Kenta and Karin's first kiss stopped her blood producing. Karin's family sorrowfully erase all of her memories of them, so that she can live as a normal human with Kenta, while they quietly watch over her. They had prepared to do so for over four years, and the process is successful; they could not erase Kenta's memories however, and he is left having to keep the secret from Karin. At the end of the series, Karin and Kenta are married with a daughter named Kanon, who is the reborn Sophia- the first psyche who aided Kenta in finding Karin; Karin's sister Anju continues to watch over her sister's happiness.
Written by Yuna Kagesaki, Chibi Vampire premiered in Japan in the October 2003 issue of Monthly Dragon Age and ran until the February 2008 issue. It was also published in fourteen collected volumes by Kadokawa Shoten, released between October 1, 2003 and April 1, 2008 in Japan. A one-shot side story created by Kagesaki, Karin Side Story: The Vampire of the Western Forest (かりん外伝西の森のヴァンパイア Karin Gaiden: Nishi no Mori no Vanpaiya?), will be included in the June 2008 issue of Monthly Dragon Age.
In 2005, Tokyopop acquired the license to release both the manga and light novel series in English in North America. To avoid confusion with another of its properties, Tokyopop chose to release the manga under the name Chibi Vampire instead of under its original name of Karin. Tokyopop released the first translated manga volume on April 11, 2006 and is currently releasing three volumes each year. They are also releasing the novel series concurrently with the manga. The series is also licensed in France by Pika Édition.
A series of light novels, Chibi Vampire: The Novel (かりん増血記 Karin Zōketsuki?), is being written by Tohru Kai with illustrations provided by Kagesaki. The novels are published by Fujimi Shobo, with the first volume released on December 10, 2003. As of April 2008, nine volumes have been released. Tokyopop, which also licensed the manga series, acquired the license to release the novels in English in North America. As the company had renamed the manga series from Karin to Chibi Vampire, it released the novel series under the name Chibi Vampire: The Novel. The first English volume was released on January 9, 2007 and, like the novels, three volumes are being released each year. In June 2008, Tokyopop restructured itself, breaking into two subsidiaries under a single holding company, and cut its publication releases by more than half. As part of this cut back, Tokyopop canceled the remaining releases of Chibi Vampire: The Novel after the fifth volume, due to be released July 8, 2008. The company later reversed the cancellation and announced that volume six would be released April 13, 2010.
Chibi Vampire: The Novel is closely tied to the manga series, with each novel volume designed to be read after its corresponding manga volume. For example, the first novel takes place between the events that occur in the first and second volumes of the manga series, and the fourth volume of the manga mentions characters and events from the first novel volume.
In 2005, an anime adaptation was produced by J.C.Staff and directed by Shinichiro Kimura. Spanning twenty-four episodes, the series aired in Japan on WOWOW from November 3, 2005 through May 11, 2006. It was licensed for an English release to Region 1 DVD, under the original name Karin, by Geneon USA; however, the company went out of business before completing the release of the series. On July 3, 2008, Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon Entertainment will still retain the license, Funimation Entertainment will assume exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. Karin was one of several titles involved in the deal.
A book entitled Karin All-Nosebleeds Book (かりん まるごと鼻血ぶ～っく Karin Marugoto Hanaji Buukku?) (ISBN 978-4-0471-2439-4) was published by Kadokawa Shoten on March 17, 2006 as a guidebook to give an overview of the Chibi Vampire series. The first portion of the book contains illustrations by Yuna Kagesaki; the second part contains an overview of the series' setting, including a map of the town featured in Chibi Vampire; the third part has the results of a reader questionnaire; the fourth part has descriptions of the characters, and outlines of some of the popular scenes throughout the series.
In 2007, the Chibi Vampire light novel series was a runner up for the Kadokawa Shoten's first annual Light Novel Award in the "Novelization" category. The manga received a three-out-of-four star rating from Jason Thompson's Manga: The Complete Guide.
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- Kai, Tohru; Kagesaki, Yuna (illustrator) (2007-01-09). "Postscript". Chibi Vampire: The Novel, Volume 1. Tokyopop. pp. 211–214. ISBN 978-1-59816-922-5. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Kagesaki, Yuna (2007-04-10). Chibi Vampire, Volume 4. Tokyopop. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-59816-325-4.
- "Geneon USA To Cancel DVD Sales Distribution By Friday". Anime News Network. 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- Anime News Network (2008-07-03). "FUNimation Entertainment and Geneon Entertainment Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement for North America". Press release. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2008-07-03/funimation-entertainment-and-geneon-entertainment-sign-exclusive-distribution-agreement-for-north-america. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
- "Karin All-Nosebleeds Book official listing" (in Japanese). Kadokawa Shoten. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
- "Light Novel Award official website" (in Japanese). Kadokawa Shoten. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
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- Official Fujimishobo Karin manga website (Japanese)
- Official Tokyopop Chibi Vampire manga website
- Official Tokyopop Chibi Vampire: The Novel website
- Official Kadokawa Karin website (Japanese)
- Karin's Funimation website
- Chibi Vampire (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Karin (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia