I recently tried to watch the anime for Karin, a.k.a. Chibi Vampire, a.k.a. Cheeky Vampire because after I recently reread the manga. The manga still is very good and holds up for the most part. The story is ostensibly a rom-com about a vampire girl that is an outlier in her family. She can walk around by day, is scared of the dark, can’t manipulate memories, and most importantly instead of sucking blood she over-produces blood and has to inject it into others. A new transfer student named Kenta Usui arrives and Karin’s blood reacts to him due to his misery. Hijinks and romance ensue.
The series can be a bit cliche, but also sets itself apart by talking about some rather mature topics as well, such as poverty, parenting, child neglect, teenage prostitution, and sexual assault. Some of the plot points revolving around these topics I wondered if/how they would be handled in the anime as they aren’t exactly TV friendly, and thought I should give it a shot.
First thing I notice is the animation. Of course the series is from 2005/06 and its readily apparent just how much animation has jumped forward in quality over the decade and a half approximately since, but it’s still fine. I make my way through the early part of the story which is a straight adaptation, though I also noticed that they increased the number of nosebleeds she suffers to a ludicrous amount. Then comes what I was wondering.
One of the early plot points is Usui’s mom being desperate to find work even though she is an unskilled high school drop out, having born Kenta at age 16. She eventually finds work at a love hotel as a cleaning lady, and befriends a teenage runaway who has being forced into prostitution, helping her escape and the love hotel getting shut down, she having done the right thing even though it cost her a source of income she desperately needed.
Nothing of that is in the anime. Instead the anime introduces an incredibly stupid original character that is both extraordinarily dumb written and horribly voice-acted. Instead of raising an underutilized topic and sticking to the original plotline, they go ultra-cliche introducing a rival character with the most contrived backstory ever, and his entire presence is just annoying and dislikeable. After about three episodes with the guy I could no longer take it and dropped the series. Way to ruin an adaptation.
I have also read the Wikipedia page for the anime episodes, and apparently they just didn’t adapt the most important part of the anime which is the underlying reason for the events of the series happening: The reason why the Usui’s moved to a different town, and Kenta’s confrontation with his father.