In the last 10 years, it’s safe to say that unless you’re a teenage girl, vampires in the Western entertainment world have not exactly been very high on your list of things to talk about in a positive manner. Filled with sparkles, depression and shitty romance plots, vampires have gotten the shit treatment for the last little while, forgetting about how badass they were with films like Blade and how elegant and charming they were in the old vampire movies back in the day when a vampire basically walked into a fancy party lookin’ spiffy, picked up a girl, likely fucked her brains out and then sucked her blood afterwards.
Thank god we live in a world where we have access to other countries’ adaptations of things. So naturally, why would I not be interested in a harem anime that features a vampire who can kick all kinds of ass…and has a really nice one too!
Now the tough thing about Moka Akashiya from Rosario + Vampire is that there’s two of her, two different forms for two different personalities in fact. On the pink-haired Moka, you’ll see a rosary around her neck which acts as a sealant to her true, full-vampire form where she’s far more violent and kicks all kind of ass. So with these two forms, they’re referred to Outer Moka (pink hair) and Inner Moka (silver hair). They are polar opposites to each other and for me personally, polar opposites as well in terms of my level of appreciation for them.
Outer Moka is the one we see the most of, the pink-haired “nice” form of this vampire, the form that results from the rosary surpressing and sealing the full-blooded vampire version of Moka. It’s this Moka that specifically attracts the love of the series’ main character, Tsukune and thus starts the annoyingly excessively lovey-dovey relationship between the two of them, often getting lost in each other’s eyes and lovingly saying each other’s names over and over again until someone finally interrupts them. This version of Moka for me is nothing short of insufferable, she’s way too far on the side of the cliched potentially perfect wife character. She’s way too happy, caring, loving and accepting of everything around her, she’s way too bland and boring and there’s no edge to her, nothing interesting to note, nothing quirky about her that separates her from the rest, like others do, such as Mizore’s more reserved, quiet side, Yukari’s tiny, cute personality and Kurumu’s well…incessant desire to constantly shove her breasts in people’s faces. Outer Moka has zero personality to me and it’s when we understand that she’s essentially a “fake personality”, it only makes me appreciate the full-blooded vampire in Inner Moka so much more.
Inner Moka is a fantastic example of a female character in an anime that no matter what the show does to tell me how dangerous this girl is, no matter how many times she basically kicks the shit out of anyone that gets remotely close to her, I still can’t help but fall in love with the girl. Absolutely she is dangerous, she’s a a pure vampire and has the fighting ability to boot (literally) and her personality initially is that of a tsundere girl, but there’s so much about her to like as her character further develops and she opens up to Tsukune and us, the viewers. It’s very clearly that behind the dangerous, cold exterior of Inner Moka, there’s a very beautiful and still a very girly girl on the inside, as we later see that the girl who will kick your face off still loves the same things most teenage girls do, shopping, stuffed animals, all that jazz. She’s still a teenage girl through and through, she’s just a teenage girl you really, REALLY don’t want to get on the bad side of.
It makes her character so much more interesting as well when you take into account that so much of the anime spends its time devoting to Outer Moka and not allowing us to see the true personality and nature of Moka herself. It makes the moments we see Inner Moka that much more important and once the end to the series starts to draw near and we finally start to see Inner Moka in sections besides kicking the shit out of the episode’s antagonist, those moments become super important and fascinating to watch as we see this once dangerous vampire turn into well…a dangerous vampire that has a much softer side than she would have us believe she had.
For harem girls, Moka’s definitely one of the more interesting characters I’ve come across in my various shows I’ve watched over the years, for both positive and negative reasons. It’s amazing to me that there’s a girl that I can simultaneously love and hate as much as I do with Moka. You have one side of her that’s badass, cool, interesting, a ton of depth to her, just a beautiful woman, but then you have this other side that is so one-dimensional, boring, annoying and honestly a bit of a damsel in distress kind of character, extremely unlikable.
But I’ll happily take Inner Moka regardless. Mostly because watching her try to “flirt” is perhaps the most adorable and hilarious thing ever.