Sunday, March 12, 2006
Karin 16: Hot Obaa-sans Are Embarrassing
Karin is a series I was really looking forward to--but after a good start the first few episodes the plot seemed to get stuck in neutral, and the fact Winner/Weiner the inept gaijin vampire hunter annoys the heck out of me really dropped my enjoyment of the series. But recently Winner's screentime has been limited (when he does show up I just fast-forward), and with Elda's introduction in episode 15 the plot might actually be moving forward again.
Elda is Karin's long-lost grandmother (Henry's mother), who'd been in a coffin in the basement for the last 200 years, thanks to her daughter-in-law piling rocks on top of it so she couldn't get out. When she does escape, Elda's ready to drink a LOT of blood to make up for lost time, and she goes on a rampage at Karin's school--and at the start of this episode she's about to bite Usui-kun. Of course, she doesn't, as Anju's bats stop her just in the nick of time. Karin arrives on the scene and yells at Elda, who withdraws.
Elda explains her backstory to Karin, and it's more dramatic than I'd come to expect from this show--she fell in love with a human, Alfred, 200 years ago, but Alfred's father hated vampires, even ordering three of them to be publicly executed. Al's father locks him up and leads a mob to go kill Elda, but Al escapes to be at Elda's side. Elda's too tired to escape, and Al offers her his neck--Elda doesn't want to do it, because when she sucks blood it takes away people's feeling of love, and he'd fall out of love with her. But Al assures her he will still love her no matter what and Elda bites him. Unfortunately for Elda, Al, who had been the nicest guy in the world to this point, studying to be a botanist, DOES lose his love for her because of the bite, to the point that he now hates her and drives a stake into her heart. At the end of the episode, Elda is vowing to bite Usui-kun for Karin's own good, because based on her own experience Elda's convinced humans and vampires can't be together.
Overall, this was one of the better episodes of the series, I thought--although I feel bad for the couple in Karin's school Elda bit in the last episode, since now they'll have lost any feelings for each other. Not to mention Al and all the people Elda bit when she went on a rampage 200 years ago. Although since the effects of Karin's bite wears off in time, it's possible after Elda's bite Al would slowly return to falling in love with her. Which would be pretty horrible for him, as he fell back in love with her but now she's gone and he's left with knowing that he had tried to kill her. Unfortunately, Elda's flashback ends where Al stabbed her, so we don't know what happened after that.
Up until now, the effects of being bitten by a vampire have been shown as positive--Ren's bite relieves stress and Karin's cures depression. On the contrary Elda has been cursed with a negative effect--people she bites fall out of love, or in Al's case his love was turned to hate. Makes me wonder who's Henry's father--did Elda marry a vampire after things went south with Al? Henry doesn't look like Al so can't imagine him as her and Al's love child... Based on the title of the next episode, looks like Elda will be leaving, which is really too bad--she's a complex character and she's actually added some drama to the series, which it'd been lacking lately.
One thing I don't get is why everyone, Maki included, can't tell Elda and Karin apart. Their hair's a different color AND length--it's not that difficult. And I can't help thinking Maki would be much better off if Elda had gone ahead and bit her...