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Karin

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Maaka Karin, a cute little girl who also happens to be a vampire...with a twist. Once a month, she experiences intense bleeding from her nose! In other words, she`s a vamp with blood to spare, so rather than stealing blood from humans she actually gives her blood to them. If done right, this can be an extremely positive experience that benefits the `victim` as much as the vampire. But the problem is Karin never seems to do things right! She has bad nigh vision in her family.

By Yuna Kagesaki (Karin)

Characters
Main Characters

Vampires

Karin Maaka
Voiced by: Sayuri Yahagi
Blood taste: Misfortune / Unhappiness
Karin is descended from a long line of purebred vampires; however, Karin has an unusual issue. Instead of suffering from the lack of blood which plagues most normal vampires, Karin's blood is overproduced, especially when those around her are feeling unhappy. When Karin's blood increases to the point that she can no longer hold it, she must either bite someone, or suffer a nosebleed. This physical anomaly also enables Karin to walk unharmed in sunlight, attend school, and hold a day job at a small restaurant entitled "Julian's". If Karin fails to bite someone and holds in her blood, preventing a nosebleed, she will enter a berserker-like mindset. While in this state, she will aggressively seek a target for blood injection and she displays more classic vampire traits. She has demonstrated strength, speed and possibly enhanced senses and the ability to use chi or else vampiric powers to fling a target away. She has been shown twice in such a state.

When Karin does bite someone, her victim is injected with Karin's blood (which lacks both blood-typing antibodies and antigens). The new concentration of erythrocytes, or red blood cells, in the victim allows them more energy, and thus takes away their unhappiness. Victims of Karin's blood transfusions include Fumio Usui and Winner Sinclair.

As a blood-maker, if Karin does not bite or have a nosebleed and instead holds it in it causes her to go berserk trying to bite anyone. This notion, along with the knowledge that she can pass off as a normal human, means as a blood maker, vampire hunters consider her far more dangerous and more a monster then normal vampires. Fumio Usui returned to her normal self after a while and Kenta didn't change at all.

Karin's blood taste in describes in the original Japanese as fuko, which has been translated into English as "misfortune" in the manga and "unhappiness" in the anime. Although both terms are possible translations of fuko, in practice it is unhappiness that Karin's bite alleviates. Fumio Usui is probably the best example to describe this term: a chronically-unemployed single mother who unintentionally attracts the worst of/in men with her despair-induced vulnerability (and vulnerability-induced despair).

During the series, Karin realizes she has fallen in love with Kenta Usui. This puts her in a quandary when she is presented with the opportunity to become a proper vampire. She decides not to become one but changes her mind after Kenta tells her that she shouldn't let the opportunity pass. Events transpire to interrupt the transformation, however, forcing another berserker episode on Karin. Kenta comes to her rescue by volunteering to be bitten, ending the berserker rage, confirming their romantic relationship and simultaneously resolving Karin's issues with being a blood-maker. At the end of the manga, Karin marries Kenta and they have a daughter named Kanon, who looks much like her and has a crush with her own father.

Anju Maaka
Voiced by: Yuka Inokuchi
Blood taste: Jealousy (anime); Loneliness (manga)
Karin Maaka's younger sister, Maaka Anju is a normal vampire who, for much of the series, has yet to reach the onset of her adulthood, and thus is not required to suck the blood of others. Due to her young age, Anju can travel outside when it is cloudy, during dusk, or when she is carrying her parasol to block out the sun. Despite her young age, Anju is quite proficient in the vampire art, and has a group of bat familiar spirits who are able to aid in her watch over Karin. One such familiar is Okazu, the bat most commonly seen following Karin and Kenta Usui. (The name means either entrée or side dish and was given to the bat by Kenta's mother, who feeds it on several occasions. One might assume she eventually means to add Okazu to her and Kenta's dinner, when it's sufficiently fattened up) Anju has a collection of many dolls in her room, but her favorite seems to be Boogie-kun, which she carries around almost everywhere she goes.

As Karin is unable to erase human memory, Anju's aid is frequently required after Karin has bitten a human. However, Anju knows that when she matures, Karin will be alone when she was outside during the day, so she persuades Karin's parents to allow Kenta know about Karin without having his memories erased, so that he can look after her in Anju's stead.

Anju, when young, would constantly follow Karin around, and had a fear of barking dogs. As she matures, Anju remains devoted to her sister, despite chiding her for being hopeless.

In episode 20 in the anime, Anju develops a taste for the blood of jealous people. Her first victim was Karin's best friend Maki, to Karin's horror. Anju tells Karin she did it simply because it was her instinct as a vampire, thus incurring Karin's anger at her apparent betrayal of their friendship. In not revealing that Maki had become consumed with jealousy of Karin regarding Winner Sinclair's affections, Anju shows she cares more for her sister's feelings than her own.

In volume 11 of the manga, Anju is revealed to have a somewhat different taste: loneliness, and her first blood is her classmate Suguru.

Anju may seem very emotionless at times but she also seems to be the possessor of a temper, she can be very scary if anyone hurts or teases Karin. But she is also a person of deep feelings.

Boogie-kun
Voiced by: Hirofumi Nojima
Anju's favourite doll and constant companion, Boogie-kun is loud, rude and speaks up loudly for Anju's interests, whereas Anju herself is usually quiet, polite, thoughtful and reserved; since Boogie derives his ability to speak and move from Anju, it is not impossible that Boogie represents Anju's own negative and/or selfish aspects which she has externalized.

In volume 1 of the manga, Karin claims that Anju uses ventriloquism to make Boogie speak, whereas Anju claims the doll talks of its own accord. In Volume 3 of the manga, it is revealed that Boogie houses the soul of a mass murderer who killed his victims with a kitchen knife (hence the knife Boogie constantly carries).

After Anju bites Maki in the anime, Boogie-kun relapses to being a lifeless doll, perhaps symbolising the end of Anju's childhood, or that she no longer needs to externalize aspects of herself.

Ren Maaka
Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe
Blood taste: Stress
The older brother of Karin Maaka, Ren is the stereotypical example of a vampire; he seems to suck blood almost mercilessly to fulfil his thirst. Ren sees the act of biting as a metaphor for sexual intercourse, and often commits both acts simultaneously. Attracted to the stress inherent in the blood of women, Ren believes vampires to be superior to humans.

While Ren seems to be wise in the way of the modern vampire, he seems almost ignorant to the subtle humanities of his role. Ren seems to view Karin as a screw-up, not actually because of her blood increasing, but instead because of her lack of ability and willingness to her vampiric abilities, and her attitude towards humans, which portrays humans and vampires as equal. However, on two occasions he has shown feelings for Karin as an older brother, as he was the one who, after spending an evening in the High Street with her, realised that her blood increment was caused by unhappiness. He fights to keep her in episode 24, telling Kenta 'I won't let you have my sister' although Winner takes the fight and Anju uses her familiars to take Kenta away from the situation and closer to the lake, where Karin is. When Victor appears at the lake, he also shows feelings towards his family as a whole.

Ren seems to be only under the jurisdiction of Henry Maaka, his father, if only because Henry is still stronger than he is. After seeing Fumio Usui a second time, and realising that she meets his taste in blood for stress, Ren seeks to bite her; but Anju alerts their father of this, and Ren is effectively stopped.

Ren only fears his grandmother, Elda Marker, who almost loved him to death at the age of 4.

Because of an event that happened when he was 14 and enrolled in a boarding school by his parents as a final test of his vampire powers, Ren came to hate men, which grew to humans in general. The same incident has apparently instilled a deep resentment of anyone wielding authority over him (though this was in the anime). In the manga when Ren was becoming a full-fledged vampire, he neglected meeting with a girl who wanted to be his friend. It may be implied that she was the only girl he's ever cared for romantically and is also one of his few, if not only, regrets. In the anime, however, he had attended an all boys boarding school where he was drawn to another boy (who looked like a girl), that was stressed. This was probably added for humor.

Henry Marker
Voiced by: Hiroshi Matsumoto
Blood taste: Pride
Karin Maaka's father, Henry Marker is a vampire who is portrayed as surprisingly human; he seems to act in a way one might call 'silly.' Despite Karin's teenage status at age sixteen, Henry still views Karin as extremely young.

Despite Karin's anomalies and flaws, he still loves her dearly: this is exemplified when Karin first suffered a nosebleed at a human school, Henry braved the sunlight to rescue Karin from the hospital workers, who would have realized she was a vampire upon examination, and is severely burned in the process. Henry suffers normal paternal jealousy when the possibility of love between Karin and Kenta Usui arises.

Henry is often pushed about by his wife Carrera Marker, but has a fierce side which he rarely allows the world to see. Like most other vampires, Henry has a bat as a familiar, who remains unnamed, but has glowing red eyes.

Carrera Marker
Voiced by: Emi Shinohara
Blood taste: Liars
Weapons: Slipper
Carrera Marker is the wife of Henry Marker and the mother of Karin Maaka. Carrera seems to have dominant control over the Maaka family; she is constantly 'correcting' their opinions with a slap across the face from a slipper. However, there are occasions on which she bows to the will of her husband Henry. Carrera seems much more ashamed of Karin than her father and seems to prefer Anju as a daughter. Appearances notwithstanding, Carrera truly cares for Karin and worries about her safety even if she is strange for a vampire. When Karin did not return home for a whole night, she got worried and later, while crying, asked Karin not to make her worry so. Additionally, when Karin was kidnapped and nearly raped in the first novel, Carrera was the one who came to her rescue and even comforted her terrified daughter until she said hugging her so close was causing her dress to wrinkle.

Carrera seems to despise her mother-in-law Elda Marker, who she seals away for a long period of time in her coffin in the Maaka family basement. When Elda escapes the coffin, Carrera frequently offers to get rid of Elda, much to the horror of her husband Henry. She is furious at Elda in the last episode because the ceremony that was supposed to turn Karin into a real vampire actually was to increase breast size. In one special chapter of the manga, she had a crush on James Marker.

Elda Marker
Voiced by: Yuri Shiratori
Blood taste: Love
Weapons: Black Umbrella
Elda Marker is the mother of Henry Marker and the paternal grandmother of Karin Maaka. Elda was born in Transylvania, where she fell in love with the human Alfred. After Alfred betrays her due to circumstances beyond their control, Elda curses humanity and moves to Japan, where she is imprisoned by Carrera Marker in her coffin prior to the birth of Karin Maaka. Due to Alfred's betrayal, Elda does not show respect for humans, and drinks blood as she sees fit, leading the other Maaka family members to perceive her as a monster. She is generally loathed by Carrera, possibly based on the classic mother vs. daughter-in-law conflicts. Elda is the only person feared by Ren, whom she almost killed with affection when he was but four years old. She managed to get on Anju's bad side within five minutes after they were introduced - by hugging Karin and crushing her breasts. Only Henry and Karin seem to be concerned with Elda's wellbeing, although even they are taken aback by some of her actions.

Elda bears a striking resemblance to Karin, so much so, in fact, that Karin's close friends mistake her for Karin—the only noticeable physical difference is the hair color, hair length and bust size. Elda appears slightly envious of Karin's bust. Elda's bust itself bears an unusual scar, a relic of the betrayal of Alfred. Vampires are not supposed to sport scars because of their rapid regeneration. Probably the presence of the scar is due to Elda's wounded heart.

Like other normal vampires, she takes away the emotions of humans she bites. But unlike the other vampires mentioned in the story, Elda is a vampire who has a taste in blood some humans consider bad. When she bites a human, she takes away their love. After she was released from her coffin she bit dozens of humans in a park and was spotted by Kenta Usui. She also bit some schoolmates of Karin and attempted to bite Kenta too, even though she was only trying to prevent Karin getting hurt like she did. In this occasion Elda run into Winner and found out of Karin's condition. She leaves in search for a cure.

Elda appears to care deeply about Karin. She believes that love between humans and vampires will always end in tragedy and bring only heartache. Elda does not want Karin to suffer like she did.

Near the end of the anime, Elda comes to a startling discovery regarding her unhappy breakup with Alfred during a fight with his distant relative, Winner Sinclair's grandfather, Victor. The discovery seems to have brought Elda some peace of mind, although it brought her to tears.

In the manga, she has a husband named James Marker that was also in the Maaka basement alongside his wife. She went to the school festival to extract blood from many students in order to help resuscitate him. However, after returning home to find her son standing in front of the door, they find out that James dried up during their hibernation. Elda soon afterward went back to sleep under the pretense of being bored, but it's obvious she holds a deep sorrow for her deceased husband.

James Marker
James Marker is the father of Henry Marker and husband of Elda Marker. He and his wife originally moved eastward to escape vampire hunters, along with other vampire families. It is revealed that only his generation of Markers escaped from Europe. In volume 5 when Elda is awakened, it is revealed that he has dried up during the couple's hibernation. Elda, who cared for her husband, was deeply hurt and went back to sleep to ease her mind.

At the end of volume 5, when the Maaka elders go to a meeting with other vampires, it is revealed that their species is dying out, with several deaths that year and zero births. It seems that Carrera may have something to do with the high birth rate of the Maaka family, as it was James that brought her into the family.


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