In Japan this popular shojo vampire series is called Karin , and it concerns a young supernatural girl's search for her place in the world. Karin, the middle child of an ancient vampire family, is a kind of vampire-in-reverse. Instead of feeding off victims, as her dream-boat older brother does, she must bite humans and donate blood. Karin is torn between wanting to be a normal girl and her nature, which is something of an embarrassment among vampires. The art is standard manga and doesn't do much to advance the characters, but sets the spooky, noirish scene. Both plot and characters are well-defined, with Karin's little sister, the bat-controlling Anju, the most intriguing player. Karin's predicament echoes the embarrassment of becoming a woman; her blood-cravings are monthly, and unless she controls them, her desire for the new boy, Usiu, will drive her from school. Though Karin's nose bleeds are a bit gross, the story works for all ages without being trivial. This could end up being a strong series that appeals both to younger, horror-loving neo-goth chicks and to the standard shojo crowd. (May)[Page 52]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.