15-year-old Aono Tsukune is a boy who failed his high school entrance exams, but thanks to his father who picked up a school brochure that was dropped on the street by a priest, he finds himself on the bus to Youkai Academy. The creepy driver who takes him there describes the school as frightening, and when the bus arrives after traveling through a dark tunnel, he warns Tsukune to be careful. Tsukune then has to travel by foot through a dark and foreboding forest to get to the school, and along the way, he’s ambushed when a girl on a bicycle suddenly slams into his back. The girl ends up landing beside him, and as Tsukune tries to get up, he accidentally puts his hand on her thigh. This combined with her beauty causes him to get a nosebleed, but when the girl tries to wipe the blood off his face, she becomes captivated by its smell. Admitting to being a vampire, the girl bites him on the neck and appears to drink from him until she realizes what she’s doing and pulls away. To Tsukune’s surprise though, that only leaves a small red mark. Realizing that Tsukune is a new student, the girl reveals that she is one too, and she then wonders if Tsukune hates vampires. She’s so happy when he compliments their uniqueness that she hugs him, asks him to be her friend, and introduces herself as Akashiya Moka.
Tsukune eventually does make it to his new school and new class where his new homeroom teacher Nekonome Shizuka welcomes everyone. However, he soon realizes something is wrong when she declares that this is a school for youkai and how they have to coexist with the humans who rule the world. The rules of the school are that they have to stay in their human forms and students can’t let other students know their true forms, but one of the rough-looking students named Komiya Saizou finds those rules boring and wants to eat any humans he finds. Nekonome points out though that there are only youkai at this school and that it’s in a secret world, so humans who wind up here would die. Tsukune panics over all of this, but that changes when Moka arrives late and hugs him because she’s so happy they’re in the same class together. All of the guys in the school are subsequently jealous of Tsukune as Moka pulls him arm-in-arm to go to the vending machine later in the day. Komiya takes the more direct approach of questioning why someone beautiful like Moka is with someone like Tsukune, and he ends up throwing Tsukune into the vending machine. Moka, however, refuses to play with Komiya and rushes to Tsukune’s side, so Komiya gives up for the time being.
Moka and Tsukune head onto the school’s roof afterwards where she comments on how he talks like this is the first time he’s seen youkai, but she doesn’t give him a chance to tell her the truth. As for her own identity, she shows him the rosario hanging from her neck that, when removed, turns her into what she calls a scary vampire. She was happy to find out that Tsukune is okay with all this, particularly since he’s her first friend as well as the first person she’s directly sucked blood from. However, being reminded of Moka’s blood sucking tendencies causes Tsukune to push her away and run off in fear, and he decides to leave the school after it really dawns on him that everyone here is a monster of some sort. When Moka tries to stop him, he explains that he wants to go to a human school, but she refuses to let him because she hates humans. It seems that she went to human schools through her junior high years, and it had been incredibly lonely for her because she was so different from everyone. It was thanks to Tsukune accepting her as a vampire that, for the first time, Moka didn’t feel alone. In response to this, Tsukune questions if she’d still stop him if he were one of those humans that she hates. He goes onto reveal that he is indeed a human who mistakenly got into this school and says that he doesn’t want to be the friend of a youkai before running off.
Moka nevertheless tries to chase after Tsukune, but she’s stopped by Komiya who takes on his true form and assaults her. Komiya tries to taunt her into transforming too, and when she refuses, he throws her into a tree. To her surprise though, Tsukune comes back to save her after having heard her scream. Unfortunately for Tsukune, he quickly gets smacked by Komiya and tumbles down the side of the nearby hill. Moka again rushes to his side, this time apologizing and revealing that she had always just wanted a friend, even when at the human school. She feels now that this is impossible after all, but as Tsukune struggles back onto his feet, he declares that he does want to be her friend. After Komiya comes down to hit him again, Tsukune tells Moka that even if she’s a vampire, he likes her. He then starts to lose consciousness, and in the process of doing so, he accidentally pulls off Moka’s rosario. This changes her into her vampire form – complete with silver hair and a more mature voice – and Moka is able to take Komiya out with one swift kick to the face. As he tries to get back up, Tsukune wonders who the real Moka is, and as he faints into her arms, he notices the she smells the same as before.
In the aftermath, Tsukune wakes up to find Moka back to normal, and he realizes that, according to the bus schedule, the bus out of here only comes around once a month. Moka then notices that Tsukune’s cheek is still bleeding, so she wipes the blood off with her handkerchief. However, the smell of it makes her want blood, so she bites his neck again.
The screencaps may not necessarily reflect it, but this had even more fanservice than I was expecting – maybe more than I’ve ever seen in a single episode. It was from beginning to end too – the random girl at the very start showed her panties not once, but twice, and the entire preview was like one long panty shot. Fanservice aside, the first episode roughly followed the first chapter of the manga with some stuff cut out for length, and it had some decent animation quality (this part of the transformation with the bats coming off was rather cool to see). I didn’t really find it anything special about it though, and I think it’s worth watching if you really liked the manga, you really like hearing Mizuki Nana in a lead role, or if you really like a ton of fanservice. Some of the later parts of the story are pretty good, but – and this is especially true if they continue with the slow and rather formulaic introduction that the manga has – I wouldn’t think of dropping Clannad or Shana II for this.