Light-hearted vampire romance
Ah, high school in Japan. If it isn’t robots, it’s vampires. At least that’s what it seems like if you read too much manga!
“Bloody Kiss Vol. 2” is the second and final volume in Furumiya Kazuko’s light-hearted supernatural romance. Originally serialized in the shojo magazine “Hana to Yume” (“Flowers and Dreams”) in 2005, “Bloody Kiss” has got to be the most angst-free vampire love story I have ever seen.
Continuing from volume one, we have the dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) Kuroboshi sharing a home with average high-school girl Katsuragi Kiyo. Kiyo inherited Kuroboshi along with the house when her grandmother died, and Kuroboshi chose Kiyo as his “bride.” In this manga world, vampires only drink blood from a single selected target, who is then the vampire’s “bride” for life. Kuroboshi has a servant vampire, Alsh, who has a bit of a panty fetish (of course) and is generally a sweet-hearted trouble maker.
The stories in “Bloody Kiss” are more like an anthology than a straight plot. There are a number of minor issues resolved in a few pages, like Kuroboshi and Kiyo facing off in a tennis match against popular girl Fujiwara, or a romantic rival in the form of Kiyo’s childhood friend Mizukami Sou who shows up out of nowhere as a vampire hunter. Nothing is too heavy, however, and all of the plots are resolved pretty much how you think they will be, accompanied by flowers and romance.
The art in “Bloody Kiss” is almost expressionistic. Artist Furumiya is more concerned with creating a mood than telling a story, and so pages can be given over to simple scenes with no dialog and only passing glances between characters. The panel usage was especially impressive, and the art captivating.
The main weakness of “Bloody Kiss” is that the serialization seems to have been only a few pages a week, and so we get a full story re-cap every few pages. That might have been necessary in “Hana to Yume” when readers might have come to the story mid-stride, but it gets annoying when you are reading the collected form.
Because “Bloody Kiss” is only a two-volume series, there isn’t much space to develop characters or get too heavily into the plot. I think that works just fine, because there isn’t much story here for more than two volumes. The length is just right. All in all, this isn’t a spectacular series, but it is some fun light reading, and if you are in the mood for some angst-free vampire romance than this is just about perfect.