Friday, October 18, 2013

Manga Review: Moon and Blood (volumes 1-4)

Got another review from Emanga tonight, decided to get through as many of their supernatural titles as I had for the Halloween season. And hopefully everyone guessed from the title that this one has something to do with vampires, no werewolves yet oddly enough but regardless let's get to the review!

Moon and Blood (volumes 1-4) by Nao Yazawa

Summary: Sayaka is rather surprised one day when she finds that a previously-unmentioned friend of the family is staying with them and that he is her age, good looking, and a bit quiet. Kai's quiet, the readers find out, because he's a vampire and rather conflicted that he and his senpai are hiding out in Sayaka's house to feed on her family. But soon the two of them are going to have slightly more pressing issues to deal with when they find some vampire hunters from their past have tracked them down.

The Good: I'm not wholly sure if this was the end of an arc, the end of the story, or something else (I tried to find out but all i could find was a Vampire Knight fanfic) but I felt like volume 4 was a good stopping point actually which is usually my biggest problem when I review parts of a series instead of the whole thing at once. The characters figure out secrets, deal with some problems, the status quo is changed, and I was pretty satisfied when I finished reading. I'm not exactly sure where the story intends to go next but I can deal with a slightly ambiguous ending especially for such a short story.

The Bad: As a quick note, for some reason each volume is only 90-ish pages instead of the standard 120-180 length for a manga volume (I don't believe my downloads were missing pages since I wasn't confused by the plot) so it feels like you're only getting half as much manga as expected. Although I will admit the story fits the length well, I'm simply confused why it was split the way it was. Other than that, I hadn't actually spent a lot of time talking about the plot and that's because it's fairly basic, there's a girl, she falls for a new guy slowly, he's actually a vampire (and troubled over it of course) and since this is manga there are vampire hunters as well with which he has a tragic past. It's all done well, better than some examples I can think of, but for those who are looking for a new and really interesting vampire story should keep on looking.

The Art: For some reason Ai, out little girl vampire, reminded me a bit of Karin from Karin/Chibi Vampire but other than that the art styles are rather different, the art is a bit rounder and the cheekbones of the characters are much longer. Regardless, it works well, the characters look distinct from each other, the paneling flows well, everything has enough details that it doesn't seem like the manga-ka was rushed for time so I was fine with it.

In the end I give this 3 out of 5 stars for being an enjoyable read but not something I expect to revisit anytime soon. All four volumes are avaliable on emanga's website and it appears there is also a print version as well for some of the volumes.