Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review: HONEY BLOOD Volume 1


CARTOONIST: Miko Mitsuki
TRANSLATION: pinkie-chan
ENGLISH ADAPTATION: Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane
LETTERS: Joanna Estep
ISBN: 978-1-4215-7337-3; paperback (October 2014); Rated “T” for “Teen”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

There is a new vampire shojo manga from VIZ Media.  Entitled Honey Blood, it is created by Miko Mitsuki.  The series follows a high school girl and the mysterious writer of vampire romance novels who might also have a taste for blood.

Honey Blood, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 5) opens as a female high school student becomes the latest victim in a string of attacks.  In fact, all the victims are young women, and all have suffered massive blood loss, although none of the attacks, as of yet, have been fatal.  The victim is from the same school as  Hinata Sorazono, and everyone is on edge.

Everyone seems to think that the attacker is a vampire, but Hinata refuses to believe that vampires exist.  She even refuses to read the popular vampire romance novel, Until the Ends of the Earth, that is so popular with her best friend and with fellow students.  However, she discovers that her new neighbor is the novel's author, Junya Tokinaga.  She reluctantly becomes interested in this author with an old-world air about him, but as the attacks on young women continue, Hinata begins to wonder if Junya is somehow involved.

The Honey Blood manga is no Vampire Knight.  Honey Blood has some novel ideas about vampires, but it is as much about innuendo and heavy panting and sighing as it is about vampires – if not more.  Vampire Knight is edgy, dark, brutal, and tragic.  Honey Blood is about a high school girl getting mixed up with an older man, who is conflicted about being chivalrous.

This is not supernatural puppy love, but Honey Blood is closer to Twilight than to any other vampire manga recently released in North America (such as the dark, morbid, and weird Black Rose Alice).  Right now, I am not really impressed with it, but I suspect that once adversarial characters are introduced (such as a rival vampire and a rival love interest), Honey Blood will be like hotter blood.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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