Bloody Kiss Volume 1 by Kazuko Furumiya
Even though the vampire genre has been overplayed, I still enjoy a good vampire manga. Bloody Kiss is a new vampire series that is refreshingly angst free. Kiyo is a plucky schoolgirl who manages on her own since her parents abandoned her. She unexpectedly gets an inheritance from her grandmother – a spooky house way out in the country. When she visits the run-down house she discovers that she has two unexpected vampire tenants, Koroboshi and his attendant Alshu. They greet Kiyo as their new landlady.
Kiyo announces that she’s thinking about to tearing down the house and selling the land because she plans to attend law school. The vampires aren’t too happy about this. Koroboshi asks Kiyo if she’ll be his vampire bride. He can only suck blood from one chosen human and he hasn’t picked a bride yet. Kiyo refuses. She tends to be somewhat immune to Koroboshi’s vampire charms. When he creeps up behind her and acts like he’s going to suck her blood, she flips him over her shoulder and on to the ground. When he tries to glamour her, she’s taken in for a moment and then yells “Stop that!” Koroboshi is immediately smitten by her strong personality. There’s a nice contrast between the gothic look when Koroboshi is acting like a stereotypical vampire and Kiyo’s slapstick action responses to his overtures.
Kiyo’s ends up moving in with the vampires because she’s recently left her Uncle’s house. Koroboshi becomes an unexpected ally. When Kiyo’s shady lawyer sells the land without her permission and shows up with bulldozers to raze the house, Kiyo places herself in front of the machines. Koroboshi decides to help her. He drinks her blood and acquires the power to smash the construction equipment. Kiyo’s blood comes in handy when Koroboshi helps her after she volunteers to help out at a school dance. Vampire domestic life centers around Kiyo’s horrible cooking and Koroboshi foiling Alshu’s attempts to dine from his bride. There’s plenty of humor in the interactions between the characters, as seen when Kiyo asks why the vampires just seem to sit around the house all day. Don’t they have jobs? Alshu says “We vampires prefer decay and thrive in the darkness. That is our true occupation. You humans may label it with the unflattering word “unemployed”…but we prefer a more reflective and elegant term. We are black rose aristocrats.”
For readers wanting a vampire manga that combines romance with comedy, Bloody Kiss is a promising series. I’m looking forward to seeing how the relationship between Kiyo and Koroboshi develops.