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Kusumoto Hiroki: Vampire’s Portrait V01-V02

YaY! Vampires! And it almost ends there. The story wasn’t bad, but some of the transitions from scene to scene made me turn back a few pages to double check if I missed something… something like 3 or 4 pages. Volume one just kind of ended and, if you notice, volume 2 has the newer Juné Manga banner, so just consider how long it was before volume 2 was released. In the mean time you either wait uncomfortably for the continuation because even though it could have been cliffhanger material, it was more like it ended in the middle of a sentence; or you end up forgetting that it even exists. I was in the latter party.

It has its sexy parts, but it’s more of a light, trippy, guro manga than it is your typical BL. I was more impressed with the bits of the vampire mythology that popped up than I was with the story. Some were quite interesting. Again, it isn’t bad; there’s a decent foundation, but the humor… The funny moments were like cold cubes of cheddar on an omelette-standing out, awkwardly–instead of shredded Pepper Jack melted into the omelette–a pinch of spice that flowed with everything else. Also, the emotional cadence was a bit syncopated; rather than being oooh-so-unpredictable, it was more like, “wait, what just happened… I don’t get it.”

I don’t think it would hurt to spend an hour or so on it, because, if nothing else, especially in the 2nd volume, the art is something worth staring at. The would-be-uke aside, the character designs are great and the backgrounds and environments are a bit chilling at times. I wonder if Kusumoto had the idea for a seinen or guro manga, but due to certain circumstances was asked to make it BL.

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