Monday, October 6, 2014

Manga Review: Honey Blood, Volume 1, by Miko Mitsuki

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5-4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Volumes: 3
Spoilers?: Not really.
Volume: 2

Goodreads Synopsis:

When a girl at her school is attacked by what seems to be a vampire, high school student Hinata Sorazono refuses to believe that vampires even exist. But then she meets her new neighbor, Junya Tokinaga, the author of an incredibly popular vampire romance novel... Could it be that Junya's actually a vampire--and worse yet, the culprit?!
When a girl at Hinata Sorazono's school is attacked by what seems to be a bloodsucking vampire, everyone is on edge and wonders who's next. Hinata refuses to believe that vampires even exist, but then she meets her new neighbor, Junya Tokinaga, the author of an incredibly popular vampire romance novel. Dressed in a kimono with an old-world air about him, Junya has a taste of Hinata's blood and tells her it's sweet... Hinata can't help but be drawn to Junya, but could it be that he's actually a vampire--and worse yet, the culprit behind the attacks?!


I was intrigued by this series. I knew there were vampires, I was getting a bit of a Black Bird feel from it, but I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to get. And while I think there was something missing, I did enjoy it.
First of all, I wasn’t quite sure what the artwork was going to look like. The cover, and the back picture, look very nice. But I wasn’t sure if it was going to be misleading, and very different inside. I’m happy to say that it isn’t. The inside art is very pretty, the heroine has a very open face, and it looks very similar to the cover; when the characters turn chibi, too, it's very cute.
And now the actual book. I’m actually a little unsure what to think of it.
We meet Hinata, a high school girl, a little cynical when it comes to love. There have been several suspiciously vampire-like attacks happening in her town recently. And then a famous author, Junya, of vampire novels moves in next door. Hinata is intrigued, but wary and disbelieving. We also meet a friend of Hinata’s, who seems like fun, and her parents, who are really cute.
Hinata had some surprising thoughts of vampires and living forever and falling in love. I wasn’t expecting her to think so much about immortality and love, or her to be so straightforward about it. It definitely surprised Junya, and I’m interested to see what he does next.
The vampire lore in this series follows that vampires drink from anyone, until they make a contract with a human by kissing them—then they can only drink from that human, forever, and they follow that human in death after the human’s lifespan ends. It seems like Hinata will object to this. And while it seems like Junya is resisting, I do think he doesn’t like immortality.
Junya was also an interesting character. He’s a little confident and pervy, but he doesn’t seem as dark and broody as most in his position are. He’s a bit more open and sensual than I expected. We haven’t gotten a lot of depth from him, though, so I hope there’s more in the next book.
The storyline was very interesting, and I enjoyed the thinking. The storyline has me intrigued, the whole vampire thing as well as the person going around attacking people. There’s one more volume with this storyline (right?), and it should be good. But there also seemed to be something missing. I’m not quite sure what it was, exactly. I think maybe the falling in love part happened too fast, but maybe there just also wasn’t as much depth in character or storyline as I hoped there would be.
I’m looking forward to reading more in the next volume, either way.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, and Erik Jansen from MediaLab PR. Thank you so, so much!

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