This tale of "blood" enraptured brothers delivers up one of the more deliciously amoral characters in BL fiction.
Writer/Artist: Mika Sadahiro
Translation: Sachiko Sato
Adaptation: Sachiko Sato
What They Say
Talk about keeping secrets from your kids! K and J are two immortal vampires stuck with raising A! As he grows up he finds himself attracted to J. But K and J, afraid A will find out they are vampires, sends him to a boarding school.
The first volume of Pathos left off with vampires King and J entering a form of sleep to await the time that Ace, the young boy for whom they care out of true affection as well as a sense of obligation, turns eighteen and can choose the path of "pathos", a sensual gratification akin to sexual fulfillment that can only be attained through exchange of blood.
Ace has now come of age and his long-awaited desire is about to be met. As was seen in the first volume with the sexually precocious Ace, he is not one to let any orifice go unused until that moment arrives and his school escapades hint at the fixation on pleasure at any price. However, it is his obsession and lust for J that ratchets the emotional price for the moody and conflicted J, and brings on tragedy for both J and King. What Ace will do to further the world he and J inhabit is appalling, especially when one considers his fictive parent is the kind, considerate and reflective King. No contest between nature and nurture here, it's nature all the way. Ace is a wonderfully realized character, pure lust in single-minded devotion.
The slight narrative discontinuities and art inconsistencies of the last volume that pointed to the dojinshi origins of the work are lessened here. This volume feels more focused and looks consistent. However, the story turns on a plot point that is disappointing for it doesn't seem necessary. But the mangaka does leave an opening through her use of a very fluid timeline and a willingness to reach into the past of her characters, so nothing is gone forever.
There are some problems with readability in this volume. The majority of them are not translation issues, per se, but matters of metaphor that are outside of what one would expect of a translator to correct or adapt. The discussion of "pathos" by the characters is corny and arch enough, but it's expected. Well, not "white pathos" line so much. The following phrases brought me right out of the moment, mostly laughing -
He grows hot inside...everytime he drinks my blood...
I can feel it in my "fang"
Shoot out your pathos...and I'll fill you with mine...!
or, at the penultimate page, and so memorable
...but a dream that felt so good...in desperate pursuit of it...
I make it snow in my hands once again tonight...
At least I could laugh at these. "Think...who is the one person standing in the way of you two's love?" Ugh. No excuse for that. So clumsy. Where was the editor here?
There's lots of sex in this volume - human, vampiric and combinations of both. In fact, that's pretty much all that the characters do. Mika Sadahiro punches up the variety and has the skill to make the reader think they're seeing more than is really there, but the story is never neglected. This is a clever take on the vampire tale, one that makes the most of the genre's sexual implications.