Blood+ Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Matthew Alexander
Review Date: Friday, July 25, 2008
Release Date: Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Asuka Katsura (Original Story: Production I.G. + Aniplex)
Translated by:Camella Nieh
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
The deranged Charles takes center stage - and traumatizes Riku, Saya's sweet, adoptive brother. With only vague moments and memories slowly returning to her after a year as an amnesiac, Saya's still not sure why the confident, one-armed Charles is tormenting her. What she does know is that she's determined to hold her own against a small army of blood-craving Chiropteran beasts when they threaten her and her loved ones. She also learns an important lesson in Chiropteran physiology!

The Review
The differences between the BLOOD+ anime and this adaptation continue to multiply in this second volume.

By this volume, it has become apparent the Dracula-kid, Charles, is the replacement for the anime’s Karl Fei-Ong. Despite the shounen-ai undertones between Charles and Riku, I prefer Charles to Karl. Charles seems more dangerous and impulsive, and Karl’s masked ‘Phantom’ persona is just lame. Another big difference for this manga volume is the ‘how’ and ‘why’ Saya travels to Vietnam. Charles has kidnapped Riku in an attempt to bring Saya back to the site of their battle during the Vietnam War. The same battle that left Charles with only one arm and caused him to lose his Chevalier status.

The story telling in this volume seems a little rough compared to the first, as so much happens in a relatively short span of time. Saya’s father, George, is still alive and gives her and Kai permission to travel to Vietnam to rescue Riku. While not as earth shattering as his demise in the anime, I feel George’s continued survival is an interesting course to take. Luckily, my thirst for a darker story in the manga adaptation is satiated by both the dark depictions of Chiropterans and Charles’ method of leaving a message for Saya after he kidnaps Riku. Charles carves his ransom note through the flesh of Julia’s chest. Seriously wicked. Luckily, Julia survives as I like the mature sexiness her character brings to the story. Julia can easily play off either David or Kai in a sexual tension sort of way.

The greatest fear David, George, and the other members of the Red Shield have is Saya’s stability. Saya could easily revert to the monster she was during the Vietnam War, but at the same time, she is the only one capable of killing Chiropterans. Talk about playing with fire, or should I say butchering a chicken with a dagger lacking a handle? This makes the trip to Vietnam even more precarious as Saya slowly begins to recognize her surroundings. Will something trigger a complete memory dump for Saya? Will she be able to handle it, or will she go berserk? What about Riku’s safety, can Saya reach him before Charles tires of his puppet?


Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 14 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: 10.95
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1-59307-935-2
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: BLOOD+