Trinity Blood: Rage Against the Moons Vol. #01 - From The Empire (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Writer/Artist:Sunao Yoshida (Illustrations by Thores Shibamoto)
Translated by:Anastasia Moreno
Adapted by:Jai Nitz
What They Say
In a post-apocalyptic world, the war between humans and vampires rages on. While a group of vampire extremists manipulates events to ensure the war's continuation, a Vatican special ops group called AX must use everything - even a vampire who preys on the blood of other vampires - to protect the peace effort.
After having come away from Twelve Kingdoms with a bit more faith in how TOKYOPOP was going to handle its novel lineup, I dug into the uncorrected proof we had received of the first Trinity Blood novel. Just before finishing it, the final version came in so it's been interesting to compare the two in the minor differences. The main one is that the artwork for the front cover, while laid out the sale, is different. The shadowed visage of the lead, Abel Nightroad, is now much clearer with him not entirely in his Crusnik form. The final version is also a glossy cover instead of the matte finish of the proof. Both have their appeal though but pale against how the DVD covers from FUNimation have turned out.
Reading this just before the conclusion of the anime series release has been interesting as most of this is quite familiar though it has been a few months. The layout is similar in nature to the anime in that the stories, while building upon the world overall, aren't fully connected at this point. The short nature of them allows for a wide range of places to be covered, as we learn what this world is like. The cataclysm that lead to the world changing isn't covered much, but the reality of a vampire dominated society of Methuselah's in the Empire and that of the Terran humans elsewhere is a fascinating one. The focus is on the members of the Vatican special force known as AX. A proactive group of priests under the cardinal, who protects her younger brother the Pope, AX's priests aren't like the normal ones. The one the story follows mostly is that of Abel Nightroad, a man described as an oddball but one with immense hidden power and a truly mysterious and lengthy background. As many Methuselah's feed on Terran's, Abel points out to them that there are things that feed on Methuselah's. And that he is one of them, though he is far more interested in saving lives than ending them.
Coming into this from the anime, the visuals that were presented there are something that's fresh in my mind. The original stories feel like the anime adaptation did an excellent job in carrying over the intent as does seeing the original character designs in the illustration pages. Part of me still dislikes illustration pages as it reminds me too much of the kinds of books you'd read before reading truly "adult" material. Shibamoto's artwork is quite stylish though and the designs he created here based on Yoshida's work really works well.
Trinity Blood was a show that grew on me a fair bit the more I saw it. Going to the original source material after the fact is always difficult but the added exposition and background that's provided here makes it worth the trip. The novel has a smooth flow to it, the adaptation seems to cover everything just right and nothing stood out as being terribly off from what the anime adaptation described. With this being set outside of Japan it manages to avoid a lot of basic cultural aspects which leaves it not feeling like it's overwhelmed with ideas or phrases that don't translate well. Though familiar, this first volume has left me wanting to read more of Abel and the others of AX in hopes of reading some non-animated material.
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Trinity Blood: Rage Against the Moons