Will falling in love with a vampire will lead to Heaven or Hell?
Creative Staff Writer/Artist: Hiroki Kusumoto Translation: Sachiko Sato Adaptation: Sachiko Sato
What They Say "I have no intention of forgiving you..." That's what Sein tells his brother, Verloren, after Verloren wounds him deeply - a sibling rivalry that touches off a war between the brothers. Sein's artist client and lover, Lou, steps in to help him, but the relationship between Adam, Verloren, and Sein goes so deep that Lou may not be able to step between them.
I have to tip my hat to June for always trying to please their fan base. Their production values are among the highest in the industry. Their books have a larger trim size, the pages are always bound firmly into place, and the paper has a nice, sturdy texture. I do love to read their books. I may not always be happy with the content, but I am always satisfied with how they present their titles.
Vampire’s Portrait is a fun title, because it has more going on than the protagonists trying to get into each other’s pants. It’s a dark tale, with somber, brooding characters who live a life in darkness. When innocent, trusting Lou meets the dangerous Sein, he doesn’t realize that his new employer is a vampire. When he does find out, he doesn’t turn tail and abandon the man he has come to love. Instead, he braces himself for a face-off against Sein’s brother, Verloren, a ruthless vampire out to get Sein. As the two brothers battle each other, Lou has a battle of his own. Sein’s friend, Adam, is always nearby, making Lou feel awkward and insignificant. Will he ever mean as much to Sein as Adam does?
I like vampires. Especially vampires that don’t sparkle. They are supposed to be deadly and brutal, and the vampires in this story are. There’s blood, there’s violence, and there’s some undead nookie. At its heart it’s a horror story with fights to the death, and a little bit of romance to soften the tone when it gets too brutal.
I liked all of the characters, even the evil Verloren. Lou is your typical lost lamb, a kind-hearted young man who has been sheltered and doesn’t know much about the world. Sein has seen it all, done it all, and is about as jaded as they come. He’s looking for salvation, to be saved from himself. With Verloren dogging his every step, Sein has his hands full trying to keep himself alive, and with Lou constantly getting under foot, it’s only a matter of time before one of them gets hurt. Permanently.
Vampire’s Portrait is one of my favorite June titles to date. It’s unusual, it’s suspenseful, and it’s even creepy at times. Vampires can be scary, especially when they want you dead! I like Hiroki Kusumoto’s depiction of her characters. They are flawed, they can be selfish, and they can be violent. It takes Lou’s gentle presence to soften Sein, and make him more noble. If you are looking for a BL title that ventures off the beaten track, give this series a try.
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