Genres: Action, supernatural, seinen
Mangaka: Fujisawa Naoyuki
I picked this title up fairly randomly, though the fact that it’s about vampires intrigued me. I’m a sucker for a good vampire story, and this one seemed promising, despite only being six chapters long. However, it wasn’t all that much to write home about, unfortunately. If the story was longer and more detailed, this would have been so much better than it currently is. More background, more character development, and more insight into the other characters’ stories, and more world development would have been nice. As it is, only one of the main characters is given any kind of background story, which is frankly a bit disappointing.
So, on the first page, we see two rather mysterious male characters who we then learn are called Ashley Wolfgang Lihita, aka Ash, and Redlord Bradnias, aka Red. These two have their own little vendatta going against the Van Hellsing Church, a church dedicated to ‘purifying all evil’, which basically just seems to mean exterminating any kind of supernatural element they find, using mechanised humans to do so. In a fight against a priest, the two guys run into Haruka, a normal human girol who works as a courier, conveniently hired by the group of supernatural beings who serve Red and whose head is the, frankly, drop dead gorgeous Claudia (the fanservice is strong with this one).
For the remaining five chapters or so, we see Red fighting against Azure, the leader of the Van Hellsing Church to get back at him for torturing and almost killing him a few hundred years back. Apparently, Azure stole one of Red’s fangs, making him only half a vampire, trapped in the body of a teenage boy. However, he can transform into his adult self during battles, so it frankly seems more like a revenge story, as Azure killed most of Red’s clan.
What I wanted to see more of was Ash’s story, whose middle name makes sense when we learn he’s a werewolf. That little tidbit was hardly surprising, and his character design also hints at this pretty heavy-handedly.
I also wanted to know more about Claudia, as I’m still unsure exactly what the ‘Crimson Ether’, the group protecting Red, is. Are they vampires or simply demons, a term that is much more ambiguous. All of the issues I had with this manga would have been solved by making it longer and more detailed, paying more attention to the various characters. Haruka is simply just there, she just serves as the ‘I’m-a-human-being-dragged-into-a-supernatural-squabble, wtf?!’ character. However, as a manga I read in less than an hour, it certainly wasn’t too bad. It amused me while waiting for a bus, and that’s about it. The art is good and I liked the character designs of everybody except Haruka, who looks like a 90s anime character who wandered into a late-2000s one. The story, however, is a bit too lackluster to really capture my imagination, and that’s a shame because I think this is a very promising premise that could have been developed better.