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Manga Review: ‘Moon & Blood’ Volume Two by Nao Yazawa

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The second volume in Nao Yawawa’s supernatural romance, Moon and Blood (DMP) follows up on the development of its budding relationship ‘tween teen girl heroine Sayaka and teen vamp Kai Kuryuu: a non-unexpected plot move though readers less familiar with the ways of modern shojo manga may have a WTF moment over the book’s central sequence, a high school drag contest where our dreamy boy bloodsucker proves to be the fairest of them all.

Before we get to the big event, though, we need to deal with Sayaka’s brother Natsuki, who was starting to suspect that the family’s houseguest is a vamp. Believing that Kai put the bite on him for some late-night sustenance (when the actual culprit was Kai’s shape-shifting senpai Ai), he holds a makeshift cross up to our nonplussed hero – to no discernible effect. Obviously, all those Hammer Films got it wrong, though we’re fairly sure Natsuki won’t be dissuaded by this momentary setback.

As for the drag contest, it becomes a comic competition between Kai and his hopeless rival Takeshi, though there’s no doubt at all which pretty boy will win. High school jock Takeshi earns the nickname “Anne of Green Gables,” presumably for his braided wig hair, while Kai is crowned Queen of the School. The entire school gets worked up over the event, so we get pages devoted to costume selection, makeup tips, et al. One problem for our cross-dressing lead: the high school festival is held outside and looks as if too much time in the sun can be debilitating – so at least part of the legends appears to be true.

If the drag comp subplot seems a distraction from the mini-series’ basic storyline, Yazawa gets back on track in the volume’s last ten pages with a declaration of growing love, a big kiss and the appearance of two characters from Ai’s demon hunting human past who blow his cover. “That guy isn’t human. He’s a vampire . . . A monster,” demon hunter Haru tells Sayaka right after her flash of teen passion. The ways of high school romance are rocky indeed.

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About Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman is a Books editor for Blogcritics. With his lovely wife Rebecca Fox, he has co-authored a light-hearted fat acceptance romance entitled Measure By Measure.