Wednesday , April 17 2024
The second entry in this series of manga adaptations adds more s-f to the gothic/action blend.

Manga Review: Hideyuki Kikuchi’s Vampire Hunter D Volume Two by Saiko Takaki

After rescuing the buxom frontier gal in the first volume of Vampire Hunter D, our bounty hunter demi-hero proves less successful in Saiko Takaki’s second manga adaptation of the popular Japanese horror series.

We know pretty early in the book that heroine Lina Sween is less likely to come out of things okay because a) she and three other characters share a mysterious hidden past; b) she tells folks more than once about her plans for the future, thereby triggering a big ol’ Dramatic Irony Alert; and c) she’s much less top-heavy than the damsel in the first volume, thus making her more prone to potential tragic victimhood.

D’s called into a village where daytime vampire attacks appear to be occurring; they’re connected, somehow to the disappearance of four village children a decade before. Three of these kids reappeared with no memory of where they’d been, while the fourth has been missing all this time.

Panicky villagers — you know the type — are convinced that these once innocent, now-grown children are involved somehow in the attacks, and the one harassed the most is Lina, a bright young woman obsessed with tracking the history of the vampire nobility.

Though still set in dystopian badlands, the second volume of this young adult series extends further into s-f territory as we learn that certain members of the nobility have been engaging in research to overcome traditional vampire weaknesses. If the villains in this outing aren’t as distinctive as they were in the first book, our sense of the series’ world becomes a little clearer.

Too, we get a smidge closer to an acknowledgment of our half-human/half-vampire hero’s lineage. Instead of just the first letter of his progenitor’s name, we get three. Who knows how far we’ll get in the third volume . . .

Could’ve used more commentary from the talking hand, though.

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.

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