VENUS VERSUS VIRUS • Atsushi Suzumi • Seven Seas Entertainment (2007-2010) • MediaWorks (Dengeki Gao!/Dengeki Daioh, 2005-2008) • 8 volumes • Shônen Gothic Horror Action • 16+ (mild language, graphic violence)
Sumire, a timid girl with the ability to see spirits, is recruited to join the fight against “Viruses,” semi-human spirit monsters. Eyepatch-wearing Lucia introduces her to the rest of the monster-hunting crew, mostly girls, who make their headquarters in a Gothic Lolita clothing store, but it soon turns out that Sumire is a “human antivirus” who may be even more dangerous than the creatures! A sort of horror-superhero series a la Bleach or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Venus Versus Virus has some creepy scenes, but it’s much less interested in horror, sci-fi or monster fights than in the chummy, platonically yuri relationship between its strong-but-self-doubting heroines. Sumire and Lucia are always brooding over some internal crisis, or cheering each other up, but the series ambles in no direction in particular. Suzumi’s limited visual vocabulary–we’re always seeing the same boring houses, the same stiff panel layouts, the same big-headed girls–makes the pages blur together.
Today’s winner is Virginia S. of Ohio. Congratulations, Virginia!