BLOODY KISS • Kazuko Furumiya • Tokyopop • 13+
A romantic comedy about a teenage girl and a teenage vampire, Bloody Kiss is cutesier than it looks on the outside; the original title was the chirpy Chi-Chu (chi=blood, chu=kiss). When self-sufficient young Kiyo inherits a mouldering old estate, she discovers that it is inhabited by two unemployed young vampires, the dark and handsome Lord Kuroboshi and his manservant, Alshu, who plays the role of the self-referential jokester. Kiyo’s first reaction is to try to kick out them out, but it turns out Kuroboshi wants her for his “bride,” the only human he can drink blood from. They settle into a monogamous routine, with Kuroboshi making passes at Kiyo’s neck, and the prudish Kiyo only “giving it up” (and letting Kuroboshi turn from comedic/pathetic to aggressive/seductive) on special occasions when she needs his blood-fueled vampire special powers. The muddy art and bad anatomy improves slightly over the course of the two-volume series, and the plot manages a sort of climax involving Kiyo’s vampire-hunter childhood friend, but overall Bloody Kiss is forgettable and short. (In fact, the shortness is one of its virtues, as the disconnected school-themed stories–part-time job, school play, gardening competition, etc.–quickly grow stale at just two volumes.) The English rewrite has some good funny lines which make it work as a comedy (”You guys sure think assault is hilarious!” “I’ve died and gone to crazy!”)
* 1/2 (one and a half stars)
Today’s winner is Ian H. of Pennsylvania! Congratulations, Ian!