By Emil Favila, Reporter
Just in time for Halloween, Viz Media welcomes the new manga series, Honey Blood Vol. 1, by writer/artist Miko Mitsuki. The story takes place in a small town in Japan that is currently the target for a series of vampire attacks. The two main characters are Hinata Sorazono, a vampire skeptic and Junya Tokinaga, a popular vampire novelist. Honey Blood follows the forbidden teenage vampire/human romance formula found in Twilight with a little bit of His and Her Circumstances thrown in. It’s a mystery that is fun but doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is refreshing in a sea of today’s vampire love stories.
The story begins with a girl from Hinata’s school being attacked by what is believed to be a vampire. Despite the evidence, Hinata doesn’t believe in such conspiracies. At the same time, Junya Tokinaga, the popular vampire writer of “Until The Ends Of The Earth” series, moves next door to her. Hate turns to love as these two opposites collide in Honey Blood. She initially despises him and his writing because he writes about dying with the one you love. Hinata thinks this is preposterous as immortality without the deterioration of age is far more valuable. Junya is also drawn to her because she is not so easily swooned by his dark brooding charms. There is a little bit of comedic relief within the story as characters change from normal size to miniature size versions of themselves from panel to panel when getting mad or acting childish. This type of storytelling is often found in most of today’s anime when making the characters more relate able.
My favorite part of the book has to be Miko Mitsuki’s annotations in between chapters. She is a hopeless romantic herself which you can tell from side chapter commentaries if not the actual story. You can tell she loves what she writes and is grateful for anyone currently reading her work. Mitsuki talks about personal things happening in her life like love, status, and her career. She says at the moment she is married to her work implying her dedication is towards her fans.
While catering to the teenage girl audience, Honey Blood offers intrigue, tension and mystery for even the casual reader to get into. Without giving too much, away there are enough clues to understand where the story is heading to in the chapters. I actually quite enjoyed the art as well as I was able to tell the difference between the characters with the panels presented dynamic storytelling. There is a good amount of push and pull between Junya and Hinata as they embrace their love for each other in this volume’s conclusion. Honey Blood is actually part 1 of 3, with part 2 to be released in December and part 3 hopefully sometime in 2015!
Honey Blood is definitely a story that has piqued my interest. I am curious as to what happens in the next volumes myself. If you enjoy vampire love stories but one that doesn’t take itself too seriously, then I recommend picking up your copy of Honey Blood: Vol. 1 from Amazon or your local book store just in time for Halloween!
ComicsOnline give Honey Blood Vol. 1 4 out of 5 fangmarks.