Friday, June 27, 2008

Blood+ Manga vol. 2 Impression

The Blood+ manga from Dark Horse packs action and art to rival the anime, and surpass it in some instances. As Saya comes to grips with what she is the one-armed Charles continues his assault, not pleased with his battle. He wants Saya to remember who she is before he ends her life, a grudge tied to his lost arm. In order to bring Saya to him Charles kidnaps Riku, Saya’s younger brother and takes him to Vietnam. George has to stay behind in Japan to take care of things while Saya and Kai accompany David to Vietnam. A chance encounter with a one legged girl carrying blue roses in the city leads the group to the same town Saya went medieval on back during the Vietnam war, causing her to have bloody flashbacks. Meanwhile Riku becomes close with the young Charles, forming an odd bond of friendship that Solomon sees as weak and unneeded. Speaking of Solomon he’s in the background working on … well we have yet to find out what, ditto for Red Shield who dispatches backup to Vietnam for David. In the village all the villagers, including Mui (who befriends Saya) turn into Chiropteran’s and attack, causing them to be killed and Saya to embrace what Chiropterans are and face killing humans. We learn about Diva, her being Saya’s sister and how George first encountered an awakened Saya, then it’s onto volume 3.

Ok, so I mention this series moves beyond the anime. The art is superb, matches up beautifully with the anime, but there is a humor, a sense of emotion I see in the manga that is not always apparent in the anime, a great feat. The action, humor, emotion all comes through superbly in the manga pages. The storyline is great also, and when compared to the anime, which I just have to do, offers up enough changes and pacing to warrant owning each. Kai does not have to chase Saya to Vietnam, Riku never meets Mui, there is no private school and Charles is much different from his counterpart in the anime, not to mention there is the absence of one major death in the manga that I don’t mind. The story is great, hands down. The pacing is much faster than the anime, which is kind of odd since manga usually takes a bit more time to flesh out story. Chicken before the egg here as the manga is based on the anime, which is not the norm. So, art is sweet, story is good with enough wrinkles to separate it from the anime and the pacing is just right for an action packed manga. Not too much more to add other than bravo to Dark Horse for publishing this book that takes a risky approach by changing major story points and characters on a popular series. Not a straight up adaptation, a wholly new experience … now give me volume 3 already.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your assessment. Why would I want to read a manga that retells the manga word for word? The same basic story is there (Saya's self-discovery...the importance of relationships...bloody sword vs. claw fights) but the telling is very different.