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Blood+ Volume 1

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Blood + Volume 1 by Asuka Katsura, published by Dark Horse Manga

Blood + Volume 1

© Asuka Katsura / Production I.G. / Aniplex / MBS / HAKUHODO

The Bottom Line

The manga version of Blood+ is a companion piece to the anime but it has enough solid storytelling to be read on its own. What's the difference between the two? The manga offers more humor and insight into Saya's ordinary life, which heightens the tragedy of her call to duty as a sword-wielding, chiropteran-slashing warrior.

Katsura's fluid, expressive storytelling starts off light and funny, but true to its title, Blood+ has its share of bloody, violent fight scenes. If it's anything like the anime, Blood+ is an unconventional vampire manga got lots more twists in store in volumes to come.

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Pros

  • Fluid, expressive storytelling that doesn't require watching the anime version to get the plot
  • Explores Saya's "normal" life in greater depth than the animated version does
  • Dynamic action scenes that capture the spirit of the story clearly
  • Includes flashes of light-hearted humor that keeps the story from being too heavy and serious

Cons

  • A somewhat loose adaptation of the story, which might confuse those who watch the anime first
  • Starts off light-hearted, but contains numerous bloody, violent scenes later
  • An unconventional vampire story that's more tragic than romantic

Description

  • Original Title: BLOOD+ (Buraddo Purasu) (Japan)
  • Author & Artist: Asuka Katsura
    Adapted from anime created by Production I.G., Aniplex and directed by Junichi Fuiisaku
  • Publishers:
  • ISBN: 978-1-59307-880-5
  • Cover Price: $10.95 US
  • Age Rating: OT - Older Teens, Age 16+ for bloody, violent fight scenes
    More about content ratings.
  • Manga Genres:
  • US Publication Date: January 2008
    Japan Publication Date: 2005
  • Book Description: 208 pages; black and white illustrations with 4 color pages

Guide Review - Blood+ Volume 1

Saya Otonashi seems like an ordinary high school girl. She's athletic, she tends to oversleep in the morning and she has a healthy appetite. She's got lots of friends and her brothers Riku and Kai and adoptive father George adore her. But Saya is troubled by the gaping holes in her memory - she can't remember her life before she was adopted by her current family.

Saya's past catches up with her, and her peaceful life as an Okinawa high school girl is shattered. Saya has a special gift - her blood can kill chiropterans, a fierce breed of bat-like creatures that feed off human blood, and both the Japanese and U.S. government are very interested in her talents.

The manga version of Blood+ is based on the anime series created by Production I.G. and Aniplex. While there are a lot of basic similarities, the manga version of Blood+ is a not an entirely faithful, scene-by-scene adaptation of the anime. The manga version explores Saya's "normal" life in greater depth, which makes the transition from her happy-go-lucky ordinary life to her grim responsibilities as a nearly immortal chiropteran warrior that much more tragic by comparison.

Katsura's artwork is fluid and expressive, and captures both the everyday humor of Saya's family and school life and the dynamic, blood-splattering action of her monster-slaying battles. The visual storytelling of Blood+ makes it easy to get what's going on, even if you never bother to watch the anime.

Blood+ is not your average "vampire" manga - it's much bloodier, less gothic/romantic and unconventional than other stories in this genre. But its quirkiness is what also makes it an interesting, unpredictable read for horror / suspense fans. Blood+ is worth checking out, as long as you can handle the sight of (a lot) of blood and you're willing to stick around for the more twisted plot threads ahead.

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