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!@#% Twilight: 7 Vampire Alternatives for Otaku

How to get vampires without setting foot in a movie theater.


 See? They don't SPARKLE. They GLOW!
 See? They don't SPARKLE. They GLOW!
The second Twilight movie is out today, but I'm betting that many of you who consider yourselves vampire fans aren't planning to see it, whether you made an honest attempt to read the novels and hated 'em or whether the fandom just scares the snot out of you. Either way, you need some other way to get your vampire fix.

As it turns out, the month of November is full of vampire craziness, so I thought I'd showcase X releases for getting your vampire on without sitting in a movie theater with that most terrifying of monsters, the fangirl.

 Vampire Knight
 Vampire Knight
Vampire Knight: The most obvious manga parallel to the Twilight phenomenon, Vampire Knight is 100% romantic shoujo soap opera with vampires. Some of its fans fall for the gorgeous vampires and vampires-to-be; others glory in the sometimes trashy but still fun drama. Volume 8 came out on the 3rd, so go catch up with the Night Class.

Bloody Kiss: The second and final volume of this short shoujo series hit shelves on the 3rd as well, and in terms of sheer story, it might actually be the closest proxy to Twilight. A young girl inherits a mansion that turns out to be inhabited by two vampires, with one of whom she begins to establish a relationship. The only problem is that if they kiss, she might become a vampire too.

Trinity Blood: For something a liiiiiiiiittle less girly-girl, Trinity Blood exists as both a bishounen fest and an intriguing sci-fi/fantasy/politics mash-up. The third novel, Reborn on Mars: Empress of the Night, was released by TOKYOPOP earlier this month, though I'm guessing you'll want to be pretty familiar with the series before picking that one up.

 Record of a Fallen Vampire
 Record of a Fallen Vampire
Record of a Fallen Vampire: We're squarely in shounen territory with this release from VIZ, whose seventh volume came out on November 10th. The dethroned vampire king Strauss wanders the world over, fighting off the half-vampires who want to kill him and the curse placed on him by humanity, the Black Swan.

Vampire Hunter D: Digital Manga Publishing has been near-simul-releasing this manga adaptation of Hideo Kikuchi's novels. Some fans may wish that illustrator Yoshitaka Amano was doing the art, but since he basically doesn't do manga, you may find you'll like Saiko Takaki's take, which retains much of the feel of Amano's work. Volume four came out on the 18th.

 Dance in the Vampire Bund
 Dance in the Vampire Bund
Blood: The Last Vampire: If you're looking for something to watch instead of read, you may want to hold out for the Blu-Ray release of the live-action adaptation of Production I.G's original Blood: The Last Vampire animated film. Granted, the reviews were lukewarm at best, but $34.95 isn't going to break the bank (or you can order it now-- as of this writing you can get it for $20 at Amazon). It's due out November 24th.

Dance in the Vampire Bund: If all of the above is still just not enough to quench your vampire thirst, you'll just have to give Nozomu Tamaki's centuries-old vampire loli Mina Tepes a try. In an interesting move, the vampire princess bought off Japan by paying off its national debt in order to earn some land to create a "special district" for vampires. Volume 5 will come out on the 30th, and an anime version is also in the works, so you might want to get a  sneak peek by checking out the manga.
 
If that isn't enough for you, then you're an addict and should consider checking into a 12-step program. Don't worry, I'm sure lots of people are addicted to fiction about sexy beings that suck the blood out of humans for sustenance...
 
Of course, this is just vampire releases for November. So if you have other recommendations, be sure to share them in the comments!
Nerxon Nov. 20, 2009 at 12:34 p.m.
Twilight ripped this sh!t off
giaon Nov. 20, 2009 at 12:38 p.m.
@Nerx: That's okay, most of this stuff ripped off Bram Stoker and Anne Rice anyway ;)
Zeouterlimitson Nov. 20, 2009 at 12:39 p.m.
So much Vampire Knight at Eirtakon last weekend.. 
Heard some good things about Trinity Blood, might give it a look.
Nerxon Nov. 20, 2009 at 12:40 p.m.
Meh zombie romance is better for me anyday
Kelleth moderator on Nov. 20, 2009 at 12:40 p.m.
@Nerx said:

" Twilight ripped this sh!t off "

And did a real sh!tty job at it
 
No honourable mentions? I can understand R+V  since it isnt nearly as good as anything on your list. But when the retarded people mention the Twillight cr@p the smart people mention Hellsing or Chibi Vampire most of the times lol
Nerxon Nov. 20, 2009 at 12:47 p.m.
l prefer the True Ancestors from Nasuverse and Shiki
 
Arcueid & Shiki > Crap > Edward & Bella
FoxxFireArt moderator on Nov. 20, 2009 at 12:47 p.m.
@gia: 
Speaking of Blood: The Last Vampire. I've never been into the whole live action versions of animes. They never work out right. It almost always seems like a practice in certifiable insanity. The effect and acting are always to a silly degree. If something is based off animation, then why not just make an animated movie?
 
They can't even call themselves "so bad it's good".
Nerxon Nov. 20, 2009 at 12:52 p.m.

GodLen staff on Nov. 20, 2009 at 1:24 p.m.
Yes Dio is the best vampire ever.  Those who disagree are going to get their ass run over. 
 
  
Black_Roseon Nov. 20, 2009 at 1:29 p.m.
I would like to add non-anime franchises to this "fuck Twilight "thing, namely Interview with the Vampire (best vampire movie EVER) and the Castlevania games ^_^
giaon Nov. 20, 2009 at 2:09 p.m.
@Kelleth: This isn't a list of the "best," only a list of what happened to come out the same month as Twilight. No more, and no less. So if it didn't have a release in November, which R+V didn't, then it wasn't mentioned. :)
 
@FoxxFireArt: Hm, I feel like we've discussed this before (you should check out this week's question on the forums), but there have been quite a few strong live-action movies in Japan based on manga and anime, at the very least (see also: Crows, Death Note, Mushishi, Dororo, to name just a few recent ones). So it's not hard for me to imagine that Hollywood could do one-- they just haven't done one YET. (That said, I will defend that Dragon Ball Evolution can be a perfectly fun movie to sit with your friends and watch while drinking and making fun of it, and that I straight-up liked Speed Racer.) :)
Kelleth moderator on Nov. 20, 2009 at 2:19 p.m.
@gia: ? vol. 10 came out  the 1st of november :P
Nerxon Nov. 20, 2009 at 2:25 p.m.
@GodLen: ZA WARUDO
 
WRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
Karasuon Nov. 20, 2009 at 3:52 p.m.
I've always preferred my vampires gay. None of this hopes and dreams of a teenage girl BS.
 
Suggesting Vassalord as having its "moments". : 3
(Not actually sure about the plot. Haven't figured out if there IS one, yet.)
 
[edit] I'm a total whore for vampire anything, and, yeah, I read all four of those Twilight books. I almost didn't make it through the last one, and overall wish I could have that time of my life back. I could read The Vampire Lestat again. (In French, for all the time wasted.)
metalsnakezeroon Nov. 20, 2009 at 5:18 p.m.
This is vampire in original story telling done right. While Vampire Knight is close to Twilight it does a better job.
Konandaon Nov. 20, 2009 at 5:24 p.m.

Record of a Fallen Vampire is an excellent choice although the story gets kind of ridiculous but in an awesome way. I've only read up to Vol. 6 though still have to get 7. To elaborate a bit though as much as it's fairly shōnen  starting with Akabara "Red Rose" Strauss being a super powerful vampire king from the destroyed Kingdom of the Night out for a thousand year long quest for revenge while battling dhampires (half vampires) and the Black Rose who get in his way. It's very much in a more mystery genre instead of the typical beat dudes up to get to some clear goal. Where many times what is presented as fact is actually revealed to be something entirely different when looked at in it's true context that and Strauss (who is actually a really nice dude who just has a very clear goal and won't let people stop him from achieving it) has many secrets some of, which the other cast don't even know about that are revealed throughout the manga. With the big one of course being why did the Kingdom of the Night fall with such a strong and intelligent king as the monarch and why are vampires just myth now along with a bunch of other spoilerific questions it poses. Than around vol. 3 or so there is a huge twist  in the story.
Strauss is captured by the current host of the Black Swan and along with Bridget who commands what is left of the dhampires (and was once Strauss' adopted daughter who he was very close to) all end up teaming up to recover the sealed away vampire queen Aldehied (The Corrosive Moon) who was the one that destroyed the Kingdom of the Night after Strauss apparently tried to kill her. Since humanity plans to use Strauss and Aldehied so they can save the world from an alien invasion from the Fio civilization at the request of GM Gozen (basically the head of an organization like the Illuminati that controls the world in the shadows) who's grandaughter is the 50th and current woman to be possesed by the Black Swan. After, which the Black Swan is to destroy both The Corrosive Moon and Rosered Strauss.
 
Anyway I can't wait to get my hands on volume 7 and find out what happens next (It looks like more backstory on Strauss' mysterious past along with some of the other characters from 1000 years ago and what led up to the fall of the Kingdom of the Night [vol. 6 pretty much explained how it happened] and how  vampires/dhampires became to be just myths) although it's kind of a bummer since it's only 9 volumes like another awesome series I finished in September called Yumekui Kenbun: Nightmare Inspector, which is kind of like xxxHolic but instead of a witch the supernatural aspect is he's a baku(mythological japanese creature that eats dreams and nightmares) that will help rid people of their nightmare who come to the tea house he resides in if he's able to eat their nightmare and what I mean by being like xxxHolic is that each chapter is pretty much a seperate story with some overarching plot and character development going on and has the be careful what you wish for thing going on where each patron usually ends up worse off than when they came in. For instance
in one of the early chapters a woman comes saying she has a nightmare where there is a blank canvas in her dream where she writes the same thing will happen as yesterday and therefore does the same thing but she gets sick of this and writes today you will stab someone, which she does the next day and gets freaked out asks Hiruko/ 昼子  (the baku) to help her with this to, which he goes into her dream and says no write what you want but after she gets scared he writes today you will do the same thing as yesterday so it ends with her killing some guy the next night.
 
Also it's the creator's first manga but the art just looks fantasticly done as if by a pro that coupled with a really visually interesting setting (Taisho era Japan) that creates this very interesting mix of Victorian and Gothic Revival style architecture with more traditional Japanese architecture (for instance seeing a multistory tall skinny hotel that looks kind of like a mini shirō with a neon or gas powered sign advertising the place that also has stain glass windows, or a turn of the century style tram that looks ripped out of London, U.K. riding past gas powered street lamps.) so, while not Giyōfū  architecture exactly (the common architecture of this period in Japan that resembled Western architecture popular around the Meji era but based on Japanese construction techniques) the backgrounds seen in the city it's located in is it's own unique and interesting blend of popular architecture types at the time. The character design is very nice as well. 
 
Although Nightmare Inspector doesn't have any vampires in it really unless you count having to eat nightmares as a kind of version of vampirism. One thing though is I wouldn't really recommend vol. 9 (the last one although wikipedia say's it has 10 for some reason) since vol. 9 breaks from the collection of short stories to explaining and finishing the plot that has slowly been developing through volumes 1 to 8 and taking care to wrap up every little thread in a neat bow that is completed with some unnecessary exposition to make sure there isn't any holes or questions to be left answered, which is disappointing.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Nov. 20, 2009 at 5:36 p.m.
@gia said:
" (That said, I will defend that Dragon Ball Evolution can be a perfectly fun movie to sit with your friends and watch while drinking and making fun of it, and that I straight-up liked Speed Racer.) :) "
The fact that you need to be drinking to enjoy something is an example of how poor it is. That you need you perceptions impaired.
giaon Nov. 20, 2009 at 6:50 p.m.
@Kelleth: That's weird-- all of my release lists say that Rosario+Vampire *9* just came out October 6th, no mention of #10 in November, and it looks like ANN's release calendar says the same thing, though I do see that R+V #10 came out that day on Amazon...very weird. I'll have to keep an eye on that.
 
@FoxxFireArt: It's not necessarily about the alcohol, it's about the mood of the room. So yes, your perceptions need to be altered-- by being in a goofy, casual setting, not by killing off your brain cells. ;)
Miduson Nov. 20, 2009 at 6:52 p.m.
Hellsing is better than pretty much everything on this list. Shame on you Anime Vice. Shame on you...
 
Also, everyone needs to watch Let the Right One in.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Nov. 20, 2009 at 7:08 p.m.
@gia said:
" @FoxxFireArt: It's not necessarily about the alcohol, it's about the mood of the room. So yes, your perceptions need to be altered-- by being in a goofy, casual setting, not by killing off your brain cells. ;) "
 
I believe you can do that by watching the film in the first place.

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