Dance in The Vampire Bund Price:
$9.99US and $10.99CAN Length:
200 pages 4 pages dedicated to mini comic (total 204) Genre:
Horror, Ecchi, Lolicon
Dance in the Vampire Bund is one of those works that makes you do a double take when you look at the cover. And for one such as I, it made me rethink who I was, in the sense that there was a half naked little girl on the back of this book and someone was going to think I'm a creeper. It actually took me a full month to work up the nerve and grab the book and not just judge the cover, take it to the counter and buy it.. and well, I'm glad I did.
I rather liked the style.
The manga starts out in an almost fairy-tail sort of way. A young boy asking the Queen of monsters why she looks so sadly upon the world. To which she replies that if he grants her wish she would stop. But if he broke his word she would eat him. The boy nodded that he would not break his word and the Queen agreed to tell him. But it's left as that. I really liked the art style here, it was unique. I liked the look of both the Queen and the boy and wish I got to see more of it, but it was a little teaser. (though more is shown in later books)
It opens up how you think a Manga anymore would open up, a boy and a girl, boy tells girl he won't date her, sad girl is sad. Which in a sense disappointed me but this quickly cleared up with a punch to the face and a limo waiting to pick up our male protagonist to take him to the princess, whom was waiting for him after arriving early. The book seems to go through character introductions at a fast pace, sometimes it's hard to tell who's important and who isn't. Which is only a small gripe. Right off the bat Akira
is put through tests whom we find out has just turned seventeen, but he's as sharp as a whip, well, when it comes to things like who is the real princess.. a little more dense when it comes to Mina
's feelings for him.
Now here's a part that came under fire during the funimation
censor or no censor debate. The lotion scene. Now in the anime
Modesty is the best policy
Mina has Akira (whom in the anime has amnesia blah blah blah) apply Light blocking gel in that warehouse where he rubs it all over. In the manga this moment is played out much different where Mina has her servant help her undress (in a rather comedic manner) and she shows him her body, much like the anime there is embarrassment but Akira applies the gel, but unlike the anime, Mina pulls away from him saying that she would do her front, seeming to not wish for him to touch her there. We have to remember that though she IS the queen of the night, she is virginal.. and still rather innocent.
Things from there turn exciting with a plot on Mina's life making things more tense for all the character's, this is where you get to see them in action. Firstly Mina is no damsel in distress, and she can very well take care of herself. You also find that Mina's staff are also, no pushovers. You can see vampires be ACTUAL Vampires, the blood the limb ripping it's all refreshing coming off the Twilight craze back into the blood soaked arms of the vampires I grew up with. It feels good.
The only difference is that these ones have light blocking gel. While I normally disapprove of things like this, the stuff doesn't' last long and it does bring a new dimension on the whole deal. Unlike Twlights...sparkling or the rings of Vampire diaries which ticks me off to a certain degree, a little lotion with expiration on it I can handle just fine.
That body holds secrets.. dastardly ones!
Now with Mina coming and crafting the Bund in Japan there was bound to be that whole 'prove your a vampire' thing. I think the manga handled this excellently in chapter two. Nozomu got to showcase more of his talent of making action scenes and how he does his bodies. Which I love. With a created vampire infiltrating the press conference with a bomb in her lovely belly was a nice touch, you got to see a beautiful woman.. and a vampire get staked. Suddenly turning to dust. I liked the fact that Akira once again got to show his previous training coming to full effect. That boy can sniff out damn near anything. You later find that Mina allowed a lot of this to happen, which in the end helped prove they were Vampires and the bund is for them, so it all worked out nicely in the end. Though I doubt it made Akira feel any better that he was played like a crafted little pawn. But I like to think of it all, myself as her trying to prove that her choice at having Akira as her servant was proven without a doubt to be the right choice.
By the third chapter things had died down as more and more Vampires enter the safe haven that was the Bund, but you find none of them value life. Of course, their immortal. When Mina skips out on her duties and it's left for Akira to hunt her down he comes face to face with this in a very brutal game of Russian roulette. I really liked the art in this scene, it showed all types of 'personalities' that lived in the Bund. From the gothic type of vampire to the run of the mill sleaze, even that incoherent 'animal', you name it you saw it illustrated here. I would say the only issue I have with Nozomu's art would be the children, sometimes their heads are very off in a sense. Overly chibi and sometimes not too pleasing to the eye. This is a minor gripe I have because the rest of it is gorgeous i think, not Death Note
Gorgeous but it's nice.
A cute little scene was shown with Mina and some children were skipping rope, it gave the Bund a sudden innocence when you
It's a good time.
find out these children were a part of a group called 'fangless' vampires who reject the name and live out their lives as 'human' They rip out their top and bottom fangs and refuse to drink human blood. Mina says something along the lines of they were rejected by both sides, the human, and the vampire, so here, the fangless can live thier lives in peace. Though Akira asks her if that is why she created the Bund, she tells him not to think so highly of her, or he'd be disappointed.
Look Ma! No fangs!
I like how this manga seems to make Akira the 'child' in the situations between he and Mina, when it comes to casual flirting or Mina coming at him guns blazing it's rather entertaining to see him back peddle like a little boy. But when you think about it, the roles arn't too far fetched, considering how old Mina is, and how old Akira is, he's just a baby in comparison to the Queen. But ti's still quite humorous considering the sizes between the two. But when you get a glimpse and the woman Mina can become, the roles seem much more fitting.
- The Manga is a fun read and brings back the old love I had for vampires when I was younger that hasn't turned into this tween thing that everyone and their mom freaks out over. It's something I can get my hands around, something I can sit and say "this is awesome" and know that the lore and the vampire fiction laid down for years is still alive and well.
- Mixed race fangless families. I'm sorry but for me that is something to be excited over, you rarely see African Americans(or Japanese) in anime or manga represented in a positive light and not a stereotype, so Nozomu I salute you for that, you made me a happy mixed woman!
- Werewolves done right, again, more yay, while not completely accurate tot he lore, i'm still pleased with the outcome.
- The story, a Queen vampire making a home and outing the creatures of the night is bold and something like this (outing of the vampire) is rarely done correctly, or believably.
- The art, not the greatest but I like it a lot.
- The characters, especially with the little shorts at the end with the maids, it makes the characters fun, while not everything is explained about them, you get a firm grasp for their personalities and none are one dimensional.
- The art has moments were it's a little off to look at, especially with some of the children.
- Mina's nudeness can and could be off putting for some readers and could cause them to stay away.
This manga is an excellent choice for vampire loves from the twi-hards to the die-hard traditionalist whom has an open mind and isn't taken aback by a little bit of child nudity which is less than often and few and far between. I give this manga a 4.5 out of 5, while not perfect it was a great read, the characters are likable and the story alone is worth picking this up.