Ryu’s Musings – Vampire Hunter D Volume 04 (Manga)

Posted on August 14th, 2010 by Ryu Sheng |

9781569707890 ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-789-0
Language: English
Direction: Right to Left
Pages: 250
by: Hideyuki Kikuchi, Saiko Takaki
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Type: Series
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Supernatural, Seinen
Synopsis:

The City, a tiny metropolis of a few hundred sheltered citizens floating serenely on a seemingly random course a few feet above the ground, has long been thought safe from the predation of marauding monsters. It seems like a paradise. A paradise shattered when an invasion of apparent vampire threatens the small haven. While the Vampire Hunter known only as “D” struggles to exterminate the scourge, a former denizen of the city, the attractive Lori Knight, and the brash John M. Brasselli Pluto VIII seize control of the city, lurching it onto a new and deadly course. D’s travails are just the beginning.

Characters:

The Knight family, which consists of the father and daughter.  The father is never named (that I noticed) but it’s revealed he was a chemist under the protection of the mayor. His daughter, Lori, is rescued after being attacked by the wild animals, though her father is dead. She loses her voice, but under D’s tutelage learns how to survive on her own. She has a strong and wilful personality, much like a lot of the girls who are used as hooks in the novels.

John M. Brasselli Pluto VIII is introduced as the rescuer of Lori Knight, he’s a bit of a wild man, with the looks to match. As the volume progresses we see he has a darker personality that comes out more and more as the time passes.

The Doctor, well, he’s the doctor of the town but he seems to have a strange connection with D, as well as some impressive fighting abilities. I liked his personality and the way he acts, he’s a great character and frankly I thought he out shone D a lot of the time.

General Thoughts:

I didn’t like the Vampire D novel this is a conversion of, so I was expecting not to enjoy this. Much to my surprise though I found that while it has all the elements I hated in the novel, I still enjoyed the manga version.

I found the novel didn’t really explain things properly, and the manga has this fault as well. To much is left unexplained which leads to a bit of confusion. The manga I felt made this worse, since it it didn’t really explorer Lori much, something the novel did a bit more. This is an essential element since it explains why she did what she did, and the way she is.

The story did flow a bit better in this version, with certain elements being cut out and others explained a bit better.

The core story has been carried over pretty well, and it does flow well. Though I felt it flowed a bit fast. Things moved along at a break neck pace from the moment D enters the town till he leaves happens really fast.

I really liked Brasselli’s character in this volume, and I re-read it a few times just to read his character again. The way he acts in the volume is fun to watch unfold, because we get three different versions of him. Firstly we get the rescuer, when he rescues Lina, then we get the happy go lucky guy that pulls pranks and brings flowers to the injured Lina. Next we get the traitor, when he puts a plan into motion, the personality he shows here is really a drastic change, and then finally he ends up as the rescuer again. He’s a really unique character that’s hard to judge and follow, which is why I like him.

Lina is an interesting character as well, and I really wish we’d been allowed to see her grow properly. The novel handles her character a bit better I feel, the manga version goes from struggling to come to terms with the loss of her voice to being a telepath. While the change was essential to the plot, I wish it could have been handled a bit better.

I also found the Mayor to be a weird character, and frankly I felt he was the weakest character of the volume. When the truth started to come out I was expecting a bigger impact, but it was lacking anything resembling impact.

We did get some more hints towards D’s sire, but those really don’t make much sense, which is pretty much the way I feel about the entire story this time, it doesn’t make much sense.

Oddly, one of the things I found least offensive this volume was the art. Sure I still don’t like the way D is portrayed, but for once I couldn’t find fault with anything else. Rather I was really impressed with the vast majority of the characters. Lina for example made a stunning character, with a lack of caterpillars surrounding her eyes. While she was drawn as a beautiful woman, she also has a strong presence to her that made her one of my favourite character designs of the manga so far.

The Doctor and Brasselli were also perfect. the Doctor has a good feel to him, and when we get to see him fight he looks awesome. In a lot of way’s he has a similar feel that D has, though without the cold and aloof feel. Brasselli is perfect, out of the four volumes of manga release so far he’s by far the most perfectly drawn. His design matches his personality and it comes out rather funnily at times.

Yet, despite this, I can’t deny that I enjoyed reading it, but it could have been been adapted better.

Publisher Handling:

This was released by DMP on their eManga website, and in print and kindle format. I read it on the eManga site which always makes manga look better. The font’s used are the same ones as in the previous volumes, and don’t have any issues.  The text flows reasonably well though the bits I didn’t like were probably due to the adaptation format. The volume contains extras and previews of other titles.

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