Direction: Right to Left
by: Masayuki Takano
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Witness the touching relationship between young vampiress Misaki and her human companion, the former vampire hunter turned investigative author, Kurose Kuroe, whom she’d die to protect. For recently turned vampire Minato Misaki, vampirism and the beastly powers that come with it are something that she wouldn’t wish upon her worst enemy, let alone her beloved Kuroe. But Kuroe’s supernatural investigations make him a regular target of not only vampires but of all sorts of undead creatures of the night. The only way to save him from these deadly threats may be to do the one thing that Misaki fears the most: to turn Kuroe into a vampire for his own protection.
Misaki Minato is our ten year old heroin, of a sort. Recently turned into a vampire she lives under Kuroe’s care. She’s for the most part an a-typical 10 year old girl and frequently acts like it. However at the same time she’s a vampire, and at times when she’s in dire trouble the demon within her surfaces and takes over. For some reason however this demon tries to minimises that so as not to destroy Misaki’s personality. She’s in love with Kuroe and becomes very jealous and jumps to conclusions when she sees him with other women.
Kurose Kuroe our dashing knight…..vampire hunter. Kuroe is a jack of all trades, respected author, guardian Misaki, and a prolific vampire hunter. Although he has calmed down since taking charge of Misaki he earned a reputation for being ruthless and unforgiving when it came to hunting vampires. His sole purpose was originally to find his sister whom he loved, and was kidnapped by a vampire. However after being tasked with caring for Misaki he calmed down and became an author, though always looking for his sister.
Sayaka Sainome a college friend of Kuroe’s, and a daughter of a respected and wealthy, though now deceased doctor. She also possesses a special ability, the ability to see the last few minutes of a persons death. She woks in the police forensics lab and uses her ability to help solve crimes, usually murders. She also seems to have a bit of a dark nature which surfaces from time to time. Sainome also seems to have feelings for Kuroe and is in a semi-battle with Misaki for his affections.
Higure a strange and apparently 10 year old boy. However he’s one of the Aruhiek, one of the few elder vampires. Several times he shows just how much power he has, both physically and as a Aruhiek. His power is such that one of the oldest assassin guilds decides to let a matter drop rather than confronting him. He does however seem to have homosexual undertones, surrounding himself with handsome men for renfields (slaves), and several times makes a comment about wanting Kuroe.
Maria a young renfield who was turned so as she could be used to kill her real father. Misaki and Kuroe rescue her, and with the help of Higure set her free, sort of. She ends up living with Higure and becomes friends with Misaki since they’re similar ages. She seems to have feelings for Kuroe, but struggles to hide them for Misaki’s sake.
This is a weird manga. I picked it up purely because it was from Seven Seas and I am loving their releases I’ve read so far.
Unfortunately this series failed to grab me initially, in fact I pretty much yawned my way through the three volumes we get here. I found the story lacking in so many areas, not to mention it just meandered through the plot without seemingly any set destination. Takano’s art didn’t grab me and when it was finished I felt like letting out a sigh of relief.
Thankfully however I got busy here with work and stuff, so to do this review I had to re-read it. I have since re-read it five times and find I’m loving it more and more with each read through. Takano has hit upon an excellent series that, while at first pass is lacking, is rather deep, intriguing and well developed.
I was not keen on the initial story, I felt it had to many holes in it. For example why would Kuroe, who loves his sister on a very deep level, just stop his search and settle down to guard Misaki. For that matter why would he settle down with a vampire when he’s gone out of his way to hunt and kill them?
These seemed like big flaws to me, nut when I sat down and properly read the volume I found most of the questions were answered. I also found that I really liked the characters. Takano brings Misaki to life really well, her personality is well formed and distinct, when she fumbles around trying to tell Kuroe she loves him it’s easy to forget what she is. That is until of course her vampire personality pops out and we get a dose of what it really means, and then your chin hits the floor. We don’t really get to see Misaki’s vampire state often, but when she does come out it leaves a large impact on you.
Takano has a good hand when it comes to her characters. The way they interact with each other is just perfect, as is the way they develop. Over the course of the volume we get to see the characters all develop in different ways, some subtle others more blatantly.
I also liked the she used black pages, simple things like that can make a whole lot of difference to the feel of the manga.
However the aspect I loved the most was the vampire lore. there are some changes to the standard which make this really interesting. I’m really looking forward to how this will play out, and to how Kuroe’s and Misaki’s relationship will end.
Unfortunately this is only six volumes long, so already at the half way point I’m concerned about the way it will finally come to an end, though it’s going to be fun finding out.
Seven Seas did a pretty good job with this release. I love the cover design, it just oozes atmosphere and sets the tone of the manga really well. The translation is really well done as is the editing. My only complaint is they removed all the honorific’s, that’s one of my pet hates. I also wish that they had given us the additional two covers in colour. They really look horrible in black and white, lacking life, depth and feel.
Overall though I do think this is well worth picking up and following. I’m eagerly looking forward to volume four.