Ryu’s Musings – Blood Alone vol4-6

Posted on February 17th, 2013 by Ryu Sheng |

bloodalone_vol4_fullLanguage: English
Direction: Right to Left
by: Masayuki Takano
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Type: Series
Genre: Shounen

Synopsis:

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.

For my musings on volumes one through three see my earlier post.

The series picks up in an interesting way, and a way i was hoping to go as well. We get the history of Misaki and Kuroe, something i was really interested in learning. The volume is really well done with a lot of time given to the history lesson.

We get to see who Kuroe was before he and Misaki joined parties, and what a combo it is. The history we get is incomplete, since it only covers a short time frame where Misaki is being targeted, and Kuroe is dispatched to protect her. We get to see some nice character building between Misaki and Kuroe before the action takes place. Always good to see character development along these lines!

We get to see a bit of Kuroe’s history, and how he became able to take vampires on bare handed. I liked this volume because we got to see a more niece Kuroe, and a rather ticked off Chloe, who is his ‘master’ and taught him everything he knows. I loved the interaction between these two, since your never really sure about their relationship, or even is Chloe was just a illusion.bloodalone_vol5_full

Volume five rounds up the history lesson, again with some interesting elements that make you have an ‘ohhhh’ moment. Not to mention you end up more confused over Chloe, and just who she really is; i really loved this aspect of the story.

The subsequent chapters of the volume are split between actual story and just Misaki being cute. The ‘cute’ chapters really just throw all preconceptions of vampires out the window as we get to see Misaki being a little girl. These few chapters are hilarious because just as we stop seeing her as a vampire we get hit with the fact again and leaves you a little stunned, in a good way. Finally we get to a bit of story where we get to see Kuroe intimidate a rather powerful vampire after Misaki gets into trouble…again.

All told it’s a good volume with a good mix of elements to it, no cliff hanger ending which is always great.

bloodalone_vol6_fullVolume six gives us more history, and more questions about Chloe. After the first chapter I couldn’t help but wonder about their relationship, as certain aspects are hinted in the chapter. I love this, it gives you answers but keeps you wondering. We get a bit of history coming back to bite Kuroe, but once again you ended up wondering about Chloe’s role in what happens, and the ending of the arc left me chuckling to myself.

Sainome makes a return for a chapter, and it’s okay, but something about it just feels out of place. Partly i think it’s due to the fact that she’s hardly ever used as a lead character. She seems to flip between secondary and primary. This is made worse by the relationship aspect that frequently gets brought up, especially in this chapter. I do like her as a character however, and wish she had a more balanced appearance and relevance. Following this we get to see Kuroe kicking ass again, and some interesting lore about vampires.

The last couple of chapters are once again about Misaki being girly, which is okay since we’ve had a good balance this volume. Though admittedly it does feel like there’s been little in the way of actual story progression. Despite the history we’re given it does feel a bit lacking for some reason, possibly due to the fact we go through three volumes with very little progression.

Art wise i don’t really want to repeat what I’ve said in the previous post. I liked the art style used and don’t really have any complaints about the art style.

Seven Seas have released all the currently available volumes, but sadly won’t be getting any further releases.

In Japan, Blood Alone changed publishers and is now in the hands of Kodansha, which has their own North American publishing division (they do Sailor Moon, among other titles).

We’ve asked about the rights a couple of times now, but it’s probably not going to happen. Kodansha wants to put out the books they have under their umbrella themselves, so it’s not in their interests to give a license to a rival publisher.

quote from Adam Arnold on the SSE forum

This is the second title of theirs to be killed by this happening that i know of (Hayate x Blade being the other).

What this means is that if you want the subsequent volumes you’ll have to wait for the Kodansha USA division to release them.  This also means if your a completionist you’re probably going to end up with second copies of one through six as well.

I do like the SSE version, Kodansha USA don’t really seem to have a good reputation in my eye’s. So far their releases have been carbon copies of already available volumes, with a higher price tag, not good. I’ll pick up a couple of their genuine releases eventually, but at the moment they aren’t releasing anything i want to read. So, if your after this series, I’d recommend buying the SSE versions.

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