Archive for the 'Kusumoto, Hiroki' Category

11th Feb 2010

Vampire’s Portrait 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

You know, it’s kind of nice to get back to vampires that are demonic and bloody. Most of the vamps that we get in manga form are too lily-white to be able to cause some real carnage.

Not so for the vamps in this release. Lots of gore, complete with hearts being ripped out of chests. While I’m not a huge horror fan, vamps should be a bit forbidden and scary. They can’t be sexy and mysterious all the time. Hell, they’re supposed to be killers, not saints.

When we last left these guys, Sein was recovering from an attack by his older brother, Verloren. His devoted human Lou wants nothing more than to be first in Sein’s eyes, and to keep him strong.

Verloren has different ideas for his brother, and is going to do everything he can to turn Sein into a killer like him.

What really makes me happy is the mix of serious drama, and silly, silly art. One moment things are very detailed and all of a sudden Lou says or does something that’s exasperating/cute, and the characters go super deformed for a panel or so.

While there wasn’t quite enough romance to make this a truly stellar release for me, it was really damn good – and something that’s going directly to the keeper shelf.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Kusumoto, Hiroki, Vampire's Portrait | 2 Comments »

12th Nov 2008

Vampire’s Portrait

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

I do love vampire stories. Vampires are erotic all on their own, so throw in some BL touches and I’m in heaven. This is such a nice change from the schoolboys and saccharine sweetness that I’m used to seeing from June. This vampire isn’t a fluffy bunny. No, he’s angsty and tortured and seems to have a rich back story that’s going to get revealed in future volumes. Our willing victim, Lou, finds himself caring for the vampire after he’s asked to paint a portrait of his true face. In Kusumoto’s mythology, vampires can not see their reflections. Vampires also seem to have the ability to transform into a winged demon when weakened or angered.

Our vampire, Sein, also has a history with a young man named Adam whose family is the keeper of some esoteric secrets. Secrets that can bind Sein or set him free. Throw in another vampire who’s got it in for Sein, has a kink for interesting torture and you’ve got something that draws you in and keeps you interested.

The relationship between Lou and Sein is complicated. I’m still not sure the depth of Sein’s feelings, though Lou has fallen under Sein’s spell. Sein was first attracted to Lou because Lou looks exactly like his grandfather, whom Sein used to spend time with.

It leaves you asking questions. Just what exactly was the relationship between Lou’s grandfather and Sein? What does Adam know that he’s not telling? What’s going to happen to our sweet, innocent Lou who is dragged into something far beyond what he was expecting when he took the vampire’s commission?

This release is extremely well drawn and sucked me in from page one. I can’t sing the praises of this one enough. It’s got everything I want in a BL release. Sadly, it’s going to be far too long before they can get the next volume to me. I want to know what’s going to happen! I haven’t been this excited about a series in a long time!

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Kusumoto, Hiroki, Vampire's Portrait | Comments Off on Vampire’s Portrait

24th Aug 2008

Wild Butterfly

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

First off, let me say that I absolutely adored this release. Secondly, let me say that there was only one story that even touched upon being BL. Don’t let that stop you from picking up this release, I just want to warn you before you ran out and got this one expecting hot monkey sex.

The one story that was slightly BL revolved around a vampire and his human love. The human lover keeps complaining that the vampire always tastes of other people’s blood and keeps trying to get him to quit feeding. Going so far as to asking him to remove his fangs. Fair warning, the ending is going to tug at your heartstrings. Hell, all of the stories in this collection are going to tug at them. Even I, being a jaded bitch of the highest degree, found myself tearing up more than once at the endings that were more honest than happy.

You know, I don’t always like a happy ending. I like endings that make me think or have the happiness tinged with a bit of melancholy. Those are the stories that stick out in my mind. Fluffy stories are all well and good, but, in the end, they’re utterly forgettable. Top all of that off with the art in this one being completely gorgeous and I am one happy little fangirl.

I’m still not sure why this one was released as a BL title, though. One story and one kiss in an anthology does not a BL release make. I shouldn’t complain. I wouldn’t have found the beauty that is this release if they didn’t send it to me as a BL title. It’s definitely a nice change from the schoolboy angst and salarymen that I’ve been slogging through.

All in all, I’m thrilled with this release. It’s going straight to the keeper shelf. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Just go right to the keeper shelf so I can make sure it’s there the next time I want some quality stories.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Kusumoto, Hiroki, Wild Butterfly | 2 Comments »