Nimosaku Shimada – June – 2010 – 1 volume
I was reasonably sure that, while crappy, it was impossible to screw up any sort of romance story with a vampire in it. There’s a lot of implied sexuality in that interaction, and if you just do a solid romance story, it doesn’t matter what else is going on. After all, one of the characters is a freaking vampire.
But How to Seduce a Vampire does it. Actually, it does it by completely abandoning the romance elements and making the plot about something else. Very few BL books can pull off any sort of plot, let alone one that can stand stronger than the romance. How to Seduce a Vampire is not one of those books.
One day, Watanabe spots Mizuho collapsed on the sidewalk. Watanabe automatically does the good samaritan thing and tries to help Mizuho out, but Mizuho doesn’t need medical attention. He’s a vampire, and he needs blood. Watanabe wakes up at Mizuho’s place rather confused. After some attacks from a mystery organization of men in black and a character from Mizuho’s past shows up, Watanabe takes all the craziness in stride and stick by Mizuho, who he is inexplicably attracted to. Past life thing, you see. In the second story, Mizuho recovers a relic of his past, an immortal soldier who has been dormant for a thousand years. Watanabe gets caught up in the battle too, and much discussion about weapons happens.
The third story in the volume is about one of Watanabe’s distant relatives, and the sword he and Mizuho made together. This story was actually pretty interesting, especially since past-Watanabe didn’t take Mizuho’s status as a literal monster very well.
So, there’s no romance. Watanabe pretty much takes everything at face value, Mizuho agrees with him despite the fact Watanabe is apparently the reincarnation of his mortal enemy or something. After half-heartedly fending off men in black and a somewhat likable character who is also a vampire, Watanabe gets to work at Mizuho’s hair salon, and Mizuho reveals he can also live off of Watanabe’s semen instead of blood. No preamble whatsoever, and the blowjob only lasts about one panel. The second story is even worse. The third is better, simply because it finally takes the time to develop both past-Watanabe and Mizuho, and makes the interaction between them at least a little more interesting, if still not very romantic. The drama at the end, when Watanabe rejects Mizuho’s vampire status, is pretty good, though.
There are other stories in this volume. One is about cosplay and a fan of a once-great costume maker, and the other is a quickie about a romance between the shogun and a man who saves him.
It’s just… there’s no romance. That’s why I read these books. Especially when the story so badly needs that character support. Not even the short stories in the back were good enough to stand without it. Bah. I haven’t had a dud BL title like this in a long time, so I suppose my luck finally just ran out.