April 8, 2009
Again, I need to give this series full credit for being all kinds of awesome. It’s one of the only licensed manga that I can think of (in this case, video game to manga) that is this much fun to read. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it doesn’t come out fast enough, because at one volume a year, there are things I forget by the time the new volume comes out. The US version is caught up to Japan though, so there’s not much DrMaster can do about that.
I had trouble remembering the boy from Shiki’s childhood flashbacks, which made it harder for me to remember whether or not Shiki’s… actions in this flashback were revealed before (I don’t think they were), and whether or not the kid was sort of a jerk and had it coming. The more the flashback goes on throughout the volume, the more I do not think it is the latter. At least in the past. I also forgot Ciel’s deal, but most of her background was in this volume anyway, and it came back to me that she was a mysterious member of Shiki’s class, which is probably all that was revealed about her before anyway.
But anyway, the stuff covered in this volume was really, really awesome and made up for last volume’s inactivity. Aside from a brutal scene with Arcueid that goes from her being violent to Shiki being violent, we get a ton of stuff about Shiki’s past, we learn about the Tohno family and a rival family, we learn about Roa, and we learn what Ciel’s role in all this is. And Shiki gets really, really scary violent. Combining that with the flashbacks explaining pretty much everything that’s going on was quite effective. With all the cards on the table, all that’s left is to fix things between Arcueid and Shiki and then go after Roa. And sort out the matter of the Tohno family, though none of the members seem all that interested in sorting things out.
Having the volume starting and finishing on an awkward note between Shiki and Arcueid was great, too. Like I said, I was no fan of the date volume last time, but the awkwardness and tension between the two was conveyed quite well in this volume. I liked it.
I think a lot of people probably pass this over because of the license, but don’t be afraid to give it a try. Start from volume one. It’s quite an enjoyable read.
March 9, 2008
I was really bummed that, after waiting a year for this volume, the entire thing read like a dating sim. It’s probably just showing its roots as a visual novel (or whatever the original game is), but I was definitely sad to see that there was none of the action of the past volumes.
There is some mystery in the beginning of the volume, and after several interactions with his sister, Shiki figures out that parts of his memory are blocked out. This hasn’t connected itself back to the story yet, but it does lead to him missing an appointment with Arcueid, and because of this, the entire rest of the volume is a goddamn date.
They go to Shiki’s school. They go to the movies. They go to the amusement park. They go to the regular park. NOTHING HAPPENS. We find out the tiniest little bit about True Ancestors, and in the very last chapter, there is a few pages where a battle we don’t see happens. There is also a tense, somewhat violent moment between Shiki and Arcueid, but it wasn’t nearly enough to balance out the totally out-of-place date that occurred.
It’s sad to think that people following the series would have been a lot worse off than me when, month after month, there was a stupid date where there had been vampire slaying. What the hell. Maybe most people were expecting this, though. I’d like to think that since it leaves off in the middle of an action scene, we’ll get to see more in the next volume. But that won’t be until next year. Um, yeah. This just slid way down my list of good series, sorry.
May 8, 2007
This series continues to be quite good, much to my surprise. I’m not usually much into vampire… plots, but this one continues to have many interesting intracacies that draw in other aspects of the occult.
Not much happens in the way of headway in the search for Roa, but we find out about the mysterious glasses-wearing sempai and what she’s all about. There’s actually quite an epic battle between her and Shiki’s sister, who also has mysterious power, but her power still doesn’t really match Shiki’s death line vision.
Shiki also starts to have dreams about killing people, and when he starts to find the same people dead in the morning or the next day while he and Acrueid are out searching for Roa, he starts to suspect that perhaps he is the reincarnation of Roa, which would be totally awesome.
After Shiki’s sister and sempai battle, we don’t get too much more action until the end of the volume, and it balances out the awesome fights and plot/character development quite nicely. As I said, we don’t move forward much in the way of plot, but this volume really takes some time on the characters, which I loved.
I’m totally into this series, and it’s a shame we’re getting so few volumes a year due to being caught up with Japan.
November 13, 2006
Wow, I thought this series was only three volumes long. Apparently a fourth volume has just come out in Japan, and I think it’s still running, wherever it is that it runs. Fine by me, because I really enjoy this series.
I enjoy it a lot partially (or maybe mostly) because of the mythology it establishes for itself. Acrueid is good at explaining how everything works, and the variety of vampires/night creatures is also good. There’s a good balance of action and plot too, and just the right amount of foreshadowing and then coming back to the earlier foreshadowing. The mystery of his classmate and his sister looks like it’s about to come out, and I’m glad about that because it looks like it’ll have a satisfying explanation next volume.
Mostly I like Acrueid and Tohno a lot. Both are good characters, if not particularly deep. They work a lot differently from one another, but I like the fact that Tohno has a small crush on Acrueid. Not a major crush, and not a crush that gets exploited for comic relief at every opportunity like any other series based on an anime.
That’s the other thing that surprises me… I’m pretty sure that this is based on the anime and not the other way around, but this is surprisingly long and surprisingly high-quality for such a thing. In fact, this is the only anime-to-manga series I’ve ever read that I’ve enjoyed. It’s also the only Dr Master series I’ve read that I genuinely enjoy.
It’s a bit shallow, but there’s still lots of good stuff going on, and I like it a lot. Can’t wait for the next volume.
May 27, 2006
I love this series a lot, and three volumes is about the right length for it. The fight scenes are really good, and I like the slightly different approach to the powers and vampires and stuff that’s being taken here. But there’s still something very mediocre about it. I think it was an anime first, then a manga… but it doesn’t quite read like one of those. It moves a lot faster than a regular manga, but there’s not the plot holes or rush to fit everything in like there usually is with those. It lacks depth, and maybe that’s my problem with it. But it’s still pretty awesome.
This volume’s feature attraction is a long fight with… ahem, Nero Chaos. We get his real name, but that may be even more embarassing. We also get to see a great fight on all sides. There’s a romance element introduced that I’m not entirely fond of, which is unfortunate. The volume winds down in such a way that it feels like, if not for one character, everything would be resolved. But we still have one more coming! Oh boy!
Again, this isn’t a series I’m going to vest a lot of interest in, but it is a solid read to stick in with the massive amounts of shoujo I’ve been reading lately. Well, I don’t know if it’s true or not that I’ve been reading shoujo. Probably not. Still. Different from what I usually buy. I’ll be happy to consume the last volume.
April 8, 2006
I have yet to find a Dr Master title that really jumps out at me and demands my attention, which is a shame. I don’t really care for Pretty Maniacs (not my sort of thing), and Hinadori Girl is only sort of okay because I have to look for good qualities in it, but it’s aggrivating because it could be so much better. I have high hopes for Imperfect Hero because I love sentai comedy sort of stuff, but this one comes first because the first volume has been sitting around since November.
Vampire series really aren’t my thing. With the exception of Hellsing and a couple others, I try to avoid the vampire and werewolf stuff in all media. I wound up really liking this volume, though. It’s not the big smash hit from Dr Master that I’ve been looking for, but it’s at least better than Hinadori Girl and Pretty Maniacs.
The pacing in the first half of the first volume was what really got me. It drops you right into this flashback featuring a boy in a strange situation, and the slow unveiling of the actual plot of the series is excellent. I can’t say that the plot is all that original (boy helps vampire kill rival bad vampire that’s been murdering people), but it does have random awesome elements. The boy’s power is that he’s able to see these fault lines in all things that allows him to effortlessly destroy them by cutting along them with even the dullest of objects, sometimes even his hand. There’s also a ton of gore and violence, at first when he lets his power get away from him, but later largely due to the rival vampire.
There’s still some boring stuff, though. The characters are pretty flat, though the plot is moving along at a quick enough pace that there’s not much time to explain and it’s not too much of a problem. The explanation for why the boy lived with relatives is never given, and he has a weird family life with his sister and his two maids… which I’m sure will be relevant later, but is just sort of cryptic now. His sister is also fleshed out just enough to be annoying, but we don’t really see much of her. But yes, I have volume two as well, so I’m sort of looking forward to reading it to see if the pacing continues. Hopefully some more interesting stuff will happen, because I’d hate for it to turn into a boring, generic vampire fight.