Bloody Cross, Vol 1

Bloody Cross, Vol. 1 - Komeyama Shiwo

I'm confused, is the author's name Yoneyama or Komeyama? You'd think the kanji/katakana would be specific enough for people to tell. Yen Press isn't usually that sloppy, and they say it's Komeyama, but everywhere on the internet it says Yoneyama.


Oh, well. whatever-your-name-is, I'll just call you "Shiwo" or "the author" from now on. That okay? Good. Let's go.


I actually was surprised that I liked this manga. Anyone who knows me knows how much I despise vampires, but I was pretty desperate for a good action manga, so even the fact that the word "vampire" is tacked all over the cover of this one didn't scare me off. And you know what? This manga seriously delivered. Most of the whole volume is bloody fight scenes and explosions. It was pretty much exactly what I wanted.


I do have a few problems with this manga, however. I'm sorry, but I do. Enough to drag the rating down, anyway.


1) There is waaaaaay too much suggestive stuff in here. Nothing outright explicit, but too much snuggling and kissing and looming for my taste. I wish the heroine and hero would've just sat down across a table once or twice and talked for a while, rather than always trying to grind each other to dust or getting all touchy-feely.


2) Maybe this goes hand-in-hand with my above complaint, but seriously, I got really sick of seeing open shirts in here. I know, I get it, the curse is branded on their chests, the artist is really proud of it - but really, their shirts were almost always open. I was fine with it sometimes, like when it was necessary the first time or 

when the brand was doing something interesting like vanishing or reappearing,

(show spoiler)

but seriously guys, I don't want to see your shirts hanging open all the time. Cover up once in a while, will you?


3) The artwork was pretty bad sometimes. I mean, sometimes it was actually good (drawings of scenery like churches and such were beautiful), but there was a painful lack of shading most times, and the occasional noodle-arm, and (my personal favorite) the hands often just kind of looked like shapeless blobs. Even on the cover - ugh, I hate that cover - the hands look awfully sloppy and boneless.


4) The hero. Hinata. I didn't like his personality at all. Every time he would start to be awesome and I'd start to like him, he'd do something dumb or annoying and I'd hate him again. I mean, the dude has some of the coolest powers I've ever seen. Ever. But his personality is such a waste of space, I wish someone else would show up with similar powers and conveniently possess a better personality, so we can kill Hinata off and I won't have to put up with him anymore.


5) This one's not even really a problem I have with the manga, but it's definitely worthy of note. There is a lot, and I mean a lot, of blood and gore in this manga. Seriously. It's even bloodier than the bloodiest chapters of Fullmetal Alchemist. I won't go into gross detail, but if you plan to read this, be warned - it's not pretty.




The manga overall really impressed me. I can ignore the open shirts and Hinata's personality and everything else on my list up there just because:


1) Tsukimiya and Hinato had completely awesome powers. They're actually some of the best I've ever seen, and their box of tricks seems pretty much endless. If you're going to go around hunting and stealing from demons, guys, you'd better hope you have this pair's powers, because whoah. You'll need them. Hah. Even I need them, and I have no demon-hunting plans at all. They're just that awesome.


I promise, I'll stop using the word "awesome" now.


2) Tsukimiya. If you want a strong female character, she's it. I absolutely adore her. She's tough, and brutal, and sarcastic, and funny, and nasty, and even fairly intelligent. Oh, and did I mention that her powers are awesome? Because they are. I think reading the whole manga will be worth it just for her, even if the other volumes aren't as good as this one. Tsukimiya is definitely a keeper.


3) I was in the mood for an action manga, and as I already said, I got it. It's nice when I hope for something specific when I buy a book and I actually get it. This volume was almost nonstop fight scenes, but it's not like there wasn't any characterization or plot - there was plenty of that, too. It just didn't take up a large number of pages, is all.


So, yeah. I'll be reading the next volume. Unfortunately I looked up this manga, and there are only three or four volumes out so far? And the first chapters were from around 2007, I think, so that must mean it's either discontinued or it just moves at the speed of a glacier. Or I was misinformed.


But anyway. It was a good read, I actually really enjoyed it. If it wasn't for my list of issues, I'd have loved to give this one an easy 4-star or a 4.5.