Bloody mary 1 by Akaza Samamiya

What we have with Bloody Mary is a lot of tease: characters with memories removed, obstructed, or purposely subsumed, interacting with those who want to use or destroy them. The artwork is quite beautiful and certainly there is a lot of mystery in this first volume. I’m not completely sold on another vampire manga, especially one that seems to be skirting shounen ai themes but doesn’t really go there (this is a Viz and not SUBlime title, after all). But there’s certainly enough here to be intrigued.

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Story: Ichiro Rosario Di Maria descends from a line of vampire exorcists. Bloody is a vampire who wants desperately to die but is immortal. The two will cross paths when Ichiro’s bluffs finally fail and the vampires realize he doesn’t actually have the knowledge to kill them. When Bloody saves him and begs Ichiro to use his hereditary power to finally kill him, he is stunned to find that Ichiro can’t do so. And Ichiro isn’t stupid – he recognizes that Bloody will have to protect him until he figures out why he wasn’t told about his ancestors and why the knowledge of exorcising has been denied him. Because as it turns out, there’s a lot more that both Bloody ‘Mary’ and Maria don’t know. The vampires may not be the most dangerous thing in Maria’s world.

There are a lot of intriguing hints at a bigger story and certainly many interesting clues have been dropped. Bloody has purposely forgotten his past and Ichiro only remembers parts of his. We have a mysterious student council president at Ichiro’s parochial school who also knows quite a bit about his friend – and is instrumental in keeping Ichiro in the dark.

All said, the story is interesting and the artwork is quite lovely. It’s a treat to see each page and that is what will keep me reading the series for now until it picks up steam. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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