Bloody Mary 3 by Akaza Samamiya

Bloody Mary 3 continues to build the story, moving beyond ‘monster of the week’ and instead focusing on Bloody “Mary” and Maria’s pasts. Yes, it is still incredibly confusing. And although the artwork gets better and more beautiful with every volume, it is still hard to follow what’s happening and who is doing what. But that said, there’s definitely something fascinating about Bloody Mary; I am greatly reminded of the elements that drew me to Vampire Knight as well. It’s not overly dramatic but it’s also not a fluffy bunny read either. There’s a nice mixture of drama and lightness.

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Story: Bloody is captured and held in the basement, haunted by Yzak. Yzak wants Mary to come out and kill him while Bloody is still looking for death at the hands of Maria. Both individuals are somehow ‘sealed’ – inhibited from using their true strengths. But the tenuous truce between Maria and Bloody is threatened by the knowledge that Bloody may unwittingly have killed Maria’s father.

The illustration work is stunning – clean line drawings making up for a lack of lush depth. Mai Nishikata’s fans (especially Hana No Kishi) will appreciate the moody bishounen qualities Samamiya is so adept at conveying. Certainly, I don’t tire of staring at Bloody Mary’s artwork.

The story is progressing and each volume reveals a bit more. We don’t have enough of the story to really put it together yet but I’d rather have that scenario than boring monster fights anyway. The focus of the story remains firmly on Maria and Bloody’s complicated relationship.

Each book surprises and yet pleases. Yes, it helps to reread the first two volumes or it can be easy to get lost. I expect that with each volume in the future, the story will really begin to gel nicely. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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