This week we got our hands on bloody Mary, a relatively new manga for the NA region. Last month I mentioned that I was curious about this title, but I didn’t mention the skepticism I felt about if I should be the one reviewing it. Why I say that is because this manga so far seems very tailored towards a Yaoi crowd. Now that in itself is not a bad thing, but I believe as a straight male I may not appreciate it as much as fans of that genre, so please go into this review with that prior knowledge.
OK, so lets get this out of the way first… The things I didn’t fancy about the manga:
During my time with Bloody Mary I noticed that there were quite a few panels that featured male characters in very close embraces with very suggestive dialog between them. For this reason alone I’d like to say that this manga is not for everyone. As a straight male that covers a lot of ecchi manga that is tailored towards a straight male demographic I have to admit I was completely out of my element with this one. That being said I did complete the entire first volume, and there were some aspects of the manga that I did enjoy.
What I liked:
Lets Start with the character Mary. Now when I first saw this characters name I thought Mary was a female character, I mean Mary? that’s a name that is commonly associated with females right? but alas I was wrong. Mary is a male vampire, a very weird vampire to be more specific. He is immune to all of the things that harm other vampires like sunlight and garlic, as well as other things that would kill most other creatures. Mary is for all in tense and purposes immortal. The problem with that is that Mary doesn’t want to be immortal, he wants to die. He has his reasons why he doesn’t want to live anymore, none of which has been explained in this volume, so anyone interested in that will have to read the others following volume 1. What we do get is the beginning of, um lets say a relationship between Mary, and another character called Maria.
Who is Maria?
Maria is a 17 year old priest who happens to be a descendant of a very famous exorcist who’s blood boosts the power of vampires. For reasons that will be somewhat explained in this volume Maria doesn’t have the powers his predecessor had, and so he is hunted relentlessly by night folk when ever he steps out of the church he lives in at night, a habit that Maria regularly engages in doing.
It is during one of these nightly excursion that the two main characters meet, and a strange bond is formed. This unnatural bond between a vampire, and a priest was formed out of necessity, because Mary wants to die, something only Maria is potentially capable of, and Maria wants to live, but is unable to defend himself against vampires. The two are like a shark and its pilot fish (P.S. Maria is the shark in this relationship). This cohabitation is the foundation of Bloody Mary’s plot, and it creates an interesting setting to let the story play out.
Which is why other than the intimate looking moments between Mary and Maria I rather liked their interactions with each other. Mary is such an adorable character when he is around Maria. When he pulls on his cat ear hoodie, and squats like a little critter constantly begging to be killed in the most adorable way I couldn’t help but have “awww” thoughts in my head, and yes I know that sounds more weird than adorable, but the way that he does it takes all of the weirdness out of the equation. Another thing I found myself liking was the way Maria treats Mary. Sometimes he picks him up under his arm like a little puppy, and Mary becomes chibi which is all to increase the character’s cuteness appeal, and not actually happening, and it works. It presents Maria as an older brother type character. One that is both mean and protective of his younger brother.
Ultimately, I found my time with Bloody Mary to be a very mixed experience. I like both main characters, and the side characters are interesting, the overall plot is one that I found to also be very interesting, and I’m curious to know what happens in the second Volume, due to the cliff hanger ending for volume one, but I also don’t find any interest in any of intimate relations between any of the male characters in the manga. All in all Bloody Mary volume 1 was a good read. If you like funny, cute stories, and are not afraid of a little intimacy between male characters then get this one, it might just hold your attention to the last page like it did mine.
Get Bloody Mary: Link
if you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on this topic, then I suggest you listen to the Buttonsmashers podcast.