Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Akaza Samamiya’s Bloody Mary spins a tale about a vampire named “Mary” who can tolerate things such as sunlight, garlic, and anything else that is considered detrimental to vampires. Mary has attempted to take his own life on several occasions but was unsuccessful in doing so. Just when it seems as if nothing can truly kill him, he meets “Maria,” a priest from a deep lineage that is said to possess the power of exorcism. Now Mary wishes for nothing more but for Maria to kill him; unfortunately, Mary finds out that it’s not going to be a request granted so simply.
The premise for this story is certainly intriguing. The vampire aspect isn’t anything new and there have been a few series that I enjoyed that were centered around vampires or at least had a vampire character among their cast. The main hurdle that we would have to tackle here is the boys love (or yaoi, if you will) aspect of the series as not a lot of people would gravitate towards something like that because the word yaoi in and of itself often creates a mental barrier with some people (mainly males). I, personally, have no problems with yaoi if the story isn’t blatantly about two guys just wanting to get it on, per se. That kind of stuff is disturbing to me, but Bloody Mary only offers up subtle traces of it in the first volume. The interaction between Mary and Maria, at this juncture, is simply just a priest with a power and a vampire with a death wish.
As for the actual characters themselves, the Maria character is quite interesting. Learning about Maria’s lineage, the exorcism power, and how his blood can actually power up vampires when it’s consumed is all very intriguing. Mary also has some mystery shrouded in his past and there are also the question of how he can tolerate things normal vampires cannot. The first volume does a good job establishing the characters. They give you the base of each character then add some aspects to build on them, and then they plant some seeds to make you want to know more about these characters. It was very well done! My only gripe, however, is Mary can be a bit annoying in his wish to die. It seems most of the chapters just have Mary spouting off, “can you kill me, now?” or, “please kill me!” “can I die, please?” etc, etc. It got rather old pretty quickly and I hope it gets toned down when the story itself gets more in-depth in the later volumes.
The characters are a bit weird. Apparently Mary is a nuisance vampire who is suicidal and pisses off a lot of people. Maria is a priest who may one day have the ability to kill vampires. In the meantime, vampires have discovered that Maria can’t kill them and through an odd twist of fate, Mary and Maria become allies. Their relationship has a Vampire Academy kind of feel to it and I don’t particularly like Maria. I think with time I could grow to like Mary but it is too soon for me to tell. Right now I’m not loving either character but I do think Mary is the more tolerable of the two. Maria is snobbish and artificial, which is also how Mary sees him.
I found this story a bit hard to get into. I’m not particularly into the whole Yaoi vampire pretty boy thing but plenty of people like that and so here we are, reading Bloody Mary. I was skeptical from the very beginning and went into this with a negative disposition. The author certainly proved me right with the first half of the volume – the chapters were terribly boring and I kept trying to figure out when the story would get interesting. It wasn’t until the last two chapters that my attention was finally grabbed. Now I have to admit, I am interested in what will happen in Volume 2 before I write this series off.
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**This item was provided for review.