Title: Bloody Mary Vol. 4 Author: Akaza Samamiya Publisher: VIZ Media Language: English Format: Paperback Page Count: 168 Genre: Shounen, Fantasy, Yaoi Publication Date: September 6, 2016
The fourth installment in the Bloody Mary series was another info dump volume, but we ended up getting a lot of valuable information as well as a new mystery out of it. The volume dealt with Maria’s backstory, including information about his father. This was set up nicely when a new character was introduced by the name of Shinbou Yuuki. Yuuki is Maria’s uncle and he tells Maria everything about his father. The volume closes out with Maria, Yuuki and Bloody all traveling to England where there may be a way to awaken the power of exorcism inside Maria.
Short synopsis aside, the volume offers up a lot more than what I summarized. It delves deep into Maria’s past and it not only serves as a backstory for Maria, but it doubles as a backstory for Yzak as well. We also got to learn about Maria’s mother, Shion Yuuki, as well in addition to her fate and what lead up to it. I like how the backstory was told in such a way where it not only put the main story on halt, but it also progressed it by cleaning up a lot of confusion. However, despite it cleaning up a lot of confusion, it added to it as well as we now have even more questions about Maria and the possibility that he is an immortal being.
I really found the backstory interesting and a new development with Bloody means that next volume’s continuation will be all that much more interesting!
With the introduction of just one new character, we have a huge development explosion going on in this volume of Bloody Mary… some of which I detailed above in the story section.
It was an odd way to debut Yuuki, though. They made him seem like a threat at first, but then everything gets cleared up in a matter of 1-2 pages and then the threat level drops to zero. I don’t understand the need to make Yuuki seem like a bad guy. It just felt odd from an introduction standpoint, but nevertheless, Yuuki’s present self is just a mere plot device, but his past self (which was showcased in the flashbacks) had a warm personality. He was determined in helping Maria’s father out for saving his life. Yuuki was attacked by Vampires and Maria’s father saved the day. He warned Yuuki not to get near him due to the danger he would put himself into, but Yuuki didn’t care as he wanted to repay his kindness.
This, in turn, lead us to being introduced to Yuusei Di Maria, our current Maria’s father. Yuusei has the power of exorcism and Maria was shocked to learn that his father was an immortal… which, in turn, shocked present day Yuuki when Maria told him Yuusei had died. This explained how Maria’s wounds heal faster than normal and leads us to think that he, too, is immortal, but it still doesn’t explain how Maria can’t use the power of exorcism.
Once we get the backstory on Maria’s family, we get some slight development with Bloody. As we saw in the previous volume, Bloody’s personality shifted and his memories of killing Yuusei briefly came back. Here, it seems those memories have returned once again, but instead of transforming into his alter ego completely, Bloody’s innocent persona remained, which caused confusion when he began to experience the memories. The volume ends before we can see the result of these memories coming back, but it does set up an interesting beginning for volume five.
Overall, I liked this volume of Bloody Mary as the backstory kept me engaged. I like how it tied a nice little bow around a lot of the stories that were started in the first three volumes, but at the same time, it furthers the main story and gives it a clear cut and solid direction. Right now, it seems that the story is focused on Yzak’s death as well as Maria gaining the power of exorcism, but also adds mystery surrounding Maria thanks to his father. Bloody is finally getting interesting as a character and I wonder how the duality of his personalities will affect Maria or the story overall. Typically, info dump volumes can be hit or miss, but I think Bloody Mary knocked it out of the park with this one. I thought this was a fantastic read!
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