Title: Bloody Mary Vol. 5 Author: Akaza Samamiya Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 168 Genre: Fantasy, Yaoi Publication Date: January 17, 2017
In volume five of Bloody Mary, Maria, Mary and Takumi arrive in London, England in hopes to find some clues about restoring Maria’s power of exorcism. This leads them to a church that was built in honor of Yzak. Here, they discover a new red-haired vampire named Noa and gain a bit more information on Mary, although nothing concrete. The volume ends with Mary having another episode of split personality disorder, but this time, it seems that this personality is sticking around for just a bit longer and it seems to want to make a deal with Maria!
For the most part, this was another information dump volume with some action sprinkled in. Apparently, Maria’s blood attracts vampires no matter where he is because they attacked him as soon as they stepped foot in London. After their battle, Maria goes to meet up with a researcher that could help him but he (hilariously) is not around due to the fact that he wanted to see if toilets really did flush in the opposite direction in the southern hemisphere. This actually allows us to get introduced to a new character in Lily who I will touch upon in a bit.
The story here has a few twists and turns, but we’re mainly digging into the mystery of Mary. I like how the manga teases you with an answer in such a way where you believe you’re about to figure everything out, but then it changes the circumstances and makes you realize that you’re nowhere close to the end of this puzzle. It keeps things interesting and that ending leaves us on a pretty big cliffhanger. I want to see what Maria is going to do and how long alter ego Mary is going to stick around.
Mary got the most development despite being asleep for half of the volume. Vampires will only have black or silver hair so to see a red-haired vampire is a rarity. The only way this will happen is if the vampire was once human meaning Mary is just that.. a former human. Now that we have that bit of information, the volume doesn’t explain just exactly how Mary became a human vampire, but it did give you a pretty big clue which makes this mystery even deeper. In order to become a vampire, a human must be in love with a vampire and then drink their blood. Vampire blood is poison to humans, but in a rare case (or if the blood is altered), they will not die and become a vampire, thus turning their hair red. They dropped some hints (I.e. made it PAINFULLY OBVIOUS) about who Mary was in love with as a human and barring some last minute swerve, I’m expecting the backstory on that relationship in either volume six or seven.
Noa is a new character that was around for about the length of Tic Tac. She is another red-haired vampire that was being held captive by Pastor Cecil in the church they visited. He held her captive because he loved her, but she wouldn’t accept his love because she still loves a vampire… despite the fact the vampire is long dead. When Lily enters the room, Noa gets a hold of her gun and shoots herself with a silver bullet, turning her into ash. The reason why I’m pointing this out is because this indirectly also develops Mary. A red-haired vampire just killed herself, yet Mary is immortal. This proves that not all red-haired vampires are immortal which raises more mystery about Mary.
We didn’t get any further with Maria’s development and why he can’t use exorcism, but I feel that is going to be put on the back burner for now while we get more development for Mary. Our new character, Lily, is simply a vampire researcher who helps Maria in her grandfather’s absence… because… flushing toilets in the southern hemisphere is a legit reason to cancel an appointment… especially with clients who just flew half way around the world to meet you. Yep.
We also get some appearances by Hydra in this volume, but touching on her would venture into heavy spoiler territory, so… Hail Hydra?
Even though this was an information dump volume of Bloody Mary, it brought forth a lot of interesting facets to Mary’s character. We got a lot of development and we got a lot of questions, but things are beginning to slowly unravel and make a lot of sense. It’s nice to see a main character that isn’t so one dimensional. I like the many different aspects behind Mary and it seems that each volume continues to add more and more. While it is usually overkill for most characters, Samamiya-san is doing an amazing job keeping all of the information relevant and interesting.
For a yaoi manga, there seems to be a lot of teasing of non-yaoi pairings. While this wasn’t really being treated a romance manga thus far, we are starting to get into that romance portion of it and shockingly enough, there’s a couple of heterosexual relationships being touted. I say shocking because this series has really pushed the image of Mary x Maria since the very beginning and while there are a couple of scenes which could be taken out of context and passed off as yaoi, the series seems to be going in a direction where that kind of material isn’t the focus. It’s interesting to say the least… well except for that one part where we get the fanservice image confirming that Mary’s carpet does match his drapes… it was all in the name of science, though!
From an intrigue standpoint, I’d have to say that this was the best volume yet!
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