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29 Oct, 2008
Vampire Hunter D, Volume Two Manga Review
Posted by: Rachel In: Manga Reviews
Volume Two of Hideyuki Kikichi’s Vampire Hunter D follows the beautiful dhampir into a village haunted by a troubled past.
D has been hired by the mayor of Tepes to investigate a surge in paranormal activity in the village. The small town has been plagued with suspicious activity that resembles that of the Nobles. And the source of trouble may be too close for comfort.
Overlooking the village is a hill crowned by a research facility built by the Noble’s some thousand years ago. Ten years ago, four children were abducted and taken to the facility, three were returned to the village unharmed, sans memories of the incident.
Lina Sween, a gifted and promising student headed for the Capital, was among those kidnapped. She resolves to help D anyway she can, although she may be part of the problem instead of the solution. D manages to unravel part of the mystery and comes face to face with his own hidden past.
Volume Two of Vampire Hunter D falls short of Volume One. It’s mushy where Volume One is solid, dull where One is keen. The concept isn’t bad, but the execution leaves something to be desired.
The dialog in this volume is not good. In fact, it’s the main reason why this volume drags. But blame cannot be laid entirely at the feet of the mangaka, Saiko Takaki. Nay, the manga closely follows the light novel, down to the dialog and illustrating how beautiful D is described as being- over and over and over.
A fair sample of the stellar back and forth: “Nothing wipes that scary look off your face, does it Mr. Serious?”, “Quit your tomfoolery!” and “Wouldn’t being a Hunter’s wife be a total thrill?” Albeit most of this is coming from Lina, would it have been hard to translate it into something more modern and readable?
The manga has thus far been painstakingly faithful to the books, emphasis on the pain. Unfortunately, while Kikuchi’s ideas are inventive, his novels read like poorly done pulp shorts from the ’50’s. Whether that’s on him or the translator is unknown.
Faithfulness to source material is commendable, but taking an original concept and transcending it is a homage to a writer, mangaka or artist. The mangaka has done as well as can be hoped for considering the books are very visually worded. Kikuchi’s ideas should be illustrated throughout, since that’s how they read- like scripts or screenplays.
The story in Volume Two doesn’t draw me into the world like the first Volume does. I feel like a passerby in the manga, not really paying attention to the shallow events unfolding in front of me. Just passing through- nothing to see here!
If there had been more character development, more focus on just one aspect of the story, I would have felt more attached to the story. As it was, it went by far too quickly with minimal development.
Lina is annoying. Although she doesn’t come across as moe, she’s a hindrance in the story. I cared for nobody in this volume, except maybe D, and even he seemed a bit slow on the uptake this time around.
The art in Volume Two is disappointing. It’s muddier than the initial volume, and is distracting and smudged in places. Some scenes look quality, while others are hard to discern. The drawing isn’t nearly as good throughout and consistently as Volume One.
Vampire Hunter D, Volume Two is disappointing. It’s disappointing that more wasn’t done to improve upon the original story and the dialog and disappointing that the art went down in quality.
The ideas are unique, and should be penned so that a wider audience can appreciate Kikuchi’s vivid imagination.
Vampire Hunter D, Volume Two gets 2 outta 5 Hammies!
- Publisher:Digital Manga Publishing
- Release Date:July 9, 2008
- Retail Price: $12.95
- Paperback: 200 pages
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1569707871
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