Manga: Blood Alone
Mangaka: Masayuki Takano(Story & Art)
Publisher: Carlsen Manga(Germany)
Original Publisher: Media Works
Published in: Dengeki Daioh
Price: 7,50€
Released so far: Volume 1-3
Release Schedule: Volume 4: January
Additional Information: Comes with one coloured page and a two page appendix.

Volume 3 has been out in the US for quite some time now, but I bought the German release nonetheless, just to support my local manga market a bit more…just kidding, that’s a lie! I simply bought the German release because it’s cheaper.

I’ve been a great fan of Blood Alone since the very first chapter. The reason why I fell for this manga is simple: the very calm and lovable atmosphere that the reader receives. It sooths my soul…ahh, who am I fooling?! It’s because it has vampires! V-A-M-P-I-R-E-S! I just love them! No werewolves, no zombies! But vampires! Still, what I said before is true as well. It’s just that I’m just a…pun unintended…a sucker for vampire stories.

The volume opens with a well coloured, but weird looking page of Misaki and Maria in a ballet dress, still containing the usual Blood Alone cuteness. Generally speaking the first half of volume 3 portrays more of Misaki’s clumsy and childish side.

First, the usual pair, Kuroe and Misaki, go shopping and the little vampire girl really shows how feminine she is. It seems that immortality and spiky teeth do not influence her urge to go shopping at all; maybe even strengthens it. I didn’t actually mind that as she looked pretty cute in the different outfits, though I’d have bought the suit with the glasses. They also get another moment of togetherness when they go sakura watching at the University place, however their quiet time is quickly disturbed by a watchman, so no progress in that direction. The next few chapters deepen the relation between Misaki and Kuroe and show how strong their bond is, but no further revelations concerning the stories are made here.

The second half of volume 3 and that came a bit of a surprise to me, was only partially about Misaki, instead it shows a brief flashback in Kuroe’s history and gives a hint or rather the solution to why he has to take care of Misaki. Furthermore we get to see more of Sainome’s past: her childhood and the weak core of her previous rather “cool” (not necessarily in a negative way) and composed self.

Volume three isn’t much of a change compared to volume two; it just further enhances on the sweet character interaction between Misaki and Kuroe. It also talks more about Kuroe and what happened to his sister, and shows more of Misaki’s insecurity, as we get to see her desperately searching for Kuroe while he is gone.

Now to the art…the art has never been my reason to read Blood Alone, it surely isn’t bad but it keeps its original “doujinshi style”. The lines are hard and scratchy, not fluent and flowing. I’m not sure if this happened before, but some heads have been left empty. I don’t know if the mangaka did that on purpose that or if he just didn’t have the time to draw them, but to me they just look strange. A positive is that the art really goes well with the story, as there are no confusing or messy images, easily absorbing me into the manga.

Story: 6/7 – No changes here, well told episodic stories, charm still there, wore off a bit though: mark off.
Art: 5+/7 – Empty faces, hard and occasional sloppy lines.
Enjoyment: 6/7 – I love vampires, I love the atmosphere, but it’s getting a bit old.
Overall: 6/7

Comment on Carlsen’s release: Not much to say about this release, except I don’t know why it’s 7,50€. A coloured page and a two-page appendix don’t really explain the additional euro. It seems to be common now to just add one euro onto all seinen titles, despite this having crossover appeal, to make up for the smaller sales. The rest is at the level it should be for a professional publishing company like Carlsen.