"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Reviews in Brief: Makoto Tateno's A Bloody Kiss Tonight

Makoto Tateno has entered the BL vampire subgenre with A Bloody Kiss Tonight, a set of interrelated stories about young men and the vampires who love them.

The core is the tale of Riku, a junior in high school, and Keito, who orders a dozen roses from the flower shop where Riku works part-time, with the stipulation that Riku deliver them. But it seems that Riku is the reincarnation of the man that Keito has loved for centuries.

Keito shares his house with two friends, Natsui and Saisei, each of whom has his own story: Saisei finds a young man he can't control, and so, of course, is captivated. Natsuhi runs across a boy on the street, obviously ill, and senses bad blood. Quite in spite of himself, Natsuhi sucks out the bad blood -- and then goes on his way.

The stories are kind of thin, to be quite honest about it -- in fact, "The Scent of Lilies," which finishes the collection, is barely more than an anecdote. One thing that I've always liked about Tateno's work is her careful delineation of character, and it just doesn't come through here -- "A Bloody Kiss Tonight II," Saisei's story, is the best in this regard, and still a little flat. I just didn't believe a lot of what was going on, and she's always been good with clear motivations. Not so much here.

The drawing is Tateno through and through -- not so prettified as Yokan: Premonition, but not quite up to the standard of Yellow or others of her earlier series. (This one was originally published in 2009.)

So, it's sort of mid-range -- not her best, but not her worst, either.

From DokiDoki.

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