Vampire Game

Review covers the full series

Well, there’s Vampire this and Vampire that. Just like television, Manga seems to have gone through a phase where Vampires are in fashion. We seem to be starting to come out of it now, however as I’m not making any attempt to do reviews in publication date order I’m sure I’ve got plenty of Vampire fun still left to go.

At first glance, Vampire Game seems like pretty standard material. It’s a fantasy world, with small little kingdoms each built up around a castle, with a monarch inside ruling the place.

Vampires seem to have a pretty sweet time of things in Vampire Game: Sucking or otherwise receiving someones blood allows them to shapeshift into a copy of that person. While they have a weakness against holy magic, sunlight does not effect them. They are immortal if they can avoid the aforementioned holy magic, and even if not then they get to remain as vampires and be reincarnated with all their memories in their next lives.

The series stars Ishtar, a princess of one of the kingdoms, and Duzell, a vampire who was offed by a man called King Phelios, an ancestor of Ishtar’s.

The reincarnated Duzell knows that Phelios will also be reincarnated, and would like to find him to get his revenge. His plans are quickly rumbled by Ishtar, but then to his surprise him she covers for him rather than oust him, and then agrees to help.

Ishtar is definitely the driving force behind both the plot and the humour in the Manga, and she also dominates how the other characters interact with each other. But what I like so much about Vampire Game is that there is not a single wasted character. Every character is original and interesting in their own right.

Duzell’s search for Phelios, Ishtar secretly helping, and the pair of them pulling the wool over the eyes of the rest of the cast, remain the main focus of the story for most of the series; and of everyone in the series Duzell and Ishtar’s characterisation is definitely the strongest.

But the rest of the cast still have a lot of work put into their story, making them more than just bystanders to Duzell and Ishtar’s plot. Each member of the cast has their own motivations, goals and subplotline.

Magic comes up quite often in Vampire Game, but thankfully I also liked the way that magic is handled in this series. Pseudo-science is kept to a minimum, and all of the special laws of physics that affect the world are laid down way in advance of being used. And then the author sticks to them rigidly.

The storylines are also very good. I’m not sure how exactly to describe an interesting storyline in a review, other than telling you to read it. But this is one of the rare Comics that come with interesting and unexpected plot twists, yet never do anything that a reader could not have in theory predicted, making it possible for the reader to speculate.

As much as I like to QQ and whinge about anything wrong with a Comic, I’m afraid I can’t think of a bad point worth mentioning. So I’ve given this series my top score; the writing stands head and shoulders above anything else and I wish more Manga had stories as good as this.

Oh, in my review of Chibi Vampire, I said that the endings of the two series were similar. But having just reread both I must report that present me doesn’t fully agree with past me.

In whichever story you read second you’ll notice just a little bit of déjà vu during the ending, but it’s not major.