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Honey Blood Vol. #02 Manga Review

3 min read

Honey Blood Volume 2 CoverSome good shojo reading for a bored Sunday afternoon.

Creative Staff:
Story/Art: Miko Mitsuki
Translation: pinkie-chan
Adaptation: Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane

What They Say:
When Hinata Sorazono meets her new neighbor, Junya Tokinaga, the author of an incredibly popular vampire romance novel series, she’s inexplicably drawn to him. Dressed in a kimono with an old-world air about him, Junya has a taste of Hinata’s blood and tells her it’s sweet…In Junya’s novels, a kiss with a vampire means that only the human’s blood can be taken as nourishment. If that person dies, so will the vampire. Could it be that Junya is actually a vampire—about to enter a life-changing contract with Hinata?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I have a problem. It’s called loving shojo too unequivocally. As long as it’s not downright insulting, I’ll probably love it in some way. Honey Blood is no exception. That doesn’t mean I can’t find flaws that exist, it just means I’m more than happy to look over them to enjoy what’s really there: A love story. I’m a sap for love stories. Here’s the ultimate love story. A vampire, an immortal, giving up that immortality to be with the one he loves for the rest of his life. A kiss will seal the deal.

Hinata and Junya’s relationship is a little too innocent and a little too sweet. Junya is at least 150 years old and Hinata is, like, 15. It has the perfect makings for a shojo story of pedophilia. But no, that’s not really a hang up because they interact so well together. What works is the execution of the backstory.

Junya loved a woman 130 years ago that looked strikingly similar to Hinata, but with longer hair and a 180 on the personality. It’s but a few short chapters, but it sets up the heartbreak. True to the time, she married off and had kids and a life of her own. She dropped Junya and Setsuna—an old friend from the time—like the baggage they were at the time. It’s a simple story, but when you throw yourself so readily and fully into a relationship, it’ll hurt no matter what the break is like.

The flashback serves more as an indication of Junya than a history of him, which is good. A straight up history lesson of the boy would be boring, but we get a look into himself back then. In 130 years, he hasn’t changed, and that’s what matters.

So when he meets Hinata, he’s drawn in by the resemblance and caught in a lover’s web by her alluring personality. They catch each other. They give each other so fully and, most importantly, they’re cute together. It’s a love that’s meant to last. It’ll always be tragic in the end, which perhaps makes it more heartbreaking.

In Summary:
Honey Blood turned out to be nothing extremely special, but it had high points as a somewhat parody, somewhat better take on Twilight…but just as smutty. I guess Hinata was never impregnated with a half-vampire and Junya never licked her wounds closed, but he is drawn by the sweetness of her blood. It’s a match made in Forks! Jokes aside, it’s only two volumes and only for those who, like me, need a healthy diet of shojo, good or bad. This one is certainly not better, but with something like My Love Story coming out, also from Viz, why compromise with a lesser comic?

Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A-

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: December 2, 2014
MSRP: $9.99