Story/Art: Miko Mitsuki
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.
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