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Trinity Blood 1 by Sunao Yoshida
Translated by Beni Axia Conrad;
Edited by Lillian Diaz-Przybyl
Cover Artist: Kiko Kyujyo
Review by Dehanna Bailee
TokyoPop Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 1598166743
Date: 07 November, 2006 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

"I hear the sorrowful creaking of old wings..." and in a post-Armageddon world, the rise of the Second Moon breathes life into the eternal conflict between vampires and humans (Terrans).

Opening with the headlong collision between Sister Esther (disguised as a boy) and Father Abel Nightroad, a Vatican priest, the event is quickly followed by the arrival of Lord Gyula, the leader of the Vampires (Methuselah) who seeks revenge on the Vatican for killing his wife. He is not happy to hear of the Priest's arrival when informed by his trusted Lieutenant Commander, Tres Iqus.

After getting the good-natured Father settled in at Esther's church, Saint Mathias in city of Istavan, Sister Esther is now questioning the deal she made with Father Nightroad for his silence about their first meeting. The worry vanishes when her loyal companion Dietrich tells her of Gyula's unexpected return--however before they can discuss the details further, the conversation is interrupted by a commotion in the main chapel.

They charge into the vestibule only to find a vampire at the altar, his slaughtered victims scattered at his feet. He demands audience with the new Priest. Dietrich takes up arms in defense. Esther joins the battle as well until the skirmish is interrupted as the contrite Father Nightroad unexpectedly falls through the weakened attic ceiling over the pulpit, still holding his meager meal clutched to his chest.

Seeing an easy target, the vampire attacks Nightroad confident in his ability to slay the good Father as Gyula would like; however, it's soon evident the humble Priest is much more than he appears. Injured but ever apologetic, Nightroad is forced to reveal his true form: that of a Crusnik--a vampire that feeds on the blood of his own. The event does not end happily.

As Gyula learns of Nightroad's continued existence he again issues orders for the termination of the Priest, this time by Lieutenant Iqus. Led by Iqus, a squad of Gyula's men attack Nightroad and Esther, inadvertently killing Esther's adoptive Mother in the process.

But as Nightroad prepares to battle, Iqus turns the tables--and leads the way for readers to learn why Sister Esther, accompanied by Father Nightroad, must now work together in order to prevent Lord Gyula and his traitorous minion from exacting revenge against the Vatican by detonating the "Star of Sorrow" and destroying all of Rome.

It's fairly obvious just after the first few pages that the story is complicated (especially if you're not familiar with the series) however it is such a good tale any minor inconvenience in having to flip back a few pages to clarify what is going on is far outweighed by the overall plot. Furthermore, it's not so much the words that make it hard to follow, it's more that there are sections where there is so much action it's easy to get distracted. Readability is also occasionally affected by the tight binding that causes the words to be hidden in the gutter.

The characters are solid. Specifically, the artistic portrayal of Father Nightroad as an outwardly gentle soul haunted by his own inner demons is magnificent. Some of the artwork is truly superb, enough so that in places it's appropriate to pause just to appreciate the fine hand -- especially the cover!

It also should be noted that Trinity Blood was originally a series of science fiction novels and this work is the foundation edition and introduces the primary characters. In addition to the manga, there is a short excerpt of the Trinity Blood novel included as well.

Even with it's few minor flaws, Trinity Blood: Volume 1 is a multifaceted work that not only provides readers with both abundant visual and intellectual stimulation but is additionally a most pleasurable read as well.

Great job!

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