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Blood Sucker 2: Legend of Zipangu by Saki Okuse
Review by Dehanna Bailee
TokyoPop Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 1598163337
Date: 10 October, 2006 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

"I was reborn..."

Previously: After a battle between the vampires and police ends bloodily, the vampire Kazuma has his eye not only on Hikage's sister, Hiiragi, but the Lady Kikuri as well.

Officer Yaegashi can take a beating and does so willingly with the intention of keeping his cover as he has infiltrated the Church of the Magoraka to learn more about what's going on. However there's not much time with his 'prey-du-jour' in tow, the vampire Kazuma arrives at the church, knocks out the power, and commences to slaughter all on site. In shock at what he sees, Yaegashi takes cover.

Meanwhile outside the church, the team of assassins, Yusuke and Hikage, turn up with the intention of liberating the captured Hiiragi. While waiting for her to recuperate from her ordeal, they notice it is quiet--too quiet--and Yusuke decides to investigate while leaving the siblings alone to await her recovery.

Yusuke enters the church to find the bloody slaughter, explores a bit, then finds Yaegashi and another refugee hiding out in the kitchen. It's then he learns the reason why Kazuma has come: to acquire the Lady Kikuri.

As Kazuma is being waylaid in his progress of finding Kikuri by a man intent on his demise, Yusuke finds the Lady in the temple and insists on her telling him what he'll need to do to kill Kazuma. However, he discovers she wants him to kill her instead but before he can, Kazuma enters the temple. Chaos ensues and as Kazuma and Yusuke battle, Hikage soon joins the fray--an act that leaves his sister outside unprotected.

But the confrontation proves to be only the beginning and as the swords are drawn, the questions remain: What exactly is Yusuke? Why exactly did Hiirage disappear? And more importantly, when his friendship with Hikage is tested, will Yusuke have the strength he needs to protect the girl?

The opening jumps about a bit but once through the first few pages, the plot begins to come together. It helps that there are a couple pages in the beginning designed to introduce the characters and story up to this point. Otherwise this is a fairly straightforward work, easy to follow once into it, and nicely broken up into logical acts within the chapter itself. It was plain who was speaking and the text was clear.

The characters at this point are fairly typical but some of the spelling and similarity of the names make it difficult to keep up with who's who at times (if one is not already familiar with the tale). The artwork, done by Aki Shimizu (probably better known for the Suikoden III [manga] series), provides a full spectrum of linework--from the classic line-and-frames style to the more free-flowing sketches that resemble charcoal and watercolor.

In essence, this is not a bad work and shows promise for future development. Being a more mature product with obvious adult themes and situations, getting a copy for the younger kiddies wouldn't be a prudent first choice but for older teens (17+) and adults, it can provide a fairly entertaining read.

Good job!

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