Vampire Hunter D, Vol. 2
Original story by Hideyuki Kikuchi, Adaption by Saiko Takaki
DMP, 250 pp.
Rating: M (Mature Readers)
This volume sees D investigating a series of vampire attacks in a small village that has another notable secret. About ten years ago four children went missing. Eventually three returned with no memory of the missing time. Of the three, Lina is the one we see the most of as she serves as the book’s damsel in distress. She’s very, very spunky and although it’s stated that her interest in D is more than friendly, for the most part I had a hard time viewing their relationship as anything other than sibling. The real treat is the fact that the convoluted tale serves as an info dump and gives us a glimpse at the history of the world and of the Nobility. With all that said, the plot for this volume is a bit confusing at times as a number of subplots weave in and out of the main story, several of which actual serve as red herrings to the book’s central mystery. Add in to that the disappearance of several characters for long swaths of time with little to no explanations and you’ve got a surprisingly complex and convoluted tale.
Saiko Takaki’s artwork is wonderfully detailed as usual. The clothing, body types, facial types and more are all wonderfully varied and help give the world a fleshed out and solid feel. There are still some anatomical oddities, once again the women are prone to having abnormally long, swanlike necks, and there’s one or two moments where Lina jumps from surprisingly attractive to frightening hag in the space of a few panels. Takaki’s action sequences are fast and exciting, but on at least two occasions I found myself struggling to follow them properly. Admittedly this may have something to do with the fact that I’m reading it on Emanga.com and my screen isn’t the largest, so it might be perfectly comprehensible otherwise and easy to follow in print, or with a larger screen.
I think I actually preferred this volume over the other two I’ve read, namely the first and the fourth. The mystery, while a bit confusing at times, does a great deal of world building, scratching an itch I’ve had since I saw the original Vampire Hunter D anime all those years ago. This volume gives us a tantalizing glimpse at some of those things, such as the rise and fall of the Nobility, D’s origins and more. In the end, it was another nice adaption from Saiko Takaki and another nice, weird tale from Hideyuki Kikuchi.
Vampire Hunter D, Vol. 2 is available now at Emanga.com. Review copy provided by the publisher.