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Title: Dance in the Vampire Bund Vol 7
Author: Nozomu Tamaki
Publisher: Seven Seas
May Contain Spoilers
At the Vampire Bund, a peaceful island nation of vampires off the coast of Tokyo, the trouble never ceases.
Vampire queen Mina Tepes suffered an attack from nano-technology. As the Bund’s security teams deal with this latest threat, an even bigger terror strikes: a mysterious new assassin who wields a power greater than even Akira’s lycanthropic abilities. As Akira hunts the enigmatic assassin down, Akira’s own dark past is revealed, creating a schism between Akira and Mina that may never be healed.
Dance in the Vampire Bund is an ongoing manga series that features stunning artwork and an enthrallingly original supernatural narrative.
Why, why, why do I like this series? It has some of the cheesiest dialog I have every read, and is just steeped in melodrama. Not to mention all of those images that I find vaguely disturbing. Mina, the vampire queen, is hundreds of years old, but she harbors a forbidden love for Akira, her werewolf protector. He’s only seventeen, and I can’t stop thinking that she’s skating on some really thin ice with her forbidden desire for him, but because of all of the action that tempers some of that “ick” factor, I refrain from throwing the book against the nearest wall. I understand why the jaded Mina is drawn to his earnest innocence, but I can’t block out of the back of my mind that it is just wrong. It’s wrong when I think about how old she is, and how young Akira is, and it’s wrong that she looks like she’s ten and spent most of the earlier volumes running around in various states of undress. Yes, I am well aware that I am not the intended target market for this book.
In this volume, the hunt is underway to discover the identity of the person responsible for infecting Mina with the nanotechnology that threatened her life in the previous installment. It turns out that her enemy is using a failed experiment from her own labs against her. When an assassin makes an attempt on her life, Akira and Angie have their hands full trying to keep her safe. As the assassin’s attacks become more brutal, Akira is forced to face a nightmare from his past. Can he protect Mina from his own demons?
My, the tensions run high as Akira fights to keep Mina alive, and Mina struggles to uncover the secrets that Akira is hiding from her. The difference in their social standing is painfully evident, and it is obvious that few will support Mina’s dreams of being with Akira. Her obsession with him borders on the creepy, when her private retreat is revealed, the walls and every surface covered with photos of her young werewolf. I guess when you are a vampire queen you can get away with a little stalking of your subjects.
I enjoyed this volume more than the last, mainly because there was a bigger focus on action. Though body proportions are occasionally awkward, I like Nozomu Tamaki’s art, especially the fighting scenes. They are exciting and convey a sense of barely restrained energy and out of control movement. Through all of the punching, kicking, blasting, and speed lines, the action is easy to follow and flows as smoothly as a newly paved road.
Though some elements of the title turn me off, I can’t help but to keep reading Dance in the Vampire Bund. It’s another fun, popcorn series that works best for me when I don’t dwell too deeply on character motivations. The urban fantasy setting is getting more complex as the story moves forward. A lot of the appeal for me is because it’s about vampires and werewolves, and it delves into a fascinating political structure that allows for intrigue and wrangling for power. I’m just trying to ignore some of the more questionable aspects of the story, which are a turn off for me.
Review copy purchased from Amazon