Bloody Mary Volume 1

bloody mary manga cover art 01

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Bloody Mary Volume 1
Released By: Viz Media
Released: 12/1/15
Reviewed: 12/14/15
Rated: 13+

Story

Mary is a vampire who has been alive for 400 years (or at least he thinks it’s been at least that long) and doesn’t want to drink blood. Maria is the decendent of a famous priest with the power to exorcise vampires and slay them but he doesn’t actually have that power himself. Mary wants badly to die and has tried to commit suicide in a variety of ways finally deciding that Maria is the only person who is capable of granting that wish for him. Sadly he finds out that Maria can’t actually do that and so the two decide on a deal: Maria will study and try to learn how to exorcise vampires so that he can eventually kill Mary if Mary will protect him from the other vampires in the world who wish to do him harm.

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The Good and the Bad

Bloody Mary really caught me off guard when I read through the first volume for many different reasons that were both good and bad.

The first thing that caught me so off guard is the fact that despite being a very dark series, Bloody Mary really wants to be funny and tries to set itself up as a comedy within the first few pages. Mary is a vampire who has been alive for hundreds of years but he’s tired of it all and wants to die. Desperately. The whole reason why he meets the main character is because he thinks that Maria is someone who can exorcise him and kill him.

Throughout the entire run of the volume, Mary will literally beg and plead to be killed and when his request is refused time and time again he’ll take whatever suggestion is thrown at him on ways to commit suicide. Like I said, this is a dark series that really wants to be funny.

The unfortunate thing about this however is that Bloody Mary is never particularly laugh out loud funny. It really wants to be and tries its best to tell good jokes that involve Mary wanting to die but it just never really hits home and comes across as sad more than hilarious mostly because it’s never established why Mary wants to die. In fact, Mary doesn’t even seem to know why he wants to die. When he’s asked he says that he can’t remember his reasons, he just wants to die and that just doesn’t work. I’m not saying that the big secret to his death wish has to be revealed within the first few pages but since they are trying to paint Mary as a tragic figure, the whole laughing at his pain thing just doesn’t work as a concept.

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Vampire stories are pretty common these days and Bloody Mary sadly doesn’t do much with the mythos to make it stand out as particularly unique or special. The vampires in this volume are all pretty standard fare with nothing about them that make them seem like they are anything other than your average dime a dozen character types. I’m hopeful that in future volumes the series will reveal a fresh angle because right now they are more than a little stale.

Artwork

The artwork and character designs is where Bloody Mary truly shines. While the story and jokes mostly fall flat, the artwork is something that I could look at for many hours and never get tired of. In particular there are two vampire characters that I adored looking at which were Mary and the lone female vampire of the book.

Mary is drawn very cutely. He has a hoodie which has cat ears on it which goes along so well with his cattish personality. The female vampire by contrast comes across as much older in personality and demeanor despite having a loli design. Her facial expressions in particular were very well drawn and really pulled me into her scenes.

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Overall

Bloody Mary is off to a very rough start that doesn’t make me particularly want to read more. There is potential for future volumes but to say that I’m enthralled or even mildly intrigued would be a lie. It has moments of cuteness and may even make you chuckle on occasion but for the most part this is a dud that isn’t really worth your time.

Final Grade: C