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The Vampire Dahlia: Death Is A Kiss - Narumi Kakinouchi Horror Book Review

User Score: 75% Like of 4 Total Votes

Horror books Review

The Vampire Dahlia: Death Is A Kiss

Ranan, a handsome vampire flees his nest.  Wounded and tired he comes upon young Dahlia and the find love.  For a time they live as Ranan paints her repeatedly.  But revenge among vampires never dies, and eventually he is found and sentenced to grow old.  Now Dahlia, a vampire whose spirit is trapped in her lovers painting waits forever, waits until her lover is reborn and returns to her.

Narumi Kakinuchi, who is the artist behind Vampire Yui, and co-creator of Vampire Princess Miyu (with Toshihiro Hirano) returns to the genre to spin a tale of a quest that, like an ill wind, seems to blow no one any good.  Dahlia is back in Japan, living alone and attending a high school where she has met someone who bears an uncanny resemblance to Ranan.  Unlike Miyu, Dahlia has no compunction about killing and the story plays in parallel with Salome - the school play for this year.  In the next story arc, Dahlia enters a conflict with another vampire one which no one can win.

From a human standpoint Dahlia is morally ambiguous, both a killer and a desperately lonely woman who searches for her lover.  She is the quintessential vampire, whose nature is never to change, locked in a pattern.  And if truth be told, she has no desire to be anything else.  She is still who she was at the moment she was changed.  Only Kanan’s reappearance can break the cycle.

The story is told in asides and flashbacks, following a zigzag path through time that can be perplexing, especially since Kakinouchi’s style is also prone to wonder around the page.  This is not one of those orderly, frame-by-frame manga.  There is also an element of sloppiness due to the way Iron Cat entertainment decided to squeeze the pages into this format.

This is not, at present, a multi-volume series, but the compilation of a six issue special run.  Whether that will change remains to be seen, but treat is as something unique for now.  I found it quite interesting, very much a deviation from the mainstream of Miyu and Yui.  The change in atmosphere and the focus on the interior life of the vampire make it worth reading.

About The Vampire Dahlia: Death Is A Kiss

Title: The Vampire Dahlia: Death Is A Kiss
Author: Narumi Kakinouchi
Score: 2 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3.75/5 stars from 4 users. Reviews: 4.

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