It starts off simple enough. A vampire is in search of someone to suck blood from and pounces upon what seems like the first suitable target. According to the rules of the world, this target should become their slave and obey their every whim… but that doesn’t happen. It turns out that the victim, Hisui, is immune to the effects of being bitten by a vampire, or any of their other powers. The vampire, Rushella, unwilling to give up on this however, follows Hisui home to continue trying to make him her slave. This is motivated in part by stubbornness, though also combined with the fact that she had no idea who she was and where she came from, and thus no where else to go. She had undergone a complete loss of memories other than basic knowledge about the world around her, and that she stood at the pinnacle of vampires as a True Ancestor. Thus she stuck with Hisui, and thus the story of Hisui and Rushella begins.
Starting off with the goal of discovering who Rushella is and where she came from, they encounter a number of other characters along the way. Mei, an artificial human that wants to prove herself to be fully human in a very… unique manner. Eruru, a girl from the Supernatural Investigation Squad who seems to despise vampires with a passion, but has secrets of her own. Kirika, a witch who is knowledgeable and dedicated, but still compassionate. Touka, a ghost that wants to live life to fullest despite being dead. Rangetsu, another inspector of the supernatural investigation squad, who is somewhat lame. And for that matter, the reader discovers that Hisui has secrets of his own. He’s not new to the supernatural world, and is quite knowledgeable of it, especially when it comes to vampires, due to him being raised by one, Miraluka.
I really liked this series. It was short, essentially being composed of 5 single volume arcs, though the term stories may be a better fit. Each of these stories had a solid mystery to it, that slowly got revealed as the story went on. There was a good amount of suspense to all of them, and they came to solid endings. By solid I mean endings that fit very well into the the set up that the stories had created. The world is fleshed out pretty well. It takes a lot of the standard tropes of western monster fiction and takes them in interesting directions. By this I absolutely do not mean parody, but rather in a well developed but unique direction. The background on vampires I especially thought was interesting, especially the story of their original origin, which I had never heard anything close to before but fits very well with my preconceived concept of ‘vampire’. Each story developed the world further, and each conclusion makes strong use of the development within the story to give an ending to the story that is consistent with the plot and world well enough to be incredibly satisfying. That is one of this series strongest points.
Another strong point is the characters in general. Almost all of them are pretty awesome, except Rangetsu (I kid, I kid). The author describes Hisui as a character that is generally pathetic, or at least appears to be, but is dependable when it counts. That is a very apt explanation for him, and one that the author managed to stay true to and utilize very well. For the most part, every other character is stronger than him, and they make that quite clear constantly. Its an interesting dynamic that keeps the plot suspenseful in that the main character isn’t invincible and is prone to failure as well as being beaten constantly, but he still has epic moments when it counts because in the finales he always manages to come through, usually due to his wit rather than his brawn. Furthermore, he just has a style and attitude towards life that’s somewhat sarcastic, but still caring at important points was very appealing. Ultimately, Hisui is essentially one of my favorite types of characters done very well, and thus I liked him a great deal.
And of course, I also liked the other main characters. Each of them have their own characteristics that are unique and reasonably well developed, and I grew to like pretty much all of them (except Rangetsu… lol). Rushella is arrogant but insecure. Mei acts incredibly straightforward, but has depth that she rarely shows. Eruru is cold, but caring. Kirika is dedicated, but innocent. Touka is unbelievably positive despite having no reason to be. The relationships they have between each other and Hisui, and how they develop was very enjoyable. To be specific, the relationships with Hisui were enjoyably sweet, especially Kirika’s. But that’s not to say they didn’t develop in other ways as well. Eruru especially seemed to have gone through the most character development, after Hisui of course, considering he’s the main character. All of them were likable and important characters with a sense of continuous weight in the story throughout every story after they were introduced.
This brings me to my biggest issue with the series, it ended too soon. Rushella got her time in the spotlight. But there was a whole lot more that could have been done with the backstory of the other characters. To be clear, issues or plot lines weren’t left unresolved. Everything came together well into a conclusion that was highly satisfying, albeit a bit generic, though still very good. But there was subject matter that was touched upon to small degrees that clearly could have been given more depth through more stories. Who’s Mei’s creator and what are his goals? Who’s Eruru’s father and how did their family dynamics come about? Are there other witches? What about the rest of vampire society? There was a lot of potential that wasn’t utilized, and that just seems sad and unfortunate to me.
On that note, I would like to reiterate that it was still an amazing story that just hit all the right notes with me when I was reading it. And I would also like to note that that art was AMAZING!