Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Book-A-Day 2014 #154: Bloody Cross, Vol. 3 by Shiwo Komeyama

Book one was Day 33, book two was Day 91, and now I'm back for #3. But I'm afraid that I'm writing this on a bad keyboard into an iPad after a long day of sales meetings and a drink-filled team-building dinner. So I may not be entirely at my best right at the moment.

I have to admit I was somewhat wrong about Bloody Cross; I'd assumed from the first volume that it was going to be about the two half-breed angel/demons and their complicated curse markings, and that the long-term arc of the series would see the two of them fight until they fall in love. That still might happen, but it would be a longer term than I expected: the male half of that pair (Hinata) is mostly absent from this book, and Tsukimiya, his female counterpart, is more of a pawn in the machinations of two rival "God candidates" than the central main character. (Though she does get a lot of page time, and could eventually get enough agency to take over the series cleanly.)

No, it's becoming clearer and clearer that Bloody Cross is a plot-tokens story; those two God candidates -- Satsuki and Tsuzuki, one of whom is a pure angel and the other of whom isn't, though I can't muster the energy to care which is which -- will continue to fight, directly or using intermediaries, as each more-unlikely-than-the-last explicitly Christian (and even more explicitly blasphemous, since they're mostly God's spellbooks so far) pops up like a spawned enemy in a particularly obvious videogame.

Shiwo Komeyama's character design skills are not overly taxed here: there are more skinny people with blonde hair (male and female) than anything else, including a male pair that I can't for the life of me keep straight. This, as you might imagine, is rather to the detriment of my understanding and enjoyment of this book.

All in all, it's a violent and confusing mix of demon-hunter and plot-coupon story, though the licenses Komeyama makes with Christian dogma go a long way to making Bloody Cross more interesting and fun. Readers who are more adept at telling apart manga characters than I am or who are more fond of boilerplate manga dialogue about the supernatural techniques being employed and deep discussions of the silly plot will definitely enjoy this more than I did.

Book-A-Day 2014 Introduction and Index

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