Sunday, March 7, 2010

Manga Review: Blood Honey

What happens when a vampire family's bloodline begins to run thing? Their descendent gets a job at a blood donation clinic, that's what!

That's vaguely the premise behind Blood Honey by Sakyou Yozakura, which is the latest from Tokyopop's Blu yaoi lineup. For a better description, here's what the back of the book has to say for itself:

"Nurse Yuki Akabane is a descendant of a line of vampires. He's often visited at the hospital he works at by a donor nut named Osamu Mayuzumi, the insatiable cram school teacher. Yuki never really thought twice about Mayuzumi, but when he drinks some of his blood on a whim, it tastes so good to him that he tries to get closer to him to savor more... Will he ever be able to drink another's blood again?!"

When Blood Honey starts out that's exactly what we get within the first couple of pages. Yuki is a relatively good natured vampire and he's quite sick of Mayuzumi coming around constantly and asking for him. One could say that Mayuzumi is Yuki's stalker, but since Yuki is so adept at drawing blood for humans he naturally has quite the clientele. When Yuki does sip the deliciously sweet blood from Mayuzumi, he devises a way to get the man to come to his house and give him his blood outside of the clinic. During such efforts Yuki cooks him "stamina" dinners and the two hang out for a time almost like a date kind of.

Eventually Yuki is caught at work by his boss, and we are soon treated to the knowledge that his employer is a hound dog and seems to lust after Yuki. Luckily for the vampire his favorite client showed up in the nick of time to save him from being sexually assaulted. That's more or less the beginning of their relationship, but as the book continues Yuki finds other lovers as well.

Now, let me just state that I am not a fan of yaoi. At all. I appreciated Yuki's character and found some of the writing and moments in this book to be rather amusing. The story has a lot of promise as well and Yozakura created a very interesting world and some fun characters. Unfortunately there's quite a bit of hardcore yaoi material here and, well, it's just not my cup of tea. I personally don't want to see guys having sex with each other or jerking each other off, but if you're into that kind of thing then there's plenty of stuff here that you'll enjoy. Trust me on that. The book has relatively uncensored pornographic material aimed directly at yaoi lovers.

Blood Honey will score well with fans of the yaoi genre, but as stated I'm just not one of them. I tried to objectively ignore the content I didn't want to see, and what's here for a story is quite entertaining. Yuki's character is a lot of fun and the book really comes to life when it's focusing on him, but even so there are times where plot gets sidetracked or introduces a character that doesn't quite jive with what has already been establish. Overall this book will entertain yaoi fans, but the content will be lost on everyone else (which includes me, unfortunately).

Maki Rating:

Review material provided by Tokyopop. Blood Honey is rated M for Mature and includes Explicit Sexuality, Sexual Full Body Nudity, Mild Violence, and Alcohol Use.

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