Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Trinity Blood, v.1

Story by Sunao Yoshida, art by Kiyo Kyujo
Published in the U.S. by Tokyopop

Slugline: Goofy-but-dangerous Abel Nightroad takes out a vampire plot to destroy Rome.

Great art can carry mediocre writing, and great writing can carry mediocre art. This is an example of the former.

Maybe not "mediocre" so much as just sloppy -- it's nothing a good editor could not have tightened up or nudged them to be clearer, more precise. But it's the kind of lovingly detailed, uber-manga art (influenced by Geiger, I'd bet) that makes you forgive vagueness. And unlikely weapons. And standard-issue characters. And... well, you get the idea.

Abel Nightroad is the sort of goofy-when-he's-not-deadly guy that comes from the same mold as Vash in Trigun (right down to the glasses). Sister Esther is the usual victim/window dressing girl, so far. Dietrich, Iqus, Radcon and Gyula are decently sketched, character-wise, even amusing in some ways. The plot does have one unexpected bit of treason to flavor the melodrama.

But the strong point is most definitely the art and the costuming that throws down a big gauntlet to cosplayers. My first anime convention of the year is only a few weeks away, and I'm wondering how many Nightroads I'll see.

Trinity Blood, Vol.1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Miranda

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