Thursday, June 07, 2007

Canon. v. 1

By Chika Shiomi
Published by in the U.S. CMX Manga

Slugline: A story about vampires that aren't vampires. You can sense my thrill through the computer screen, can't you?

Canon is requisite lucky student who survived a mysterious attack on her entire class by a vampire -- albeit a vampire who seems to operate under strange rules completely inconsistent with ones that we are familiar with, and whose minions can be cured of their vampire state with some willpower. Once cured, they are fortunately completely unaware of what they did while under the vampiric bloodlust. This is fairly episodic: the situation is set up, her sidekick is fleshed out (a vampiric crow!) and we meet the hot guy who will be a mysterious figure of assistance and hotness in the story glides through. I could go on describing it, but it is like so many other stories of its ilk.

I tried to find some aspect of originality or interest, but everything I found in this manga reminded me of at least a dozen other manga. The art is okay, and the story structure is functional, so it's not bad. It is just completely uninteresting and aspects of the vampire's nature that would normally create tension and danger are so waterd down that becoming a vampire is, well, like a headcold that can be easily cleared up. So there is not even the ambiguous moral choices of what to do with the innocent driven to bloodlust. Ho hum.

Though if someone can point toward any folklore references (Japanese or otherwise Asian, since these definitely aren't Western-style vampires) which explain these vampires, please do.

Canon, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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