Story by Che Gilson with Art by Brett Uher
Released by TokyoPop
Slugline: Didn't I already review something like this?
Priscilla's parents have died and she moves to Nachtwald, a small European country/city -- where monsters, such as vampires, witches, and so on, are the majority of the population -- to live with her aunt and uncle. Priscilla finds out that her mom was a vampire (the normal rules about sunlight and so on obviously don't apply here) and thus her aunt, uncle and cousin are all vampires. Their efforts to try to feed her create one of the running subplots of the book, since their diet seems to consist of items that require you you to best them in battle first. Her cousin, Kitten, is the queen bee of the school and doesn't want her talking to the requisite tall dark and handsome (actual) prince of the school. As retaliation, she lights Priscilla's locker on fire, and at that point Priscilla loses it (the locker had a picture of her mother in it), punches Kitten, and stalks back to their castle to leave. She gets as far as the airport when her uncle catches up with her, calms her down, and brings her back with a peace offering of a small picture/painting of Priscilla's mom when she was Priscilla's age. Her aunt and uncle realize that they have been a little clueless about her troubles adapting and promise to try harder to help her adjust.
This not a bad book. In fact, I found some bits of it very good. Priscilla's reaction to having her locker destroyed -- the first instance of someone actively trying to get her rather than passively just letting bad things happen to her because of her lack of knowledge -- was to immediately stand up for herself and punch Kitten out of her shoes. And the food bit, something so small but it became a great gag that not only drove some of the action (she made a friend by having someone show her where the ice cream parlor was) but it also became emblematic of all the little annoyances and craziness that she was forced to put up with in Nachtwald. Despite all that, I felt that I had I seen the setting and the basic plot too often before. It was that sense of tiredness, of having seen the same routine so many times, that dragged me down. I want to see what this writer can do in the following volumes, because I sense that the overall storyline can be different and exciting, but with this volume basically setting up the characters, the plots and the setting, I felt, well, bored.
(Strangely, there's nothing in Amazon with this ISBN!)
But Dark Moon Diary, vol. 1 is available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.