Thursday, August 21, 2008

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, vol. 1

By Kou Saskura
Released in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: Another entry in the why did they bother? category

Hector and Isaac are both generals in Dracula's demoniacally enhance army. They are wiping out all resistance ahead of them until Hector disappears. Isaac is sent to retrieve or kill Hector, depending on what Hector has done. But Hector has just been sunken in depression in a church, doing nothing but still Isaac unleashes a werewolf to find him, uncaring of the consequences. One of those consequences is the murder of the father of Ted, a boy in the village where Hector is hiding, and it is he who drives Hector to do something about the danger that is coming, no matter what the price will be to Ted.

I do not play video games, so I have no idea how much fidelity that the manga has with the source material. The only thing I can tell you that two disciples of Dracula with uncertain powers seem to be heading toward a confrontation whose reasons I can barely understand. I mean, we need to have a fight, otherwise why bother, but the reason why they fight is a lot of hemming and hawing, along with Dracula standing next to a window for the entire manga looking dangerous. Supposedly the main character of the manga is someone for the time being just seems to be a supporting character, maybe as witness type character who is supposed to tell others of the action. But it is just such a half-assed way to tell a story. Even the church's nun Rosalee seems more important to the story, and we do a lot of character work on her, but then she just drops from the story. This seems to be something that only fans of the videogame would enjoy, but considering it's haphazard nature it is hard to tell whether or not even video game players would get it.

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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