Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mysterious Journey to the North Sea (Part One) by Hideyuki Kikuchi (4/5 stars)

This is the seventh book in Kikuchi’s Vampire Hunter D series. I liked it I really, really liked it. For some reason I have a soft spot for this series. Because it is translated, the language is always a little clunky and doesn’t have the flowing beauty that I imagine it would in Japanese. Anyone, who’s read it in Japanese, can chime in on this!

In this book D comes upon Win-Lu after she has been captured while trying to sell a mysterious pearl. D makes a promise to deliver the pearl back to the girl’s sister Su-In. Su-In later hires D to help protect her from all the meanies that come after the pearl.

This was my favorite Vampire Hunter D book to date. There are a ton of new characters, each of them with very creative and interesting powers. The description in the book is great. I love Su-In; she is not the archetypal female character that these books normally deal with. Su-In is strong and courageous with certain soft aspects to her personality that are surprising. I feel like this is the most “human” D has been portrayed in any of these books. D actually engages in everyday activities and shows some emotion towards the other characters.

My only disappointments with this book were that it ended in the middle of a fight scene (luckily I didn’t start reading this one until I had part 2) and that you don’t find out much about the pearl. Really nothing is resolved in the first book; so when it says it is part 1, it definitely is only a part of the story. I also agree with another review I read that sometimes it is easy to confuse Glen and D; they are both described similarly throughout the book. I am very excited to hear that the next Vampire Hunter D anime is supposed to be based on this book.

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