Manga Review: Call of the Night Volume Three

Call of the Night Volume Three introduces several new characters to the series.

Call of the Night Volume Three
Written by: Kotoyama
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 10, 2021

At the beginning of the volume, Ko runs into Kiyosumi, the girl who came to see Nazuna for her “professional cuddling” services in the previous volume. During Volume Two, Ko made a promise to Kiyosumi that he would try to turn her into a vampire if he could. This doesn’t seem like it’s terribly important, but after something happens a little later in the volume, the reader realizes that Ko could have problems keeping that promise to Kiyosumi.

After this, Ko gets caught in a downpour and finds a smoking area to take shelter. He sees a guy hitting on a girl, and she brushes him off. But then, that girl notices Ko and comes over to him. She appears to be in high school, and she starts telling Ko about how she usually lets guys hit on her because she’s bored. But then, she says that the thrill of that hobby seems to be gone. As a reader, I found myself wondering why this girl would be talking to a middle school boy she doesn’t know about this sort of thing, and we quickly discover the girl is really a vampire and is aware of who he is. Nazuna suddenly appears on the scene, and it’s clear these two girls know each other… and that Nazuna’s friendship with Ko is making its way through the vampire rumor mill.

But then, another female vampire arrives and whisks Ko away. They join up with a group of female vampires, and Ko learns that Nazuna isn’t liked by this group. They’ve whisked him away because Nazuna hasn’t turned him into a vampire yet. They say that if Ko isn’t turned, that he has to be killed… because he’s a human who knows too much. It was kind of amusing to watch these female vampires trying to seduce Ko so they could be the one to turn him into a vampire, especially since the reader already knows that Ko knows nothing about love and is rather naïve about the subject. While their seductive ploys might work with most men, they just go right over Ko’s head.

During all of this, Ko learns that Nazuna has withheld some information from him. It turns out that if a vampire doesn’t turn a human into one of them within a year of the first time drinking that human’s blood, the human will never turn into a vampire. Also, if Nazuna refuses to turn him into a vampire, Ko will have to be killed at that one-year mark. And that, right there, is what could cause Ko to have problems with keeping his promise to Kiyosumi. If he himself is unable to turn into a vampire because the one-year deadline passes, there’s no way that he will be able to turn her into one. At the end of the Volume Two, I had thought that Kiyosumi would be a recurring character, but with this new information, we may not be seeing her as much as I thought we would.

This group of female vampires, especially Seri (the vampire girl that Ko met at the beginning of this volume) become recurring characters in Volume Three. We see Seri the most, though, because she seems to be having fun toying with Ko. During this volume, Ko and Seri go to a karaoke place, and a guy that Seri had been flirting with shows up and seems to be obsessed with her. I thought this was an interesting storyline, because it turns out things aren’t how they appeared to be portrayed with Akiyama (the guy in love with Seri) when he’s first introduced. And this storyline gave some character development for Seri, which allows the reader to see that she isn’t necessarily as shallow as she was first portrayed as. The ending of that story draws a direct parallel with Ko and Nazuna, which I found to be interesting as well.

A new human character named Mahiru Seki is introduced, and he’s an old friend of Akira and Ko’s. Akira runs into Mahiru at school when he’s napping on the stairs. We find out that Mahiru is out all night because there’s an older girl that he likes. Akira makes an off-hand comment that she hopes that Mahiru’s not in love with a vampire. The question becomes: is this just an off-hand comment, or is Akira’s dialogue foreshadowing something? Ko has a reunion with Mahiru when he and Nazuna go to a festival… although Ko bought and wore a mask in the hopes that no one would recognize him. But Mahiru still recognized him, anyway. Ko is surprised when he hears Mahiru tell him that he considers Ko to be his friend. It seems like that up to this point, Ko didn’t truly realize that there were people out there who considered him a friend. But now that Ko faces the real possibility that he could be dead in under a year, will these revelations mean as much to him as they might have otherwise?

I can’t forget to mention that Ko tries to follow advice from Seri for taking Nazuna on a date. Let’s just say that it doesn’t go well when he follows her advice. However, I did like how that particular storyline ended. But it seems like the mangaka is slowly but surely starting to evolve the relationship between Ko and Nazuna… and to me, this evolution is what’s helping to keep me interested in what’s happening in Call of the Night. I’m usually not much into vampire stories, but I think the characterizations for Ko and Nazuna help this title to be more than “just another vampire story.”

Readers who have enjoyed reading the previous two volumes of Call of the Night should be able to appreciate the story, along with its evolution, as its presented in Volume Three.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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