Manga Review: Honey Blood Volume One

Honey Blood Volume One has been released by VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint. The series is rated “T” for teens. After reading this volume, I’m wondering if a “T+” rating for older teens might have been a little more appropriate.

Honey Blood Volume One
Written by: Miko Mitsuki
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 7, 2014

The main character of Honey Blood is a schoolgirl named Hinata Sorazono. Students at her school are being attacked and the attacks seem to be perpetrated by a bloodsucking vampire. However, her friend Kana says she doesn’t believe it’s a vampire because she’s been reading a book about a vampire written by a popular author named Junya Tokinaga. It turns out that Hinata’s mother has also been reading this particular book. Hinata doesn’t believe that vampires exist, though.

Hinata gets a surprise when she discovers that Junya Tokinaga is moving in next door. When she calls his vampire novel ludicrous, he just asks how a mere child could possibly understand. Later, Hinata is asked to show Junya around the neighborhood. But when she gets there, it turns out that he just wanted a chance to talk to her properly. But Junya does something that could be seen as sexual harassment, and she obviously doesn’t like what he does. The author tries to play this off as something funny, but I didn’t find it particularly amusing.

After Hinata has a chat with Junya, she returns home and asks to borrow her mother’s copy of Junya’s book. After reading the book, she starts suspecting that Junya might be a vampire. One night, she follows him and is grabbed by an attacker. Fortunately, Junya is around and saves her.

Junya invites Hinata to have dinner and asks his editor to prepare some food. She has to leave to help another author, but before she does, Junya sucks some of her blood. Hinata sees this and leaves. But before she gets far, she realizes she left her bag and goes back to get it. A half-asleep Junya mistakes her for his editor and sucks her blood. Hinata is confused and angry at first, but she finds herself falling to Junya over the remainder of Volume One.

The one thing that’s really been bothering me since I read this volume is the fact that we don’t truly know how old Hinata is. Is she a junior high student or a high school student? Junya is a 200-year-old vampire who’s posing as a 20-year-old author, so it seems her age would be an important thing to know. If she’s a 17-year-old high school student, it’s much less creepy for her to be with Junya than if she were a 14-year-old junior high student.

Something else I noticed: there are some panels where there’s a guy hiding in the shadows, and it’s most definitely the same guy in these panels. I’m predicting that he’s going to be a character who’s introduced in the next volume. The only reason I say “next volume” is the fact that in an author’s note in the back, Mitsuki mentions that this series only ended up having two volumes. Of course, if this is the case where the series was cut off early in its serialization in Japan, then the guy hiding the shadows could also potentially never be revealed.

But after reading this volume, I’m not entirely buying Hinata falling for Junya the way she does by the end of it. It didn’t entirely feel natural to me. And knowing there’s only going to be one more volume, there’s really no way to develop this story as well as it would need to work.

When it comes to the art in this volume, there were two things that really stood out to me: the intricate patterns of some of Junya’s kimonos and how good some of the close-ups of characters faces looked. Outside of those two things, though, the art tended to have more of a “typical” shojo look to it.

In the end, I wasn’t terribly impressed by this volume and it didn’t do much for me. However, readers who enjoy the Twilight book series might enjoy Honey Blood. However, since there’s only two volumes, readers could be disappointed if they read this volume and really get into it.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

VIZ Media to Release Honey Blood Manga Series

VIZ Media has announced that the company will be releasing Miko Mitsuki’s shojo manga series, Honey Blood under its Shojo Beat imprint. The first volume in this 3-part series will be released on October 7, 2014. Honey Blood is rated “T” for Teens, and the print volumes each carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

In the opening volume, everyone is on edge when a girl at Hinata Sorazono’s school is attacked by what seems to be a bloodsucking vampire. Hinata refuses to believe that vampires even exist, but then she meets her new neighbor, Junya Tokinaga, the author of an incredibly popular vampire romance novel. Dressed in a kimono with an old-world air about him, Junya has a taste of Hinata’s blood and tells her it’s sweet… Hinata can’t help but be drawn to Junya, but could it be that he’s actually a vampire—and worse yet, the culprit behind the attacks?!

“Junya Tokinaga is a mysterious and handsome man, so readers will swoon along with Hinata and become captivated by his complicated past and the bloodthirsty secret he hides,” says Amy Yu, Editor. “The stage is set for charged passion and love in this sultry series from Miko Mitsuki.”

MITSUAJI BLOOD © 2009 Miko MITSUKI/SHOGAKUKAN

VIZ Media Licenses Kiss of the Rose Princess and Honey Blood

VIZ Media has announced that Shojo Beat imprint has licensed Aya Shouoto’s Kiss of the Rose Princess and Miko Mitsuki’s Honey Blood shojo manga.

According to the announcement, the first volume of Honey Blood will be released in October 2014 with a MSRP of $9.99 US / $12.99 CAN.

When a girl at her school is attacked by what seems to be a vampire, high school student Hinata Sorazono refuses to believe that vampires even exist. But then she meets her new neighbor, Junya Tokinaga, the author of an incredibly popular vampire romance novel. Could it be that Junya’s actually a vampire – and worse yet, the culprit? Discover his true identity and other secrets in this new 3-volume manga series created by Miko Mitsuki.

The first volume of Kiss of the Rose Princess will be released in November 2014 with a MSRP of $9.99 US. / $12.99 CAN. Both titles are rated “T” for teens.

Anis Yamamoto has been told that if she ever removes the rose choker given to her by her father, a terrible punishment will befall her. Unfortunately she loses that choker when a bat-like being falls from the sky and hits her. Anis is granted four cards representing four knights whom she can summon with a kiss. But now that she has these gorgeous men at her beck and call, what exactly is her quest? Find out in this new 9-volume series by creator Aya Shouoto.

Both titles will debut in print and also digitally on VIZManga.com and the VIZ MANGA app for the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, and Android-powered smart phones. Volumes will also be available on the NOOK, Kindle Fire, and Kobo ereaders, as well as in the iBooks and GooglePlay Stores.

Leyla Aker, Vice President of Publishing says, “Sultry vampires and handsome knights are in store for manga fans later this year with these exceptional new Shojo Beat titles. Stunning artwork and an array of captivating new storylines are sure to warm the hearts of readers everywhere throughout the Fall and Winter, and we look forward to announcing more details on these exciting titles in coming months.”