Manga: Vassalord

WHOOPS. This should’ve been up last week but I had honestly totally forgotten to finish writing a half-done draft post that I saved AHAHAHA cripes.

I’ll make up for the slack. Promise.

Manga: Vassalord 「ヴァッサロード」

Vassalord1-couv  Vassalord02

Vassalord vol 1 and 2 covers

Vassalord is a Josei, shounen ai, action, supernatural, drama written and illustrated by Chrono Nanae. Serialised from Mar 2006 to Feb 2013, the series is complete at 35 chapters compiled into 7 tankoubon volumes. It has been adapted into a series of 4 drama CDs and an OVA was released with the last volume of the of the manga in Mar 2013.

Johnny Rayflo and Charles J. Chrishunds (a.k.a. ‘Charley’/’Cherry’/’Chris’ to Johnny) have a strange relationship. Charley is a cyborg vampire mix, and a vampire hunter for the Vatician, while his master, Johnny enjoys a playboy lifestyle. While fighting crimes involving vampires, Charley struggles to control his lust for blood and for Johnny, while Johnny delights in seducing his servant and attempts to deal with issues from his own past. Johnny cares about Charley and the feelings don’t seem to be one-sided, but nothing’s ever easy especially if you’re vampires.

WARNING: Violence and blood. Slightly gory. Same sex relationships both male and female. Blasphemy.

If you’ve ever fantasized about 2 vampire guys with one constantly feeding from the other in suggestive positions and with somewhat suggestive expressions… Please, look no further.

I first picked up Vassalord 3 years ago in 2011 but it was only about halfway through then. It had totally slipped my mind until I saw it again in Kunokuniya last year. I knew Kinokuniya brought in BL and Yaoi in Japanese but it was still pretty surprising to find a volume of Vassalord just sitting on the ‘Featured manga’ table out in the open like that considering its vaguely suggestive themes and content. I thought, “hey, that’s pretty cool.”

It took me a year longer (with some prompting from Tumblr that it had been completed) to get back and re-read OTL

To be completely honest here, Vassalord was a difficult series to get into. It’s story is nothing that special; Development is messy and there isn’t much impact at all with its progression. You find out more about the characters as the story goes on with its abundance of angst, but it’s all just pretty meh. It’s only after the half way mark that it finally starts to get much better with a clear, continuous story going on and more exciting developments.

Actually thought a number of the characters were interesting too. Many of them had pretty good introduction scenes/buildups save for a few that were iffy and felt a bit jarring to the flow of the series. [Spoiler] I really loved the brilliant, crazy-ass psycho on drugs. Unfortunately his role kind of felt like he was thrown into the story just to make everything more convenient.

It might just be me, but I didn’t see the need for many of Vassalord’s biblical references. I don’t know, I guess it just seemed like the whole thing was trying too hard to fit into the Vampires + Religion context of a supernatural story. There were way too many loose ends that left me slightly annoyed, and the convenient ending didn’t help in the least.

Panel from Chp 13

Panel from Chp 13

Probably Vassalord’s only redeeming factor of all the problems in its story is the art. It’s not great from the start though. Action scenes were difficult to follow and really messy at the beginning. There’s a clear difference as the series goes on. Cleaner lines, simpler panels, bolder toning… It all contributes to better flow and movement of story and characters.

The sole motivation I had for going through the first half of the series was because the characters are beautiful. And they just got better-looking. It wasn’t only the guys that look really good, even the very few girls that appear look good too. I am a sucker for beautifully-drawn characters. Especially if it’s a BL with sexy characters d(oo)b 

One thing I should probably make clear, is that this is a BL. There aren’t any extremely explicit scenes and it’s mainly just Charley getting blood from Rayflo that will probably feed your fantasies. [Spoiler] Until the last chapter. To tell the truth, 90% of the reason I finished Vassalord was for the sexy scene at the end. HAHAHAHA. 

If you’re looking for a BL with a really good story and development, Vassalord probably isn’t it. To tell you the truth, I read it for the sexy main characters.

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