Manga-ka: Maguro Wasabi
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: April 2008
Synopsis: “Sakuya is a noble vampire and a master of seduction, but there’s one detail that truly sets him apart from his neck-biting brethren… he no longer craves blood! Sadly, the lone object of his lusty affections – the elusive dhampir Atsumi – loves to bait his prey and run away. Is Sakuya’s loss of appetite really a matter of the heart? When the hunter and the hunted decide to make love and war; there’s no telling how the tug-of-war will end!”
Necratoholic is a story of vampire and hunter turned lovers (of sorts), while the game of cat and mouse between them continues. After an assault by Atsumi leaves the great vampire, Sakuya, unable to drink human blood, he searches high and low for the born-and-bred hunter, seeking to lift the ‘curse’ upon him. But in the meantime, he works as an S+M queen in his Victorian-style mansion!
At first I found this story’s plot to be a bit sub-standard and worried I’d soon tire of the “hate but actually may love” dance that Sakuya repeatedly engaged in. Fortunately things did take a more interesting direction partway through as Atsumi’s love for the stubborn vampire suffers a snag in the form of his master, Van Helsing, a childish but super-intelligent rendition of the classic character. Suddenly it’s fight or be killed all over again but to what end? Well it is a boys’ love story, so I’ll leave it to your imaginations.
I liked the take on the vampire mythos here, with the often-used half-vampire hunters and the more unique, though odd (but convenient in a way that I’m really surprised wasn’t exploited more) powers of being able to numb a vampire’s body with a touch of their tongue.
I was a little disappointed at first by the artwork here in Necratoholic. From the plot and cover image I had my hopes set on a more gothic story of style. Instead Maguro Wasabi’s artwork was simpler than I had envisioned, and though I still don’t think it caters as well to its subject matter as it could, it’s still an attractive look. I enjoyed how consistent it was in terms of character designs and often found myself pleasantly surprised by random bouts of well-incorporated detail (such as on the chapter cover illustrations) which really felt much more suiting to the story. Actions scene felt a little flat but overall it was a nice manga to look at.
As for DMP’s job, it’s mostly standard fare with nice interior translations work that was clean and tidy. I did like their work on the cover and the tight, squared binding was especially nice (looks real good on a book shelf too). One problem I did run into however was two pages still attached to one another requiring me to rip them but I doubt it’s something that affects most copies.
Come the end, I did enjoy this one-shot vampire yaoi but wasn’t really blown away or overly impressed. It was neat, had a couple good sex scenes for those looking and was pretty cute at times. I’d recommend those interested in those attributes check it out but I wouldn’t call Necratoholic a necessity for anyone’s yaoi collection.