Pop Culture Gadabout
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
      ( 3/16/2010 09:31:00 PM ) Bill S.  


“LOSE SOME OF YOUR BLOOD AND CLEAR THAT HEAD OF YOURS.” For half a volume, Sakyou Yozakura’s “Mature”-rated Blu Manga release, Blood Honey, has a decent premise. Yuki Akabane is the member of a degraded line of vampires: the only supernatural power his family line has maintained is a charismatic attractiveness, though the hunger for blood remains. Our hero works as a nurse at a local hospital, primarily taking blood donations, which he’s not averse to sampling the wares. When a “donor nut” named Osamu Mayuzumi starts showing up way too frequently, sparks fly between the two yaoi handsome men.

Boy Love attraction thus melds with Blood Lust in an amusing fashion in this one-short manga. We’re told, for instance, that cram school instructor Mayuzumi is so hot-blooded (check it and see!) that he has difficulty holding his temper in the classroom. Giving up some of his blood gives the guy enough self-control to keep from running amuck in front of his students. The idea doesn’t make a lot of literal sense, but it’s presented with a goofy sincerity. Too, our young couple’s mutual attraction is dramatized with enough comic yearning to make us want to see the twosome hook up for more than just the occasional midnight snack.

But then writer/artist Yozakura tosses it all away by introducing a third character (a vampire nephew of Akabane’s named Kiri Kurosu) and devoting all of chapter three to the kid's romance with an older monk. The shift pulls us away from the book’s appealingly warped central gimmick -- though Kurosu is also a vamp, there’s not a hint of blood letting to be seen -- in favor of an uninteresting student/teacher romance. As a result, the book never regains its original focus. When Yozakura returns to his basic couple in two quickie concluding chapters, we barely care.

Reading Blood Honey, I couldn’t help thinking of the sort of old-fashioned porn flick that takes a pop culture fad (Star Whores, say), dresses it up with a few colorful costumes and then drops it all in favor of a bunch of rote fuck scenes. It all could have been so much more, but most of the book’s audience probably doesn’t care, anyway. There's a kinda blurry shot of dick in the third chapter, so I'm betting the Blu-core audience is happy . . .

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Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).



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