Hiroki Kusumoto set out to draw a vampire story and that’s exactly what she has done. The story focus is more on the vampire aspect than the boy’s love aspect and I applaud it for that. It would have been so easy for Kusumoto to have turned this into a no plot basic yaoi story with vampires just thrown in. However, because there is a plot it seems that Lou is a rather unnecessary part, or should I say he seems like more of a plot devise than a character.
The artwork has its own distinctive style and is superb. Kusumoto seems to have a talent
for putting a lot of energy into every single line. The action scenes are executed well with a good sense of movement and perspective. Her drawings are so moody and seem to come right off the page. There’s also a lot of atmosphere which makes Vampire’s Portrait actually feel like a vampire story. While I wouldn’t call this an original story I think it is a decent vampire story. It’s difficult to be all that original when dealing with vampires and I think Kusumoto just manages to display enough flare to make it something of her own.
A more detailed review can be seen at: http://nikkimanga.com/vampires-portrait-volume-1-review/
YaY! Vampires! And it almost ends there. The story wasn’t bad, but some of the transitions from scene to scene made me turn back a few pages to double check if I missed something… something like 3 or 4 pages. Volume one just kind of ended and, if you notice, volume 2 has the newer Juné Manga banner, so just consider how long it was before volume 2 was released. In the mean time you either wait uncomfortably for the continuation because even though it could have been cliffhanger material, it was more like it ended in the middle of a sentence; or you end
up forgetting that it even exists. I was in the latter party.
It has its sexy parts, but it’s more of a light, trippy, guro manga than it is your typical BL. I was more impressed with the bits of the vampire mythology that popped up than I was with the story. Some were quite interesting. Again, it isn’t bad; there’s a decent foundation, but the humor… The funny moments were like cold cubes of cheddar on an omelette-standing out, awkwardly—instead of shredded Pepper Jack melted into the omelette—a pinch of spice that flowed with everything else. Also, the emotional cadence was a bit syncopated; rather than being oooh-so-unpredictable, it was more like, “wait, what just happened… I don’t get it.”
I don’t think it would hurt to spend an hour or so on it, because, if nothing else, especially in the 2nd volume, the art is something worth staring at. The would-be-uke aside, the character designs are great and the backgrounds and environments are a bit chilling at times. I wonder if Kusumoto had the idea for a seinen or guro manga, but due to certain circumstances was asked to make it BL.