Bloody Maiden is a survival horror manga that takes place on an island. Basically it's like Umineko no Naku Koro Ni except replace the people fighting over control of a fortune with an all-girls high school Naginata Club (like a spear with a curved end) trying to stay alive. The setup is pretty weak, and it isn't really all that creative and other things like "Another" do the high school survival horror genre much better and with less stupid, bad fanservice.
It's a cool setup even if it is overdone. The author takes a little too long to explain some details that probably should have
been addressed at the start though.
Anyway, the plot is that a group of twelve high school girls in this club and their adult advisor go to an island for a training camp (though they only get in like one actual practice fight before things start to turn to survival horror instead). It seems like no one is on the island, even the man who invited them there who is the curator for the museum there (I think). The one teacher decides to go and try to get cell service on the island, but as soon as she finally does she gets killed by a mysterious "creature." The other girls eventually notice that she hasn't come back and they stupidly split up (even a bit after they begin to realize the situation). From there, people start dying like flies.
The ending is one of the things I really don't like. It's confusing and seems very rushed with too many plot twists in the matter of two or three chapters to even understand what is happening. Plus it gets confusing about whether it's really supernatural or not as it just kind of throws a few knew things in towards the end out of nowhere.
Art - 6/10
The art's not too bad. The fanservice is though, especially since most of the nude shots are those "cover only the nipple" kind of thing even though at time they just go ahead and show everything like the author didn't know which way he wanted to go with the fanserice at first. Plus most of the nudity is shown when people are dying or are dead or just want to strip down to their underwear or wear bikinis so they don't get their clothes wet or because it's hot. Still the character designs aren't bad and the girls are all unique at least to some degree (there are twelve girls so that's not the easiest thing to do).
Twelve girls, their teacher, and a few other people are all crammed into these 11 chapters. The get no development and aside from the main character Makia (I think that's her name) and the club president, everyone else is either just death fodder or so unimportant that you forget about them after the one chapter they have where they do something before getting killed. Still the main character isn't horrible, as at least she isn't whiny and actually is brave enough to take action and try to fight back. However a lot of minor characters are not the same way and are fairly annoying. Pretty much everyone fits into some archetype though:
- Busty, calm leader with long hair and a weapon
- Main character who takes action through revenge
- Busty, motherly figure
- Small-breasted, easily-angered girl who wants to be the best
- History geek
- Yuri couple
- other people who are unimportant
Oddly enough there's no Rei Ayanami clone so there's that at least that differs from most things.
Enjoyment - 6/10
I still enjoyed it, but I'm glad it's only 11 chapters because even with more length it would not have been any better. The ending was bad and rushed, but some parts in the middle were enjoyable once you got to know what roles the characters fell into and kind of recognized a few people though not really by name. Still other things like "Another" have taken this concept and done much better with it (though the characters are still pretty forgettable in both). If you like horror or ecchi manga than maybe you'll like this but it's really just not very good.
The fact that I'm starting to love even more survival horror stories made me read Bloody Maiden.
Twelve girls of a Naginata Club and their adult adviser went to a training camp on an island belonging to the club president's family. Long ago it was a hideout for a famous and extremely violent group of bandits, meaning that their goods were still on the island. However, when the girls are going to sleep their first night before training, the adviser and some few members start to disappear and get brutally murdered by a masked man. It is up to the remaining girls to survive...
The story is
quite simple and straightforward and what I mean by that is that the mystery being the killing is not complex at all and easily understandable, even though for me, the "answer" was a little bit weird and creepy... And we got the typical survival progress where little by little, girls of the club end up dying and some do anything to (try) to survive.
When it comes to art, well, I was expecting some ecchi right before reading, because it is a manga about a group of girls, so naturally, you will see some ecchi scenes between the girls but they are not big deal at all, but it makes somehow sense because we are talking about girls, and even in real life, some of them like to compare or show their physical attributes, am I wrong? Sometimes some of their body parts are somehow a little "hidden" and sometimes they are not at all, what was the writer thinking? (xD) You can also see the girls naked when they get murdered (what a pervert killer!!! xD) and the bloody moments are fair enough, as I was expecting from a survival horror story. The girls themselves are not badly drawn even though sometimes I had some difficulties in distinguishing some of them in certain moments...
Since we are talking about a 11-chapter story and having so much characters, it is natural that some of characters are not interesting at all or don't have a unique thing in their personality, mainly because they end up dying early or they don't appear very much. However, you can see some few traits and personalities within the most important ones, which are fair enough.
I somehow got myself enjoyed because I always want to know who's the next one to die, who's going to survive and the mystery behind the murders in any survival horror story. It is mostly enjoyable you love this kind of stories or else it won't be that much for you...
Finally, my final words... Bloody Maiden is not terrible but is not that good, still somehow a little enjoyable. Read this if you are fond of survival horror stories or if you are looking for something fast to read.
This manga had some good potential. Due to its short run, however, it failed miserably. There were so many characters that you never got a sense for any of their personalities before they got killed off. I didn't even remember any of their names. It would have been much better with only 3 or 4 characters with more fleshed out personalities. The art was decent in some spots, but seemed frenetically rushed in others.
If you're in to survival anime storylines, then this one is worth a read just because it falls so neatly into the genre. If you're a completist like me (I have
to read/see everything having to do with a topic/genre I enjoy) then it should definitely be on your list. If you only want to read the best stuff a genre has to offer then do yourself a favor and give this one a pass.