Koizumi Kanna is infatuated with the man who came to the restaurant she works at and ordered a burger with no onions. Little does she know, Toujou Ren is interested in her as well, but for a different reason. Kanna just so happens to be the mirror image of a woman he knew a very long time ago. It is for that reason that he saves her when she nearly dies in a car accident. But the life he gives Kanna is far different from the one she lived before, and she's not certain it's the kind she wants...
Wana is a normal girl, with a normal job, who has a fairly normal (but bland) love life. In fact, her love life consists of a mere crush who comes to her work every so often to order a hamburger with no onions. It isn’t until she’s hit by a truck that she’s able to talk with him. Suddenly, the blank tarot card she drew the week before makes sense; there is “no future”. She’s almost dead on impact.
Then Wana wakes up.
Vampire Girl (aka. Omae Ga Sekai O Kowashitai Nara, aka. If You Wanna Break This World, but henceforth known as Vampire Girl) is often
a hit-or-miss with people. Either you’d hate the seemingly pointless and immensely flawed story and narration because they are, well, flawed, or you’d understand why the meaning of Vampire Girl needed to be presented in that sort of way. The latter, you’d be pleased to find, was my perspective on this story. This is probably one of the most brilliant works of thought-provoking manga that I’ve read to date, ranking among popular others such as Omoide Emanon or Music Of Marie.
The initial view of this manga may appear sloppy and unrefined, but if you read slowly enough, and take all the symbolism into account, you’d see that every little thing was tied into the story to add to the overall message. Vampire Girl is a manga which deals with God, morality, and humanity, but all while doing it in a particular view, which is not reminiscent of Christianity (or any other form of religion). I suppose that the main theme of it would address the nature of humanity, and why such flawed (yet beautiful) creatures exist. (And no, I’m not talking about the child-deity the manga presents to us). If humans are flawed, then wouldn’t that mean that whatever created us (be is evolution or creation) is flawed too? And since we weren’t the only creation made by who-knows-what, wouldn’t that mean that everything else created in this world flawed? The story of Vampire Girl deals with a heavy idea that everything in this universe is flawed in some way; if you’re looking for a light, vampire manga like Karin, then look elsewhere. This can get brutal.
The narration and story of this manga is something many people have problems stomaching. Many people find it utterly confusing and immensely flawed. Oh, did I just say flawed? Yes I did. The ideas of this manga are fascinating, but Fujiwara Kaoru really excels at using the plot, story, characters, and narration as a medium for the ‘flawed’ nature to shine. Looking at the plot and characters subjectively, it appears much like a never-ending paradox, and pointless. Flimsy, poor execution, complex and fragmented: the list of problems go on, and on. And suddenly, you may realize that it, too, is flawed (and far from perfect). It seems that the only thing humanity has going for it is the beauty of complexity...and then you see the art.
I would love to go on about the necessary symbolism and the meaning that I derived, but I’ll lead that to the potential reader. Vampire Girl was an outstanding series that every thoughtful reader should really check out. It’s definitely a 9.0/10.0. All I have to say is read really slow, drink up the symbolism presented with the reincarnation and the boy with the ball, and try to piece together the message and theme. Use the story, plot, and characters as a tool! Don’t try to find their good points, because there are none; just feel through it.
(Also a warning to some readers: things such as rape or paedophilia are portrayed in a realistic light, so caution yourselves.)
TL;DR: Give it a go if you really enjoy melodramatic shoujos with the 2000s (?) art-style otherwise, don't.
Story - 7 (Good)
Art - 5 (Mediocre)
Character - 3 (Poor)
Enjoyment - 6 (Fair)
Overall - 6 (Fair)
I read this in one setting after midnight then decided to write this review so some of the things I say might turn out awkward. This manga initially caught my eye as it was tagged and described as a shoujo romance with horror elements in it. Within the first few chapters I was disappointed to find that the horror portion is barely there (they showed stuff like vampire teeth and blood splatters but
no actual gore) but that's not why I rated it so poorly.
STORY & ART
I've merged these two sections as I believe the art really affected the story.
The manga started off pretty decent, pretty much whatever events that are mentioned in the manga's summary. It's one of those shoujo manga where the heroine HATES her love interest to the core at the beginning, but slowly becomes attached to them. The story itself is a pretty cool concept that touches on the supernatural and later on, makes statements about fate. I actually really enjoyed manga's take on fate and this is also why I didn't give it a lower score. However, the execution of the concept itself is pretty weak.
Another review pointed out that the execution is part of what makes it so good but I disagree. I could not sympathise with the characters as they don't look like they care that much about their own predicament either. Because of the art style, there were many times where I could not tell WHEN an event occurred. Is this happening right now or is this a flashback that the character is having? I don't know, the characters look the same, the backgrounds look the same, and this wouldn't be such a huge problem if not for the fact that often there are jumps between the present and the past without any indication.
A lot of the characters share similar hairstyles/facial features and at times I had to double-check who is who in the panels. I thought it was just me being silly but I've seen others complaining about the same thing so it's not just me. There were times where I could not tell what a panel was showing and all I can make out are lines and areas in between with different shades of grey. I also just find that the 2000s shoujo manga art-style has NOT aged well and has become a bit of a pain to look at. To sum up, the art isn't downright hideous but certainly affected the storytelling.
Let me just say that there is no proper character development at all and most of the characters are simply one-dimensional. It could even be argued that some of the characters, including some main characters, actually became more bland during the cllimax of the story and just became plot devices to move the story towards its conclusion. I guess the more melodramatic you become, the more personality you lose. Even though horrible things happen to the characters, I just can't seem to feel bad for them since they have shown themselves to be selfish assholes, plus I can't see the intensity of their feelings since they don't look like they care that much either.
Despite all the complaints I have about this manga, I still enjoyed it to a certain extent since I just like to binge on shoujo manga in general. As mentioned, I also enjoyed the manga's take on the concept of fate. The complaints I had did negatively affect the amount of enjoyment I could get out of it though.
The manga had an interesting premise and started off strong but the quality of the story gradually deteriorated, due to factors such as a confusing art style and lack of character development. I would say give it a shot if you enjoy melodramatic shoujo mangas (esp those from the 2000s) or if you have nothing else to do and don't mind wasting some time (it's not that long) skimming through one.
Highschooler Wana has a crush on one of the customers that comes to her fast-food restaurant. It's not until after she's involved in a deadly car accident that she finds out that he's actually a vampire. And does he have a connection with the grisly murders that have been happening around town? And it turns out that she looks like someone he used to know hundreds of years ago. Follow them as the real depths of their relationship unfolds in unexpected ways...and the twists keep coming until the very end.
Right off the bat, I should caution that this is a josei,
NOT a shojo manga. It has a good deal of mature content. There is some minor grisly violence, and murder exhibitions. Rape and pedophilia are crucial story elements. Although they are not portrayed in a positive light, I still found it disturbing.
Aside from that, it was still worth reading through. The setting of the story is modern, and how vampires survive in a modern world, but it felt realistic rather than cheesy (unlike "Karin"). The art work was beautiful, slightly brushy, and had a quiet peaceful look, giving it a mix of gritty and beautiful. Which is just what the story was like. The vampires were normal-looking, beautiful without being cookie-cutter bishies.
The story is drama-intensive, so there is practically no action. It had a gentle moodiness. Although there were a few moments when I asked myself "oh REALLY? This drama is going WAY overboard...", I still found this manga very enjoyable, and a good read for its 17 chapters.