As the English release is two weeks away and I sit sour, waiting for it, I thought I would take to writing a review for the series thus far and what I expect the ending to be.
Generally speaking, Bloody Mary is not especially unique or groundbreaking. The story borders on predictable, with enough deviation to keep it interesting. Although the plot itself doesn't offer much in terms of twists, turns, and unforeseeable events, the pacing and tone of the story work well to keep the manga a page-turner. The characters have enough complexity to make them interesting and given its genre, they tell a story worth reading.
The art is interesting and fits the narrative well. There are a few scenes that feel a bit rushed or unnecessary, but is it really manga if there aren't some garbage frames here and there?
For as much as I can find fault with Bloody Mary, I can't deny a genuine sense of satisfaction as I read through. The relationship between the characters, especially our protagonists, feels genuine. There isn't a rushed revelation of love, no flower-petal love confession, nor the homo-fetishism role play so frequently plaguing queer characters. Their relationship stands delicately on the border between homoerotic and homosexual, neither teasing nor baiting. The point of the story isn't its romance - it's an element and one that's built by the tension of the story. Perhaps that's why I can't help but give high marks to an otherwise above average work - it isn't a love story trying to hide in action.
Bloody Mary is a story of regret, sorrow, despair, forgiveness, and promise, exploring each darker theme through the various shades of love. The narrative is self-satisfying and offers various lenses to look at the author's perspective on each issue. No character is a single glance, no interaction left unexplored. There's selfless love between family, the bitterness and abandonment of scorned lovers, the distant affections of old friends, and the potential for something to blossom in the remains of our selfishness. The story doesn't try to be more than it can with the characters, setting, and genre, but within its limitations, offers a complete, well-framed vision of what the many kinds of love we find can make us and how we, in turn, create love for ourselves.