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Crimson Cross

Review

Crimson Cross

written by Sakae Maeda illustrated by Kyoko Negishi

Karl Van Helsing is a vampire hunter. He's also a vampire. Sometimes people are walking contradictions.

He wasn't always a vampire, but his family has been in the vampire hunting business for some time (hint: the last name is Van Helsing). His father abandoned his family because he had the hunting need in his blood, and Karl was tormented as a child for not having a father around. Still, that wasn't as bad as when he witnessed one of his friends being attacked by the vampire Elliott. There was nothing he could do about it, and, even though he was only a child, people blamed him. Apparently because he was a Van Helsing, he should have known how to handle the situation and been able to save the girl from the attack.

Karl grows up and goes off to hunt Elliott. The girl whom Elliott attacked 20 years earlier didn't die, but was turned into a vampire, and Karl has to kill his friend in order to free her. One woman offers Karl help after he's been badly injured by a vampire, only for him to then drink her blood and kill her. He even takes her eye to replace the one he'd lost. So while Karl is billed as the good guy, he's not always very likable. The most interesting mini-story, though, would probably be the one with a nun who was raised by a vampire. Her vampire "father" was hunted down, and she was put in a convent to heal her from her sins. However, she then wants to resurrect the vampire and Karl finds her.

Time jumps around in CRIMSON CROSS, sometimes with explanation, sometimes not. There are also some parts of the story that remain thin and unexplained. It's not the best vampire story out there, and has kind of a general feel, but with the recent glut of anything vampire being published, it's definitely far from the worst. It has its appeal, and there are a lot of people out there who enjoy horror stories in manga. It has a good creepy atmosphere and a gothic feel in large part due to the artwork. It's a vampire escapist read, kind of dark to get the right mood but not so dark that it pulls the reader down. Horror Lite, as the case may be? It's called a one-shot manga, though the ending leaves plenty of room for sequels. I suppose time will tell on that matter.

Reviewed by Danica Davidson on October 18, 2011

Crimson Cross
written by Sakae Maeda illustrated by Kyoko Negishi

  • Publication Date: September 28, 2010
  • Genres: Manga
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1569700788
  • ISBN-13: 9781569700785