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Princess Resurrection Vol. 1 (Del Rey)

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princessheaderA blonde, chainsaw-wielding vampire princess creates a horde of  undead warriors in this blood-soaked new manga series.

 

 

210 pgs. B&W; $10.95

(W / A: Yasunori Mitsunaga)

 

The cover of Princess Resurrection Vol. 1 features an adorable blonde-haired, purple-eyed goth chick wielding a bloody chainsaw. If this fact alone doesn't strike you as a good reason to pick up this book, you should also know that it's about a vampire princess simply named Hime ("princess" in Japanese) who reanimates the dead by anointing them with her sizzling nosferatu blood. Once revived, her "servants" are immortal, yet free to go about their everyday lives -- as long as they swear absolute fealty to Hime and drink her blood daily.

 

The cover to Princess Resurrection Vol. 1 by Yasunori Mitsunaga. Click thumbnail for a larger image.In addition to this intriguing hobby, Hime has sworn vengeance against a mysterious "invisible man," who apparently killed her brother. So, she fights people. A lot. With crossbows, chainsaws, swords, and whatever else is handy. The resultant series reads sort of like a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Pet Shop of Horrors, sure to please anyone who likes their manga extra-bloody.

 

The story so far centers around the resurrection of Hiro, a young boy killed in a car crash. Forced to become Hime's semi-immortal "blood servant," Hiro is torn between his innate desire for independence, and his biological dependence on Hime's crazy voodoo blood. There's a lot of fighting in Princess Resurrection, at the cost of character development. But the characters we do meet -- including Hime's adorable android assistant Flandre, and Riza, a half-human, half-werewolf female warrior -- are well-designed and intriguing, so it's probably worth picking up the next few volumes to see how things develop. Hime also seems to be on the lookout for more "blood servants" to aid her in her vengeance quest, so she's likely to have a motley crew of undead warriors before too long.

 

Artist/writer Yasunori Mitsunaga has a gritty, shadow-heavy drawing style that lends itself well to Princess Resurrection's gothic theme. A scene in a demonic hospital ward is appropriately terrifying, with dark corridors and demented orderlies brandishing surgical instruments. And Hime's obsessively detailed chainsaw is a thing of beauty. Mitsunaga also excels at two-page spreads, using interesting compositions to give the eyes a break during intense fight scenes. All in all, though the mythology of the series is a little dense and esoteric so far, this book is a must-read for werewolf/demon/vampire/undead fanatics. | J. Bowers

 

Click here to check out a 20-page preview of Princess Resurrection Vol. 1 courtesy of Del Rey Manga!

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