Princess Resurrection Vol. 2 (Del Rey)

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pr2-header.jpgThis tale of vampires, werewolves, and blood warriors is packed with conflict, but forgets the bigger question: why?

 

 

208 pgs. B&W; $10.95

(W / A Yasunori Mitsunaga)

 

In its second volume, Yasunori Mitsunaga‘s Princess Resurrection continues to cram horror and sci-fi staples into its character lineup. Princess Hime, the series' supernatural quasi-vampiric protagonist, has already managed to recruit a battle-ready android, a half-werewolf warrior, and a reanimated "blood warrior" to her cause, which seems to involve engaging her royal siblings in a battle to the death. In Vol. 2, we meet Reiri Kamura, a sailor suit-wearing vampire intent on luring Hiro, Hime's lone blood warrior, to her side. Though Hiro must consistently drink Hime's blood in order to survive, here we learn that being a "blood warrior" is different from being a vampire—and being a vampire is different from being whatever Hime is, despite her own apparent obsession with blood and control over the forces of darkness. Then, a rogue android named Ciel shows up at Hime's door, befriends Flandre, Hime's robot maid, and proceeds to try to kill everyone.

 

The cover to Princess Resurrection Vol. 2 Click for a larger image.Confused yet? You should be. Though Mitsunaga's dark, action-packed art is continually stunning, Princess Resurrection provides more questions than answers. Dialogue is kept to a terse minimum, and the lack of any expository narration, plus the introduction of so many characters, so quickly, makes the storyline frustratingly hard to follow. One minute, Hime is furious at Reiri for attempting to vamp Hiro, but a few pages later, she's inviting her to dinner. At one point, hordes of blood warriors appear to be attacking Hime's castle, but in the next, the gang is staying in a low-rent motel, randomly fighting tentacled aliens that burst out of people's mouths. Riza, the brash half-werewolf we met in Vol.1, is a solid addition to the cast, and her rivalry with Reiri makes for some cool fight scenes—but the reason behind the nigh-constant fighting in this book remains unclear.

 

It seems as though Mitsunaga is banking on his readership's knowledge of werewolves, vampires, and other mythological staples to carry them through the plot's twists and turns, but too many new elements are introduced with too little explanation, and it's difficult to understand how things fit together. While one hopes that everything will suddenly be made clear in future volumes, experiencing this much confusion this early on in a series is a bad sign indeed. | J. Bowers

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