When I ordered this series I happened to actually show a picture of my manga haul (which I rarely do) and I didn’t realize that I pretty much had a vampire theme going on! I also had manga from Dance in the Vampire Bund and Rosario+Vampire!? So I stopped and thought about how many vampire manga series I own…and it’s QUITE a few! I think someday I’d like to do a post that lists them all, and in my order of preference. And I’ll tell you one thing right now The Record of a Fallen Vampire will assuredly be towards the top. Based on all my vampire manga you’d think I’d be wacky for vampires, but I’m not particularly obsessed with them. When it comes to supernatural tales this is how I view things Ghosts > Yokai > Zombies > Vampires > Werewolves > Witches. BUT if we’re talking horror (and not just the supernatural) a crafty serial killer will always trump everything else for me
(Super Short) Plot Summary
1000 years ago Vampires had their Kingdom of the Night, with an incredibly powerful king named Akabara Strauss. However one night he abandoned his kingdom and went searching for his Queen (that had been sealed by humans). Since then humans and dhampirs alike have desired his destruction. Dhampires are ones who have both vampire and human blood.
This story has a lot of small twists and turns that slowly build and the end result is a wonderfully woven tale that takes place over the course of about 1200 years. But I can’t describe any of those details without beginning to fall down a slippery slope with lots of spoilers. The plot starts to drastically change direction by volume 2, so the plot summary goes no further than what we learn in the first few pages of the first volume. But this plot grows from this “starting point” on page 1 and slowly begins to encompass more and more characters both in the past and present. This series does a great job tying up all of its loose ends too, even casual questions that crossed my mind were explained in a way that I could accept in this piece of fiction.
Every character has a lot of personality and depth. One of the best parts of this series is learning teir pasts. The flashbacks to the past are a major portion of this story, not just a few details that can be covered in a few short chapters. I think the last series that successfully wove past events to the present so well with so many details (while staying entertaining) was Berserk. At first I thought the art was a bit awkward looking, but as I went on I grew used to it and even started liking a lot. Now that I’m pulling up images for this review I can see again why I initially thought it didn’t look so great. Some of the faces sometimes seem a bit oddly shaped, but overall I think this series is nice to look at.
I really liked Record of a Fallen Vampire, it’s a series that does a skillful job weaving a tale that could have easily become confusing and overdone in another’s hands. Each volume is packed with action and information that makes this series easy to read. It’s refreshing to experience a vampire tale that isn’t over the top violent/sexy or about a doey eyed love between a human girl and a vampire. It walks a careful line that doesn’t allow it to fall into the shoujo or shonen category, it’s a tale that involves a bit of action and romance but without overdoing either one. I liked this series so much that I started Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning. After all every cover of Record of a Fallen Vampire seemed to say “from the author of Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning”. However, so far I’m finding I prefer The Record of a Fallen Vampire in just about every way.