Rosen blood vol 1 by Kachiru Ishizue
Stella wakes up from a beautiful dream, and finds herself in a strange bedroom in a luxurious manor. Watching over her is Levi, a dashingly handsome young man, who explains her carriage crashed and he saved her, but the driver met his unfortunate demise. Stella was on the way to be a live-in maid at another manor, so she pleads with Levi to employ her as a maid, and he accepts. He introduces Stella to the other residents, one whom attacks her. Stella starts to notice strange things about the manor’s residents, and she’s disturbed that they won’t let her leave to go to the village. Despite their strangeness, Stella finds herself falling for Levi, and the two grow extremely close. When her attacker breaks loose and starts being vicious again, the residents must let Stella in on their secret: they are vampires, and they must do something terrible to keep themselves sane and non-violent.
This is a pretty typical vampire romance with a young lady who is inexplicably alluring, and several young, handsome men vying for her attention. All four of them make comments in quick succession about how wonderful Stella smells, and they're all attracted to her despite Levi being her obvious choice. This story also uses the vampire trope of fatal attraction: even though Stella keeps finding out terrible things, she is still unable to stop herself from falling in love. There is discussion about the vampires doing even more evil to damn their souls, so there's a dash of Buffy and Twilight in there as well. There is a slightly different spin on vampirism introduced right at the end, so hopefully there's something new that can keep readers interested.
Ishizue's illustrations are the typical of shōjo: very detailed characters and scenes but lots of blurred backgrounds that draws the emphasis on the characters and their expressions. The character outfits were, for the most part, beautifully designed and drawn.
VIZ rates this for Teen Plus, which is probably for some of the violent elements (when Stella is attacked) in this volume. There might be more later on in between Levi and Stella that would make this series a little less appropriate for younger audiences.
Sara's Rating: 6/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.
Publisher: VIZ Media
Publication Date: December 7, 2021
Tags: Rating: 6/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Supernatural, Romance, VIZ Media
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