Vampire Doll. It sounds like something I’d be embarrassed to leave on the dining room table! As my wife eloquently put it…
"What the hell is this? It’s porn isn’t it!!"
To which I defended…
"No no, it’s not what you think! It’s about a vampire lord who, after being sealed away in a crucifix by a powerful exorcist 100 years ago, is resurrected into the body of a.... wax doll in the form of a cute little girl with pig-tails...."
(Skilfully side-stepped I feel...)
Anyway, Vampire Doll is the first work by Erika Kari to reach our shores and, despite my own preconceptions, it’s actually pretty good stuff.
As I said, it tells the story of a vampire lord, by the name of Guilt-na-Zan, who is resurrected into the body of a wax doll by a guy called Kyoji, a descendent of the exorcist who originally sealed him away. Far from having any evil master plan, his reasons for bringing Guilt-na-Zan back from exile seem to be purely so he can dress him up as a cute girl and get him to clean the house. If that wasn’t annoying enough, Guilt-na-Zan’s attempts at invoking his once great evil powers result in a shower of sweets and flowers and the summoning of little stuffed animals instead. ^^
Resigned to his new fate, he sets about on his daily chores around the house; casting disparaging insults at Kyoji at every corner and befriending Kyoji’s delightfully naive sister, Tonae (whose blood, incidentally, allows Guilt-na-chan to temporarily assume his former self).
The other characters thrown into the mix are also a laugh a minute. There’s Kyoichi; Kyoji’s stupid brother who has designs on controller Guilt-na for his own reasons. Vincent; Guilt-na-Zan’s long time half man/half bat friend and minion. And an unknown demon whose sucking of negative energy from Tonae’s class mates results in the unfortunate side effect of turning all the boys a little bi-curious.
Erika Kari’s artwork is just lovely. It’s clean, detailed and her designs compliment her witty sense of humour perfectly. While bishonen is definitely the order of the day here, when wrapped up in her clever ability to completely take the piss, it makes for a very funny read indeed!
To round things off, each chapter is supplemented by a bonus comic sketch and at the end of chapter 6 there’s a further 11 pages of bonus strips with some of her notes.
All in all, this is a very light weight read with plenty of gags and good artwork. It doesn’t take itself seriously and for something like this, it actually works!