I make the joke all the time that I am vampire trash—and I am, especially when it comes to manga. So, when I saw that Kodansha has the license to The Honey Blood Beauty and Her Vampire, I knew I had to review. That said, this is one campy vampire romp that may just land better in Japanese.
The Honey Blood Beauty and Her Vampire is created, written, and illustrated by mangaka Toma Fuyuori. This first volume is localized and published digitally in English by Kodansha, translated by Jessica Latherow, and feature lettering by Monika Hefedusova – both of which are from animaru. If you’re not familiar with the series, that’s okay because this vampire lore is pretty out there.
The Honey Blood Beauty and Her Vampire Volume 1 is all about Kagari Tojyo, a teen girl who is smart and beautiful Pabulum with honey blood. Pabulum in the world of this manga series are a designated food source for vampires, and honey bloods are the best among them. Read: best tasting, best smelling, best food, among them. then there are the SP who exist to protect them from hungry vampires while they’re out in the world. Partnered up with honey bloods by the government to protect them, SP’s are essentially bodyguards who receive the payment of the honey blood that they’re protecting. Kagiri’s SP is none other than the extremely popular and handsome Ryotaro.
Now, like most campy manga, Ryotaro is supposed to fit the role of “pervert” and the translation makes note to him as such, but truthfully I don’t see it. While Ryotaro does make jokes about Kagiri and pretty much form a very overprotective shield around her, he isn’t like other manga perverts, you know like Mineta from My Hero Academia. Instead, you get a guy who seems to just like messing with his charge and as a dynamic between the two it works.
That said, their interactions weighed down by weird translations that make me question what the context is in the Japanese. I’m not sure if it was poor word choice for context, or something else, but some pages, especially those pushing campier elements, were hard to understand. In fact, some of the word choices and abrupt shifts in tone (which can also be attributed to the mangaka not just the translator) make things that could be funny, cringey.
Even with that though, The Honey Blood Beauty and Her Vampire Volume 1 did make me root for them to become a romantic pair and not just a servant/master one. And overall, it delivers even if it’s quickly done with Kagiri all of a sudden very intent on having Ryotaro drink more than just a mouthful of her blood.
Overall, The Honey Blood Beauty and Her Vampire Volume 1 isn’t bad, it’s just not great. Especially with the wealth of vampire romance manga out right now like Call of the Night from VIZ Media and The Vampire and His Pleasant Companions from Yen Press.
The Honey Blood Beauty and Her Vampire Volume 1 is available digitally now.
The Honey Blood Beauty and Her Vampire Volume 1
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.