vampires

Manga Review: Red Angel by Makoto Tateno

Red Angel is a masterfully drawn manga with an awesome color cover that gives just a hint at the gothic art inside. Author and manga artist, Makoto Tateno, brings to life the story of Mika & Eru who are brother and sister vampires.

For those of you who might have read her other works Happy Boys or Yellow and didn't like them, I believe that Red Angel deserves a chance.  You see, Mika & Eru are not like other vampire brothers and sisters. They have one unique quality that sets them away from the bunch. They just happen to reside in the same body.

Reminiscent of the novel, The Need by Andrew Neiderman, the brother and sister pair have a problem... whatever one of them does, the other has to live with. In Red Angel, this has to do with them moving constantly to keep their secret. Their crimson wings often leave mortals in a state of awe. Whether they feed or not, they usually cause death somehow and flee the scene.

Artwork in this book is beautiful with a nice dark feel throughout and gothic vignettes portraying a couple enjoying a kiss as massive wings shelter them or a flight of crows bordered by intricate crosses and lace. Tateno has a way of portraying action in the still shot so convincingly that the reader can almost feel the wind whip around them as wings flap, causing feathers to float by.

Each chapter is a different town and the vampire pair is not always the focus. We get to meet a couple of "bat men" who turn into bats but are not vampires, and Anney, who is holy and able to suck energy from vamps. Mika meets another vampire and finds out the hidden truth behind who she is and where she fits into creation.

There is a four-page extra in the back by the author, explaining the characters, ideas, and how the book was first published. Categorized as a Yaoi, I disagree. Perhaps it is just stuck into that category because of the woman and man in the same body. I find that the story is very unlike many Yaoi and the difference between the brother and sister is so definite, the reader really believes they are two different people simply sharing the same mortal-like shell.

You can find out more about Red Angel at Amazon.com.

Sanctuary Season 2 Trailer 2

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The second trailer for season 2 of Sanctuary.  Season 2 will air on October 9th 2009.

This is a fun video with some excellently placed teasers.  They bring up the Cabal and their desire to bring down the sanctuary.  I like the introduction of Kate Freelander the new addition to the Sanctuary.

Sanctuary Season 2

Sanctuary-season2The Sanctuary is a place of refuge, a safe haven, for those that are different from humans.  Known as Abnormals they are non-human intelligent creatures and humans with genetic variants.  They range from the cute to the extremely dangerous. Dr. Helen Magnus, a 157-year-old English scientist, and her team of experts run the Sanctuary.  They try to help the Abnormals and learn from them.  Working toward a peaceful existence between the humans and the Abnormals.

The show follows the adventures of Dr. Magnus and her staff as they struggle to bring harmony between the world of the humans and that of the Abnormals.  This difficult task because of the more dangerous Abnormals like Vampires and Nubbins is complicated further when the Cabal goes on the move.  A shadow organization with desires to spark a war between the humans and Abnormals the Cabal desires to see the extinction of all Abnormals.

Sanctuary is a great contemporary fantasy show with a polder society full of a wonderful array of exotic creatures.  I loved the episode with the Yeti, their portrayal of vampires and werewolves.  Sanctuary is also not afraid to tackle those social issues which makes for great speculative fiction, never being afraid of asking what if and exploring it thoroughly.

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Sanctuary was originally an independent production which used a web publication model.  After their first season became a big hit the show was bought up by Sci-Fi channel.  They did some re-writes did some new shots and aired what is now referred to as the first season.

Looking Forward at Sanctuary Season 2

  • Finding out what happened to Ashley Magnus, who changed after being kidnapped by the Cabal at the end of the first season.
  • Many more Abnormals including an oil rig extraction.
  • The conflict between the Cabal and the Sanctuary heightens.
  • The Tokyo Sanctuary.

For more read:  Looking Forward At Sanctuary Season 2

Sanctuary Season 2 Trailer 1

Cast

  • Helen Magnus  Played by Amanda Tapping
  • Will Zimmerman Played by Robin Dunne
  • Henry Foss Played by Ryan Robbins
  • Kate Freelander Played by Agam Darshi
  • John Druitt aka Jack the Ripper Played by Christopher Heyerdahl
  • Nikola Tesla Played by Jonathan Young
  • Clara Griffin Played by Christine Chatelain
  • Ashley Magnus  Played by Emilie Ullerup

More on the cast and picture here

Special appearance from

Watch Sanctuary Streaming Online

How To Choose A Manga

There are so many manga out, you may be asking, “How can I choose the manga that is right for me?” First you need to know what part of the manga you enjoy most. Do you love goth-loli art? A good story? Something with horror in it? It’s rare to find all these things in one manga series. Believe me, I’ve tried!

Some of you may rely on reviews such as this one to lead your way, but for those of you who are trying to create your own manga hunting style, here are some tips.

Know what you like

I look for good art first, story second.

Seems kind of weird for someone to say that about a book, but  unlike fiction books, mangas need to capture your eyes as well as your mind.

Good manga authors are a skilled, rare breed that can somehow create a tale and put it down in art in such a delicate fashion, you hardly realize you are reading what is basically a cartoon.  What good is a tale in a manga book without interesting art? They might as well have written a novel, let the publisher worry about the cover art, and stick to word writin’!

Know what you don't like

I am emphatically against talking animals in manga. I hate them. Bats and spiders are sometimes ok, but bunnies and doggies and 300-year-old kitties reincarnated from a once great vampire god? Don’t get me started! However, my best friend adores animals talking and absolutely loves the manga (that shall remain nameless) with the vampire kitty. My point?

Know your tastes and just because your best friend urges you to buy her favorite manga because it has vampires in it, don’t automatically assume you will in enjoy it.  There may be a wisecrackin' bunny hidden in the pages, and we all know what that leads to!

Hone your skills

Here are some tips on how to narrow the competition down.

  1. Go to a store with a large manga selection.  This shouldn’t be too hard as it seems manga is the only hot selling item in bookstores these days.
  2. Stand back from the manga shelves and scan.  If any cover draws your notice from a few yards back, it’s worth a look.
  3. Check out the front cover in full. Are you a chibi lover, or do you enjoy killer cyborgs with little chibi interference? Make sure the cover speaks to your taste. If you see one character you don’t like, put it in the maybe pile. There is a good chance that character is going to be throughout the book and will irritate you every time you turn the page and see them.
  4. Once you have narrowed down a few of the great covers, glance over the description on the back. Don’t put too much stock in the description because they don’t usually relate very closely to the tale. I’ve found that often manga covers seem to be written about the whole series and not about the one volume you are purchasing. As long as there are no talking vampire kitties, you are safe to go on.
  5. Flip through the book and check out the art. Is the detail inside as good as the cover art? Is it appealing to you? Is the printing bad, or is it crisp and clean? Do you stop every so often to let a “wow” or a “ooooohhhh” slip from your lips? If you realize it’s a steampunk fantasy once you get inside and you don’t like that sort of tale, please don’t buy it just because you like the cover. You will be disappointed.
  6. Finally, the tale. Read at least the first four pages to make sure you like the story. Does the character cuss like a twelve-year-old boy trying to show off to his mates? Does the dialog not flow? Is there some sort of back story you just don’t like? Don’t buy it. It will not get better. Unfortunately, in some stores (especially in Japantown) they seal the books. In this case, you either take your chances, or get smart and browse them online first. Sites like Amazon and Toykopop allow you to read the first couple of pages before you buy.

I tell you all these things because, like you, I once was a manga investigator trainee. I still get caught buying a stinker once in awhile. It’s all about:

  • Knowing what you want
  • Believing in your first instinct and
  • Sticking to it, no matter how much the commerce bug has got you itching!

For those of you who still can’t decide, I’ve made a list of my top five series. Check out the reviews, see if you might like them, and then put on your manga p.i. hat and get shopping!

  1. God Child by Kaori Yuki
  2. The Tarot Café by Sang Sung Park
  3. Princess Ai by Courtney Love and DJ Milky
  4. Death Note by Tsugumi Oba
  5. Millennium Snow by Bisco Hatori

Meet Author Emerian Rich

Night's Knights Book Release Party

AuthorPicFriday, October 30th 7:00 p.m. Bay Books Concord

  • Dress as your favorite vampire.
  • Meet author and hostess of HorrorAddicts.net, Emerian Rich.
  • Enjoy vampire-inspired snacks.
  • Hear a live reading.
  • Trick or Treat.
  • Be one of the first 24 people to buy her book and get free dogtags to commemorate the event.
  • With your Night’s Knights purchase, receive a free companion booklet with author notes, sketches, and fan works.

http://www.baybooks.us

Bay Books Concord 1669 Willow Pass Road Concord, CA 94520

(925) 671-2245

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