Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Millennium Snow, vol. 1
The story: Chiyuki is a teenage girl with a literally broken heart -- she was born with heart problems that regularly lead to hospital stays. Because of the defect, she's always been told she would die young; Chiyuki's only wish each year is to see the next snowfall. One night at the hospital, she sees a boy jump off a nearby building and rushes outside to see if he survived. That boy, Toya, has a secret of his own: he's a vampire who refuses to mate with a human. While Chiyuki's always known that she would die young, Toya is facing an eternity of life alone. Slowly, Chiyuki breaks through Toya's seemingly gruff exterior and shows him that humans aren't so bad. Along the way, they meet another misfit, who just happens to be a werewolf.
Reaction: This is a really sweet story that reminds me of that other vampire-human-werewolf love triangle. Only, this one is done much better and is more entertaining! While Chiyuki should be worrying about her health, she's more concerned about showing Toya that no matter how much life you have to live, you should make it worth it. I liked the whole carpe diem feel to this story and Chiyuki's determination regarding her feelings towards Toya. Of course, I also liked Yamimaru, a bat who is Toya's best friend and servant of sorts. Lastly, the one-shot at the end, "A Romance of One Moment," was a short and sad, yet sweet, romance.
Deep thoughts: It seems that every author has their own vampire mythology and this story is no different. In this book, vampires mate with a human by age 18 and both survive for a thousand years while the vampire exists on the human's blood. I find it interesting that even though there's so much back story on vampires based off of Bram Stoker's Dracula, writers find other ways to give them additional strengths and weaknesses. As if living forever, being nearly impervious to mortal wounds and super speed and strength weren't enough...
Artwork: This is by the same mangaka of Ouran High School Host Club fame, Hitori Bisco. While her skill isn't as refined as it is in her later series, it does have that distinctive style to it. The characters are lean and lithe, and possess an androgynous look. While the background scenery is done well enough for a shojo, there are beautifully illustrated moments, too, especially at the end of the first chapter.
The verdict: If only... I really liked this story, but it is one of Bisco's early works and it shows. The story has an unfinished feel to it, which makes sense considering it ends abruptly after the second volume. Since Bisco became busy with Ouran High School Host Club, Millenium Snow remains unfinished. Hopefully, she'll have the opportunity to return to this story sometime in the near future. Millennium Snow is available in the U.S. from Viz.