My second vampire round-up actually unearthed a few gems! One an non-vampire story and the other a science fiction dystopia manhua that I’m kind of addicted to all ready! Last time I found five, but this time I had trouble reading much of anything after finding the really good one… so, there are only four.
“You Must Be Joking” is the 6th chapter of 3-manen no Kareshi / 30,000 Yen Boyfrind by Mio Junta : it’s… uh?… silly? It starts with out hero complaining about how this vampire he just met is the total opposite of the stereotype: he’s poor and not-at-all-polished, in fact he’s a little froo-froo. But I guess they fell in love because the whole neck-biting thing didn’t work out…? The bite hurt, which it isn’t supposed to. The vampire figures the problem was he wasn’t terribly hungry and so it was more of a love bite.
The 3-manen no Kareshi story, however? That one I liked a lot. Our hero, Takagi, is a popular office worker who is secretly very lonely. He’s been dating a married man and, well, that’s not going to go anywhere is it? So, when he hears the office girls talking about boyfriends-for-hire he decides to try it out. He finds a super-hot one, but that guy is booked. He ends up with his second choice, a youngish, enthusiastic guy, who further frustrates Takagi by explaining that, yeah, no, sorry not an escort service. You’re supposed to, you know, just date. Takagi is having none of that. Rent-a-boy says, “Wahh! Can’t have a bad mark on my performance, okay, let’s f*ck!”
And they do.
And, of course, gay sex is so awesome for this straight guy that he’s completely smitten. Adorably, however, he keeps trying to bring over games and DATE Takagi. Takagi thinks that all this insistence on dating instead of f*cking is a rejection, and so when number one is freed up he rents him.
Number one is very smooth, but Takagi can’t stop thinking about number 2 guy…. and of course they run into number 2 out on another date-for-hire of his own.
Love confessions ensue.
In case you had any doubt, rent-a-boyfriend is a real service in Japan: https://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/real-boyfriend-rental-service-offers-dates-with-men-aged-from-19-to-57
The other thing that amused me about 3-menen no Kareshi was that, because I found this whole volume under the tag ‘vampire’ in Baka-Updates, I was kind of half-expecting number one popular guy to be a vampire, because, well, it would be perfect cover for one.
Blood Bank by Silb : This ongoing manhua is pretty much everything I have ever needed from a vampire yaoi, possibly even fiction in general.
It’s yaoi; it’s BDSM; it’s vampires; AND it’s science fiction! Plus, it features my favorite kind of power dynamic….
In the future, a meteorite crashes into earth. The ash and debris plunges the world into a ‘nuclear winter,’ where it’s nearly always dark and cold. Vampires, who had been living among us but shackled by the long days, come out of hiding and dominate the remaining humans. The powerful vampire clans fought bloody wars to possess the most humans. Now, years later, there’s a kind of peace brought on by mutually agreed on shared resources: blood banks.
The story follows One. One has a pretty okay life, for a human. His blood is ‘A’ quality and so he’s never had any trouble paying the ‘blood tax.’ He’s also extremely good at his job, hence his name One, as a banker. The clients like him, and despite the vampires’ powerful pheromones, One has always been able to keep a cool head.
Actually, he’s mysteriously not affected by pheromones at all. He can smell them, but other humans are enthralled, in the traditional sense, in that they have to do whatever a vampire orders them to do.
Along comes Shell, a vampire who is the son of a powerful overlord. Shell has come to inspect the bank. He takes note of One… and quickly uncovers his secret. One is trapped… or so it seems, except that what Shell wants is for a human to dominate him. It’s his own shameful secret because vampire are supposed to use and abuse humans…
..not the other way around.
So, yeah, this story! So good!
As I have confessed many times before, I am easily taken in by stories where there’s an underclass. The more unfair, unequal the underclass has it, the more invested I am. The world of Blood Bank is pretty bleak.
Humans are basically cattle in this world. One lives in a place called a human farm that looks a bit like a rough barracks. He lives on rations granted by the overlord. But, he’s doing pretty well. The ones who aren’t pretty enough or have bad-tasting blood live in slums. Others are literal pets of the vampires, known as ‘arts’ because not only are they bought and sold like objects d’art, but also been artificially-bred to be the most beautiful and desirable.
Vampires, meanwhile, seem to have a pretty strict society, too. It’s basically understood that vampires dominate by force, so, of course, every vampire lord of note has a playroom-a BDSM dungeon. Poor Shell just looks at all that stuff and wants all the wrong things. He can’t come out because any non-dominant behavior is seen as abnormal–even being kind of swishy can get you thrown in jail.
The world is f*cked up. Obviously, this means I could NOT get enough of it.
Plus, the plot actually gets pretty interesting fairly quickly, so it’s got smut AND plot! The only thing missing were women. They’re almost conspicuously absent, but I wonder if some of that has to do with the nature of the society. In some ways, it’s so brutal and unequal that it could be fairly stomach turning if there were women involved…? I’m not sure. It’s also possible that the mangaka also just forgot.
This manhua is going into my rotation and I’m going to be anxiously checking for updates!
“Vampire Boyfriend” chapter 5 in Etowa / Love Machine by Tsuge Amayo : is… okay, nothing is going to satisfy me much after Blood Bank, but the age difference here was kind of a no-go for me. The set-up, however, is that there are just vampires at school, no big deal. Higashi has a problem–whenever he gets excited (sexually), he bites people. He’s having very creepy teacher/student love affair with Shiozaki, his teacher, whom I think we’re supposed to like… possibly because he’s the one who made the love confession and isn’t into Higashi only because he’s a vampire.
Eew…. sensei, just no!
The whole chapter turns on a misunderstanding that’s… kinda cute, but I could never really get over the age gap in the relationship and the art was kind of meh-to-awful.
Glow Vampire by Wanatabe Asia : this is a one-shot that has vampire, but really mostly is just a very smutty, odd threesome. I can’t even really explain it. There’s a priest, and a vampire bat and another vampire and… yeah, sex.