labingi: (Default)
I like vampire lit for much the same reason I like science fiction: both change the premises of our life experience and, thus, challenge our usual cultural and psychological assumptions. Vampire lit, in particular, lends itself to upending commonplaces about gender and family structure. It's often been noted that vampire reproduction is inherently incestuous: vampires typically make new vampires through some sort of blood exchange that reads as both a parenting act and a sexual act, so parents and children are, almost by default, also lovers. By the same token, vampire lit can, in one fell swoop, eliminate all physically based power differential between the sexes: in many tales, males and females have identical reproductive biologies and no sex-linked difference in physical strength (or if they do, it is much overshadowed by other differences, like age or "strength" of their blood, etc.). Add in functional immortality and the politics of relating to humans as people and foodsource, and all this makes for fascinating reinventions of culture for those stories that choose to exploit this potential. Some examples...

The Vampire Chronicles )

Blood+ )

Buffy the Vampire Slayer )

Twilight )

I don't believe that vampire lit is an exhausted field by any means; it simply requires creativity to keep reinventing itself. And while I don't read vampire lit just for the sake of reading vampire lit, I am always open to being swept up in the next thought-provoking reinvention.

(Thanks to [ profile] meganinhiding, whose vampire musings spurred me to stop putting off writing this post.)
labingi: (riki)
Title:: "Espoir et D├ęsespoir"
Fandom: Blood+ (anime)
Characters: Hagi, Solomon
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for themes
Summary: A slightly AU filler fic: what if two chevaliers struck up a correspondence while their queens slept?
A/N: I've grappled with the title. My poor French tells me it ought to have articles, but I prefer the phonetic effect without, and I found at least one French blog without, so it can't be too bizarre? Speaking of French, in "reality," I'm virtually certain Solomon would write to Hagi in French, but since that is beyond my powers, he is introducing the conversation in English: maybe he noted that Hagi's English was really good?

Espoir et D├ęsespoir )
labingi: (rakka)
Blood+ Anime Review and Meta
with remarks on evolution and biology

Somehow in the midst of my current X-Men obsession, I managed to finish Blood+, a 50-episode anime, recced by [personal profile] sixish, and I am here to recommend it to others. It's been a long time since I've found an anime so satisfying and genuinely interesting.

Non-Spoilery Summary:
Blood+ is a vampire story, the basic premise of which is Saya the Vampire Slayer, a high school girl who discovers she has fighting skills and unique blood that can kill vampires ("chiropterans"). Along with her adoptive family, she is inducted into a band of vampire hunters. Sounds generic enough, but it's actually creative and dramatically subtle. (Disclosure: owing to Netflix weirdness and laziness, I skipped the first disc; I'm told it's the boring one.)

Spoilers Follow )
labingi: (Default)
Kowloon Nights is a one-volume, stand alone Blood+ manga. It is the BL of Blood+ manga, right down to the art, which is much more typical BL-ish than typical Blood+. It's a quick and fairly enjoyable read without much substance, but it lends some added detail to the series. The only regular Blood+ character to appear is Hagi.

Spoilers )
labingi: (Default)
Review: Blood+: Adagio, Vol. 2 (manga) by Kumiko Suekane

(I guess there's a vol. 1, but this story doesn't seem to need it.) This is a Blood+ spinoff manga, a standalone adventure designed to complement the anime and the manga commissioned to the anime. It's a good story. And thanks to [personal profile] sixish for presenting it to me as a lovely birthday present!


Blood+ is a series about slaying vampires ("chiropterans"), who can come in either monstrous, mindless forms or in extremely powerful, mentally human humanoid forms. It focuses mainly on the angst and character conflict involved in this. spoilers )


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