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Vampire's Portrait Volume 1 (Yaoi) Paperback – November 18, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

The art here is quite unusual, dark and heavy, which fits the gothic tone of the book nicely. The CG color art on the cover doesn't really show off Kusumoto's art to its best advantage - the incredible detail and dense shading really looks best in black and white. She has an excellent sense of the dramatic, and manages deeply emotional faces and dynamic action sequences with equal skill. This isn't your average pretty book, but the art is absolutely stunning. The panel where Lou discovers Sein being crucified is amazing, showing the artistic sensibility of a woman at the top of her craft.

Going into this I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I got was an unexpectedly compelling story that was fast moving and plot-dense, full of action and violence and suspense. This is the sort of vampire story that's likely to appeal to fans of more than just BL - while the romance is certainly there, there's nothing here to earn the 18+ rating, at least in this volume. What really surprised me was how quickly I was sucked in by the story, and how surprised I was to reach the end of the book - it really just flew by. Initially, I thought that this was going to be a flaw - the beginning of the story is rather abrupt, and just flings the reader into the midst of the story, but the structure makes much more sense when it becomes clear how much larger the actual story is. The characters were interesting, with new elements and angles coming out as the story progressed to add new depth and shading. There were even some funny points to balance it all out. I really enjoyed this book, and can't wait to get my hands on the next volume. --Mania

Lou is a portrait street artist who one winter afternoon catches the eye of Sein, a mysterious gentleman. Sein commissions Lou to pain for him a portrait of his true face. What Lou doesn't realize, until after a particularly violent session of where Sein destroys several of his canvases, is that his new patron is a vampire.

Realizing this fact though, Lou speculates a real reason why Sein would want to commission him, is to want to confirm his existence, within a portrait. Since the length of time has passed so long, that Sein doesn't remember how he looks like. Now Lou agrees to stay with him, until the image that he draws satisfies Sein. Still, Lou feels satisfied that he has found his ideal model, so he wants to stay by his side for as long as he can.

Lou finds out some detail of Sein that he didn't know, concerning his grandfather - with Lou being the same likeness as his grandfather. There is love/attention competition from the deceased as well as several other sutors that would vie for the attentions of this vampire.

Like any yaoi story, their relationship develops, but Vampire Portrait is a pretty serious and dark story. There are no sex scenes in this book, but with the 18+ rating, probably in the later books there is going to be something serious. Volume 1 ends with a pretty juicy cliffhanger, so now I am waiting for the sequel. Hope that Juné won't take too long in releasing the novel. --The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society Miscellanea and Ephemeron

Vampire's Portrait managed to be provocative and alluring, even without any sex scenes. Sein is the tortured vampire, tired of his eternal life of solitude. Lou is a naive painter, and the grandson of Sein's former lover. Lou is intimidated by his cold benefactor, a man who emotionlessly destroys his paintings once he's presented with them, chiding him for not capturing his true essence. When Lou realizes that Sein has no reflection, he starts getting a little suspicious. When he cuts himself and Sein is driven is drink his blood, his fears are confirmed...his new boss is a vampire!

Lou can't help but be drawn to Sein, mesmerized by his charisma. He is moved by Sein's inability to see his own reflection, and wants to do nothing more than paint portraits of him. As he falls for his employer, he is caught up in the deadly world of vampires. Sein's friend, Adam, doesn't take kindly to Lou and his eagerness to offer his blood to Sein, and Sein's enemy, Verloren, is downright scary as he tries to force Sein to reveal his true form. I have to commend Lou for not running off in terror by the nightmare he's gotten caught up in.

This was a suspenseful read, with an engrossing world and characters that I quickly grew to care for. The plot gained momentum as the story unfolded, introducing many horror elements as Lou becomes a pawn in Verloren's hands. The book left me wanting more, despite the fact that I don t really like horror stories. Will the promise of Lou and Sein's love ever be fulfilled? I can hardly wait to find out. --Mangacast

About the Author

Hiroki Kusumoto is the mangaka and writer of the anthology WILD BUTTERFLY, and is known for her beautiful and action packed art.
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Product Details

  • Series: Vampire's Portrait (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Digital Manga (November 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569705909
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569705902
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
42%
4 star
42%
3 star
17%
2 star
0%
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See all 12 customer reviews
The artwork is gorgeous and very well done in all aspects.
S. C. Curtis
Either way, the story is off to a good start, I really want to know what happens next!
Joy
Being the first manga I've read, I really enjoyed the book.
Jennifer Reid

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By forest fairy on December 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm not really a big fan of vampire stories (the only manga/anime with this theme that I've read/watched so far were Trinity Blood and Vampire Knight), but I picked this one up because I liked the cover artwork.

The story is set in Paris and its suburbs and starts when Sein, a moody, relatively well-off vampire, hires Lou, a young street artist, to draw his portrait. Lou accepts the generous offer, but matters get a little more complicated when he discovers that not only does his patron not have a reflection and therefore no longer knows what he looks like, but also has a much darker side and looks to match.

The artwork inside was just as nice as the cover, particularly in several perspectives drawn from more difficult angles. Action scenes are also well done. If there is one thing I might wish for, that would be larger noses in profile. But I'm a perfectionist and the noses are a minor detail.

However, I get the feeling that the story would have been better if it had had a slower pace. Lou and Sein hardly start to get to know one another when other characters interfere with their relationship and the plot moves forward. Too much was crammed in this one volume. If it was originally envisioned as a multi-volume manga, it would have been better to devote more pages to the introduction.

In the end, this book is tagged as yaoi, but it's really not. It's more like an action/adventure story with a bit of romance and vampire lore thrown in. Besides short conversations that hint at the nature of Sein's relationships with Adam and Claude, there is only one tame, stolen kiss. If you are getting this just for the sake of yaoi romance, then buy something else. That said, I rather liked it and would read any subsequent volumes.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joy on December 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
I mainly picked this one up due to the cover art and the fact that it has vampires in it. The art on the inside is very well done! I'm happy that it didn't change much (if at all) from the cover.

Either way, the story is off to a good start, I really want to know what happens next! It takes a litle bit to pick up though and you don't get to truly know much of the characters in this one. (Except overall information). Also, even though it saids it's 18+, there is no 'scenes' in here. The most you get is a sexy bite scene (just so you know).

If you're into vampires and yaoi then I suggest picking this one up your next time out or online!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Blue_rose_vixen on May 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It wasn't what I thought it would be like. The drawings are good but it wasn't what I would call a yaoi read. It was more like a twilight book without the sex scene.
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By Iris on January 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The art is beautiful but the story line is quite typical. And if you are looking for a lot of yaoi content, this is not the book for you. However it is a sweet story and the dark gothic elements to it are great.
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By hadley hastings on December 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved it and it is fun to read so I am going to get the next one soon.( love )
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By Dallas Broshears on December 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this manga. It really sucks you in. I never wanted to put it down. I highly recommend it for anyone who likes vampires the way they should be, non-sparkling. lol
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