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Blood: The Last Vampire Paperback – November 15, 2005

2.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse; 1st DH Press Ed edition (December 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595820299
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595820297
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,856,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book's cover is deceptive. You see a picture of Saya, the "Immortal Vampire Slayer." In the nearly 300 pages of text, you see Saya 3 total times. She gets 5 total pages of time in the lime light. The rest of the book is spent following a 15 year old Japanese high school student who is protesting the oppressive conservative Japanese government. There's a lot of filler in here. In fact, the entire book seems like a bunch of random research papers put together (inaccurately) on how to dispose of a body, the evolution of the species, and how protest and anti-establishment organizations work. I kept reading, hoping that something would come of it, but in the end I should have just stopped and saved myself the random philosopical musings of an anime director trying his hand as a writer.
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Format: Paperback
The subject of this novel is Saya, the vampire hunter who appeared in the film Blood: The Last Vampire. Night of the Beasts is not directly related to the events in the movie, but it does take place in more or less the same setting (Tokyo area in the late sixties), probably soon after the events of the movie. The events in this story are related from the point of view of Rei, a teenage boy who dabbles in radical left-wing political activism and can generally be described as bored and disgruntled. The story starts off with Rei taking part in a mass protest which turns out to be anything but boring: running from riot police, Rei stumbles across Saya dispatching a vampire in her usual bloody fashion. Rei's role as witness to this event gradually draws him into a web of intrigue and deceit as he is sought out by various people of questionable motives who are also interested in the activities of Saya and the organization she works for.

Blood: The Last Vampire is actually an extended project that encompasses novels, manga, PS2 games, and of course the movie. So far only the movie, this novel, and one manga (Blood: The Last Vampire 2002) have been translated and distributed in English. Most readers of this novel will likely be most familiar with the movie (also directed by Mamoru Oshii), so I should point out right away that though most fans of the movie will enjoy this book it is very different from the movie. Where the movie was driven mostly by action, Oshii's novel is driven mostly by dialogue. Through conversations with various people who are involved in or investigating the activities of Saya and the vampires that she hunts, the main character begins to learn more about the background behind the horrific event that he witnessed.
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Format: Paperback
Probably the best way to critique this book is to state right off that it simply fails to deliver what it promises. Blood was one of my early encounters with anime, a fine and chilling film that still sticks in my mind years later. When I found this book my biggest concern was that turning Saya Otonashi into the subject of a boys adventure story might spoil the fine edge that the film managed. But I need not have worried, Saya Otonashi is hardly the subject of this tale. Actually, it's hard to say just what is the subject of the story. Maybe it's the woeful lives of high school radicals in a conservative society. That I can connect with, but not in the context of something that claims to be horror fiction.

Rei Miwa is a boy in his late teens who is deeply involved in the politics of the Japanese anti-war (anti Vietnam War) movement. He gets caught up in a protest march that goes wrong, and in his flight from the police he stumbles on the scene of a slaughter. The victim is some form of horrible monster, and the killer is a young high school girl with a long sword and the eyes of a demon. When he wakes from unconsciousness later he finds that he has been suspended from school, and grounded to boot. But the sudden appearance of a police detective - Hajime Gotouda - draws Rei into a thickening plot that entangles his fellow radicals and brings him face to face with creatures that can only be called vampires.

Had the book kept going in this vein (sorry) it would have been a top grade story. But suddenly Mamoru Oshii seems to lose control of the plot, and everything bogs down in a pseudo-philosophical discussion of parallel species, the hunter hypothesis, Descartes, the international Jewish conspiracy, and the evils of the Catholic Church.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is NOT a manga/graphic novel!!
Once again, Amazon has deceptively listed a text-only book, that has manga/anime associations, in with the manga titles.
For an outfit that started out as a BOOK seller, you'd think they could get at least this much right, yes?
If you want a 300 page novel to read, then here you go.
If you are looking for the graphic novel telling of this tale, keep looking.
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Format: Paperback
It's well written and starts off pretty strong although a bit too much time is spent discussing the inside workings of an organized protest.

The story really begins when Rei encounters Saya for the first time and gets a glimpse of the chiropteran carcass she's just wasted. Or at least you hope the story begins. What follows is Rei, his activist buddies, and a mysterious detective trying to sort of who Saya is and how she's involved with the deaths of six of their peers.

Their story for the most part is interesting but becomes a drag when Oshii sees fit to allow the plot to dissolve into pages upon pages of didactic historical and/or philosophical drivel that do little to further the plot but take up mucho space(I mean to the point that Oshii has to list references at the end of the book people). No wonder the book is 300 pages. For instance, instead of simply revealing that perhaps Rei's friends may have been sucked dry by a vampire, the detective goes on and on about the history of death, rotting corpses, and how to properly dispose of a body (Should we burry, eat it, feed it to our cat, or deep fry it? etc.).

Saya doesn't even appear in the story much, she never says anything, we don't learn much about her inner person at all. When Saya appears we only see her through the eyes of Rei who describes her as fierce, evil, and beautiful. They never really interact either. They stare at each other. This itself was a mild disappointment.

What little we learn is just from what others say/think about Saya. She remains an enigma. And considering the timing of the novel's US release, right when the much the anticipated TV series Blood+ is airing in Japan, I think most people who purchase this book will do so because they want more Saya. Not Rei.
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