Blood+: Kowloon Nights by Hirotaka Kisaragi: B-

In the world of Blood+, a girl named Saya and her trusty servant Hagi battle against chiropterans, a race of blood-sucking creatures. This one-volume prequel focuses on Hagi’s 1993 stay in Hong Kong, during which he teams up with a hot-headed cop named Nishi to put down a man-made pack of chiropterans that’s been leaving corpses in a certain area of town.

Unlike the other manga series in the franchise, Kowloon Nights is definitely intended for a female audience. BL artist Hirotaka Kisaragi (best known in the US for Innocent Bird) excels at depicting attractive male characters and infuses Nishi and Hagi’s interactions with a definite boys’ love vibe. Although there’s not so much as a kiss between them, Nishi frequently blushes and experiences heart palpitations in Hagi’s presence and there are two occasions in which Hagi slurps Nishi’s blood in sexy fashion, including one particular panel that suggests a different bodily fluid entirely.

The plot itself starts promisingly, but soon becomes muddled when a crime boss of some kind reveals his intent to develop a drug that grants immortality. The story probably would’ve been better if it had focused solely on Nishi and the fascination and concern he feels for Hagi, but I suppose they did need a villain to fight so that Hagi could demonstrate that he cares for Nishi, too, in his own way.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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