Shin

Lament of the Lamb volume 1

Creator: Kei Toume
Publisher: Tokyopop
First Released: May 2004
Number of Volumes: 7
Genre: Horror, Drama

First Volume Review

High school is a time where many of us start to define who we really are. Dating becomes more serious than the relationships we had in grade school; college, careers, and the rest of our lives are suddenly far closer than we ever knew they could be. Kazuna Takashiro is in precisely that situation when he begins to realize his future is completely unexpected.

Of late, Kazuna hasn’t been feeling too well. Prone to dizziness, disorientation, and sickness at the sight or even thought of blood, his friends are becoming increasingly worried about him. Particularly concerned is Yaegashi, a classmate of Kazuna’s and fellow member of the art club. Kazuna doesn’t appear too interested in art, and it doesn’t take a detective to figure out that he attends club meetings to see the comely young lass.

Kazuna’s father and sister, Chizuna, left him when he was only three years old for reasons he’s still unsure of. At least, he was unsure of the reasons, until he happens to encounter his older sister. We discover that the Takashiro bloodline is a cursed one, for through their veins runs the disease of vampirism. Kazuna’s family’s heritage of bloodlust is the root of his recent physical discomfort, though the true significance of his nature has not yet been revealed.

The story so far deals less with the potential gimmicky nature of vampirism and more with the characters and Kazuna’s reaction to the news of his condition. In a way, his disease really could be any other life-changing situation, lending this series a greater chance at being relevant to reality in certain ways.

The visuals in Lament of the Lamb are stark, rough, sometimes fuzzy and dreamlike, and sometimes crafted with crystalline clarity. There are a lot of vampire stories out there, but this one manages to look unique. Even the cover is different from other comparable books, embracing a more realistic and dire look instead of the usual perky anime-style image most manga boasts.

Fans of vampire stories will get this no matter what I say, but those of you who are wary of another bloodsucking tale might be glad to hear that there’s plenty of other interesting content here aside from the main character’s newfound attraction to blood. The characters are interesting and the relationships they develop believable, and that’s really what kept me wanting to know what happens next. In the end, that’s all I really need – characters I care about. Lament of the Lamb has them, so I suppose I really can’t complain!

Main Characters
Kazuna Takashiro
A brooding teen. After his mother died when he was very young, his father inexplicably sent him to live with a family friend, ‘Uncle’ Shin Eda. Kazuna was recently reunited with his older sister after deciding to visit the old family house which, to his surprise, looked like it was occupied even though it was said to be abandoned. Visits the art class every day after school but has no interest in the subject. Is good friends with Yaegashi whom he is attracted to (he later tries to avoid her so that he wont bring her any danger).

Chizuna Takashiro
Kazuna’s older sister who he didn’t know about. She moved back into the old family home when their father died. She wants to protect Kazuma from danger, fearful that he will not be able to constrain his vampiric urges. Chizuna is also cursed with the vampire’s hunger for blood.

Yaegashi
Kazuna’s friend. She’s an amazing artist. Kazuna clearly has a crush on her, but he’s afraid of putting her in danger. When Kazuna starts avoiding her after he collapses during one of the art classes Yaegashi feels as though Kazuna hates her and becomes cold towards him.

‘Uncle’ Shin and ‘Aunt’ Natsuko Eda
Family friends of Kazuna’s and Chizuna’s father. They both raised Kazuna ever since his mother died. Natsuko plans to officially adopt the main character to make him one of the family.

By Raven

Work in progress... not home!
Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.