With Halloween approaching, many monsters pop up from the shadows. Even the iconic bloodsucking vampire steps out of the shadows and into daylight, especially in Seven Seas Entertainment’s “My Pathetic Vampire Life” and Kodansha Comics’ “Happiness.”


Few stories regarding the dark creature depicts their daily regime. Creator Rose Ishikawa’s second series “My Pathetic Vampire Life” follows Koide Manzaku who is an eternal high schooler after becoming undead at the age of 16. Due to laws and government procedures, “young” vampires stay in school to minimize threat of attacking people while maintain their own humanity. Sadly for Koide, this new academic year will be his 134th and after so many cycles, it seems nothing will impress him anymore. Luckily he is not alone on campus and shares his displeasures with Muira Kurura, an older vampire by a few centuries who is in the same situation. While Koide keeps a gloomy aura around him, his new classmates strangely get closer and want to engage in friendly conversations and activities with him. Maybe this new term will be the one that will be the memorable one.

Ishikawa’s story brings an interesting twist with the school life by having focus on the forever young. The manga has a casual atmosphere that invites readers to see how the vampires fit in with their naive peers. While parts of Ishikawa’s art are a bit rough in the edges, she completely kills it with the narrative. Her timing and flow between the seemingly mundane aspects of life and comedic portions is impeccable. Sadly mortal fans will have to suffer a long wait before Volume Two’s release in February 2017, though it may be brief for the undead. For more information, visit Seven Seas Entertainment’s site.


Unlike Koide, Makoto Okazaki in creator Shuzo Oshimi’s latest series “Happiness” enters his freshman year of high school and he’s near the bottom of the barrel in ranks within the students. His life takes a surprising turn when a strange girl in rags attacks him, nearly draining all of his blood from the neck. Soon after locking eyes, she gives Makoto an important choice as gradually loses a grip of consciousness. The decision keeps him alive, but he now must live with the consequences of the price for a second chance at life. However, Makoto is yet to realize what he is though the two puncture scars close to his collar is a glaring clue about the girl.

English fans would recognize Shuzo Oshimi’s name from his previous series “Flowers of Evil.” He brings a new tale of teen drama with a vampiric spin as readers see how Makoto tries to understand the changes to his body while trying to preserve who he was before the attack. To his demise, he starts to attract the attention of others, including troublesome ones. Like the other titles from Oshimi, “Happiness” is a mature and dark series. Publisher Kodansha Comics gives it an “Older Teen” rating especially for some of the more gruesome scenes that are not for the faint of heart. Still, the manga is worth checking out to see if Makoto still has some humanity and find something that will make him happy through this troubling time. For more information, visit Kodansha Comics’ site.

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