HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Vampire Dormitory" - Volume One

MANGA REVIEW | "Vampire Dormitory" - Volume One

MANGA REVIEW | "Vampire Dormitory" - Volume One

Years have gone by since everyone wanted to do vampire romance stories. From Twilight and True Blood to The Vampire Diaries, it felt like you couldn’t escape from lovey-dovey bloodsuckers. These days, the Draculas of the world are now seen as comedic fodder, in the likes of What We Do in the Shadows and The Vampire Dies in No Time. But is it time we bring back some vampiric romance?

Vampire Dormitory is a new manga series that could actually serve both the romantic and comedic parts of vampire lore. Written & drawn by Ema Toyama, the story follows Mito Yamamoto, who has a string of horrible luck due to their handsomeness. But things turn for the better when they run into Ruka, a vampire who can’t suck the blood of women. Thanks to their good looks, Ruka suggests that Mito become his thrall, until the time comes when he can stomach the taste of female blood.

However, it’s quickly revealed that Mito is a girl disguising herself as a boy. As such, Mito must keep this a secret, or face being kicked out again into the cold harsh world. The task becomes even harder when Ruka enrolls Mito to his all-boys school, meaning she’ll have to keep this secret to everyone! Worse, according to fellow classmate Ren, Mito will turn into a vampire if Ruka keeps on feeding from her.

I do feel bad for the fujoshi who start reading Vampire Dormitory thinking that they’re in for a steamy yaoi. On one hand, it stinks when a series goes down an unfamiliar route, only for it to segue into a familiar place. But on the other hand, I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting it to instead become what could be the Dracula equivalent of Ouran High School Host Club. As such, that disappointment will no doubt disappear quickly the more readers dive deep into it.

There’s a cuteness factor that shines brightly in Vampire Dormitory, especially when it comes to the chemistry between Mito and Ruka. The way they become flustered when they’re together is showcased with shojo-styled adorability, in ways that sometimes can be endearing. Even the act of Ruka drinking Mito’s blood — albeit shown sexily — has a certain flavor of sweetness that’s on display.

Thankfully, it’s not all romance in this series. The comedic elements of Vampire Dormitory shine through with their own kind of uniqueness. On top of the gender-bending aspects, there’s also Ruka’s mannerisms that’ll bring a big laugh to those who witness it. Without spoiling anything, he has a certain hobby that not only will be laughable, but also relatable to certain reader demographics.

A good level of creativity is placed in how blood flavor works. People with good lives have better tasting blood, and because of Mito’s upbringing, her blood winds up tasting rancid. Hence why Ruka aims to give Mito a better life, so as he’ll be able to drink their blood without the urge to spit it out. However, how he’ll react to Mito’s true gender once he finds out will no doubt bring some sort of sourness to her flavor.

Vampire Dormitory may have pulled the old switcheroo early, but its narrative is nevertheless entertaining. It has an early 2000s shojo rom-com vibe to it, with it knowing how to bring the humor and sweetness found in vampiric entities. Although we have no idea how Mito’s overall stay will turn out, readers will no doubt have any issue taking up occupancy in Vampire Dormitory!


Promotional consideration provided by Tomo Tran of Kodansha Manga

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)