MANGA REVIEW | "Call of the Night" - Vols. 5 & 6
Although things seem like fun on paper, there are some bad consequences to consider. After his run-in with a dangerous vampire in the last volume of Call of the Night, Ko now sees the dangers that come with turning. The incident leads him to think a lot more carefully about his decision to fall in love with Nazuna in order to become a vampire. Even worse now is that there are entities on both sides that are now out to get him, no matter which path he takes.
Volume Five of Call of the Night focuses on making big life-changing decisions. Ko now sees that being a vampire isn’t all that’s cracked up to be, even as he still finds plenty of fun things about it. Mahiru first wants to know his reasonings, but can’t find a genuine answer. A chat with Anko finds the vampire killer not only with a dark goal, but also the audacity to call the cops on Ko’s night lifestyle. But a hangout with Haka gives Ko the real deal about the dangers of turning, and what might happen to him if he doesn’t.
While there have been some serious drama in Kotoyama’s manga before, this is the first time where the real stakes of being a vampire have come to light. If Ko turns, then he might become someone like the vampire Anko killed in the last volume. However, staying human now that he’s deep in a relationship with Nazuna also has its troubles, with the rest of the vampires in the area possibly wanting him dead. It seems like no matter what he decides, a target will be placed on his back.
It’s the first time Call of the Night really took itself seriously. Sure, there’s more focus placed on the fun parts of the night life, not to mention a cute chapter involving Nazuna going to Ko’s home. But the struggles of the life eternal are there, even in tiny doses. Nazuna’s hunger for Ko’s blood could be a hint of future feeding struggles for her, while Ko being on lookout for cops shows how much in danger his night life is. That freedom he feels at night is what keeps him alive, and if that’s taken away, could that build some sort of domino effect for his and Nazuna’s well-being?
These are the kinds of questions that ran through my head as I read this volume. In a way, it sets itself up for Kotoyama’s inevitable end game plan. No stone will be left unturned when it comes to the physical, moral, and mental repercussions of the vampiric lifestyle. But in a solid way, it’s building towards what Ko will decide in the long run. Sure, he’s having fun now, and he’s vowed to Nazuna to never bore her or vice versa; however, plans can change, even at the expense of a good feeling.
Call of the Night is acting really smart with its lore and rules. Its fifth volume is going to great lengths to show that there’s more to the story than two people having nightlife fun. Danger now lurks over the head of Ko on all sides, be it from vampires or their hunters. Until he decides, Kotoyama is doing a damn good job on making his pathway towards it both engaging and enthralling!
VOL. 5 RATING:
VOL. 6 REVIEW
What’s more dangerous than the sun to a vampire? Is it something deep within their past? Could it be a memento that links them to their human days? This is an aspect that plays a big role in the sixth volume of Call of the Night, as Nazuna’s past is now being questioned.
On top of that, there’s Ko’s friend Mahiru, who also wants to be turned into a vampire by Kiku. Ko, the former Mr. Mental Aki, and Hatsuka decide to have a good guy’s night chat in the bathhouse about the pros and cons of turning. But just as they feel relaxed, the vampire hunter detective Anko appears, and almost takes out Aki for good. That’s when it’s revealed that the true weakness of a vampire rests in a cherished item from their past.
But before the drama all begins, Ko and Nazuna have a night on the town in Tokyo. As the two embrace the bright lights, they find themselves getting closer in the relationship realm. It’s through their chats about love and romance where they find their hearts aligning more than they thought, giving way to late-night sweetness and bonding in a cute way. It’s a scenario that shows that even without making things sexual, two people (or, in this case, a human and vampire) can make a true deep connection that’s truly romantic…even if Nazuna hates that word.
Once the drama kicks in with Anko’s attempted assassination, Ko finds himself wanting to find out more about Nazuna’s past. Her human memories are foggy, and the only clue rests in a doctor’s appointment card from thirty years ago. It leads to a very humorous search for clues in a seemingly haunted hospital, with the least-likely of the two being more spooked about ghosts. However, just when it seems that nothing will come from a search, someone familiar with Nazuna makes an appearance.
Most impressive with this volume of Call of the Night is its action sequences. While there’s more of a focus on the rom-com aspect of the narrative, the Anko side-narrative has been shaping up to being a lot more enjoyable than one could’ve imagined. It brings forth a greater threat to the story overall, giving way to some complications that could arise in the long term. Although one can hope that this story keeps more focus on the love aspect of the story, author Kotoyama could easily throw a monkey wrench into the whole narrative just to keep his audience on the edge of their seats.
Volume Six of Call of the Night takes its time to get to the juicier parts of the story, but its pacing helps to make it feel more like a surprise. With new info on both Nazuna’s past and vampire lore added in, it’s becoming apparent that there’s more to this world than it simply being just another vampire story. Thankfully, there’s enough fun elements that balance the dramatic ones, so no need for feel worried for Ko and Nazuna. With that being said, there’s bound to be a big secret unveiled next time in the realm of Call of the Night, one that could give our vampire heroine one hell of a memory jogger!
VOL. 6 RATING:
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media