HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Call of the Night" - Volume Twelve

MANGA REVIEW | "Call of the Night" - Volume Twelve

MANGA REVIEW | "Call of the Night" - Volume Twelve

You know, it’s funny. When I started reading Call of the Night, I felt the series gave off a lo-fi hip-hop vibe, like a good Nujabes or Flying Lotus album. But now, with it putting in the action you’d expect from a shonen publication, that vibe has evolved into one akin to Beastie Boys’s Ill Communication. And if Volume Eleven of Call of the Night was “Root Down”, then Volume Twelve is certainly “Sabotage”! I say that because the action here gets as wild and intense as that iconic track!

After Kyoko investigates the home of Mahiru, it becomes clear that his family cares zero about him and his well-being. She, Nazuna, and Ko decide that they’ll not step in between his and Kiku’s relationship…so long as the vampire doesn’t abuse him. But before they can talk about what’s next, a new vampire enters the foray, and proceeds to kidnap Kyoko and Akira. However, the new vampire didn’t count on Ko unleashing his newfound powers, as he proceeds to land a punch way, way high up above.

It’s here where Call of the Night showcases a brand-new strength. Although we’ve seen Ko and Nazuna spar, it has never reached this level of craziness before. (Hell, as mentioned in the afterword, even author Kotoyama didn’t expect to go this route!) And yet, despite its mellow origins, it doesn’t do anything to change the vibe of this manga. All that happens here is that the next track on this album has started playing, and it’s one that’d make any listener jolt.

Reading as Ko holds his own against new vampire Azami gives off pure adrenaline vibes. This newcomer is no novice by any means, whereas Ko is trying his best to figure out his new powers as the fight goes along. While he’s got a good hold on the super strength, flying/leaping is something Ko is taking on step-by-step. It also gives Azami a chance to think about his current actions, as it’s clear that he’s got his own set of rules that he might’ve broken accidentally.

Once Nazuna re-emerges and punches Azami’s lights out, Kyoko gets the chance to interrogate this new player. It’s obvious that Azami has ties to Kiku, but in a way that surprises the detective. But before any hints about Kiku’s whereabouts can be given, another vampire enters the fray, and proceeds to lay a major smack down on Azami. And considering her stances and rules, it’s obvious that everyone close by should run like hell!

Thankfully, Ko gets to learn a bit more about his new powers during some much-needed (albeit short) downtime. Flying, walking through walls, and healing after a limb gets ripped out are laid out for the now half-vampire. However, he also discovers what triggers and stops his vampire powers, which could lead to its own share of problems if the wrong circumstances are placed. Considering what that other new vampire can do, said wrong circumstances are about to occur.

It all leads to the start of a one-on-one fight between Ko and the new female vampire. Nazuna is put out of commission in a humorous way, resulting in the half-vampire to tag himself into battle. Every punch he delivers is an experiment on what he’s capable of, and it’s taking this new enemy by surprise. Although we don’t see the finale of this fight here, what we do see is a sign of how much Ko has grown since that first night he met Nazuna. He’s confident, daring, bold, and — yes — a total badass.

Call of the Night didn’t start out as a shonen action battle manga, but it’s certainly transformed into one. Thankfully, even with its chill origins, it somehow finds a way to make it work perfectly. It’s like a freestyle over a lo-fi beat, only for the DJ to transition into gangsta rap with the flick of their wrist with perfect flow. The vibe has changed, but Call of the Night has shown in its twelfth volume that it can adapt with the snap of its fingers.


Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.

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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)