Blades of Bloody Bygone Battles
Vampires on average are the most overpowered and overused of monsters in all popular media the world over. Now this isn’t to say they aren’t amazing in their own right, but they are often considered the “peak” of monsters. In Rosario Vampire they are one of only a handful of S rank monsters, in the same league as the nine tails and demon lords and more recently in Soul Cartel. It is a korean manwha (yeah, I read everything from manga to manwha to comic books to light novels) that is supposed to be the continuation of sorts to the story of Faust. In this manwha a kid in modern day Korea ends up encountering the ArchDevil Mephistopheles and makes a contract with him and the reincarnated Faust to continue their duel from the past. Throughout the story you see multiple demons, angels, exorcists and even witches as well. The characters go through many challenges and travel through multiple levels of hell as they grow stronger as the enemies do as well. There was a certain balance between the characters till out of nowhere they decide to include vampires now too… The “formerly extinct ancient vampire race whose power is on par with archangels and archdemons” Now I have no issue with adding in new monsters into a series as long as it makes sense, but it is the attack power that was given to them that bothered me.
The ultimate attack power given to vampires is blood control and in the majority of the vampire lore in mangas its a truly powerful vampire that seems to always have this power. It might be the “ultimate” move but to me it makes no sense. Now the concept I understand, they don’t have blood pumping through them because they are long since dead and their ‘energy’ melds with the blood they sucked and they wield it into weapons. I get that, what I don’t get is why are they using blood? You do realize that it is the equivalent to attacking with their lunch right? You see some series like the Webtoon Noblesse, one of Naver/Line’s most popular series, in the series you follow Rai (Cadis Etrama Di Raizel), the noblest of all vampires, wakes up from 820-years long sleep and starts his new life as a student in a school founded by his loyal servant, Frankenstein. He has no knowledge whatsoever of the 21st century, and will often become lost and confused especially with regards to modern day technology (such as using a cell phone). He is often used as the manhwa’s comic relief with his love of ramen, the errors he makes with technology, and his terrible sense of direction. His ultimate attack is blood based, a kind of Blood Field that just encompasses the enemies and just destroys them. This drains at Rai’s life-force and that makes sense.
The average vampire on the other hand needs every drop of blood they drink in order to survive but you have “powerful” ones just launching the stuff around like money in a strip club. A vampire hitting you with blades or spears of blood is like a human throwing french fries and chicken wings at a guy and expecting it to kill. Can you imagine that? It brings a different meaning to playing with your food doesn’t it? Then you have vampires who cut themselves or attack with blood after they are wounded, which is equal to attacking a guy with your puke just saying.
Now when a vampire does it then its food fighting, but when a human does it then it makes a mess loads more sense. A prime example is Deadman Wonderland a great manga and okay anime series following Ganta, an innocent youth framed for the slaughter of his entire classroom and sentenced to life in the prison known as Deadman Wonderland. The prison was designed to be Disneyland meets Alcatraz where the suffering of the inmates can be watched for the price of a carnival ticket. Personally I find that a great way to cut government spending on our overcrowded prisons. The main plot of the story takes place in the hidden area of the prison where special criminals are placed, those corrupted/infected by a ‘branch of sin’ a unique blood based power usually reflected by the individual’s personality. Ganta displays the ability he dubs the ‘Ganta gun’, a bullet like projectile from his hand that eventually gets fast enough to break the sound barrier in speed. Other abilities include blades, whips, armor and even wings. There is also one who makes floating balls that explode; I’m not to sure on the science behind exploding blood but still cool at least.
Another series with blood based abilities is one I mentioned in a previous article, Kekkai Sensen.
I wasn’t too sure how the series was going to progress considering the shortness of the manga but it is actually really addicting. The blood based abilities done by the main characters all look pretty to watch, have limits to them and out of all things, are actually the only weapon effective against vampires. Yeah they added vampires to the series as the ones who created the weird distortion that separates Manhattan from the rest of the world, but it works.
Overall blood is a cool power, but vampires with the power just seems counterproductive to me. I for one do not enjoy playing with my food or hurling it at people. Now if you want a useful power, why not something like fire or light? Not only does it show you overcame one of your initial weaknesses, but can even be used to put you above/easily defeat other vampire rivals. A little food for thought.