In the post-apocalyptic world there are three species of beings: The first are humans, who populate the earth in various cities and hide behind the Vatican for protection—protection against the Methuselah, commonly known as vampires. Vampires are found nestled in human populations or in their capital. Just as Methuselah feed upon the blood of humans the third feeds on the blood of vampires. The third, Crusniks, are rare, immortal and all-powerful beings. Trinity Blood follows one Crusnik’s path to redemption for sins committed 900 years in the past.
Although shojo, this manga entertains both sexes. It explores well-thought-out relationships amid bloody battles, and gives mature and often attractive depictions of its personages. That sentence was an understatement; let’s explore each aspect individually.
As I said previously, this manga explores intricately constructed relationships—a defining characteristic of good shojo. However, there is more to this manga than who loves who. There is the politics of the three world powers, which is less prominent in the manga as is in the light novel, and the depth of character’s pasts to consider. Included in this category are painful deaths of characters and the betrayal of others, which leads us to our next subject, the battles.
Just as a shonen manga follows a plot that strings together action scenes, so does Trinity Blood. Expect battles to be depicted clearly and with energy. Since fighting occurs in every chapter, the clarity of the action panels are crucial as they take up a sizable portion of the manga. Complimenting the drawing of the action is its complimentary, the drawing and depiction of characters.
The relationships tend to draw in the female crowd while the action draws in the male crowd. The way the characters are depicted, on the other hand, I believe can attract both crowds. Characters, both male and female, are rendered physically attractive perhaps to woo and draw-in readers of the opposite sex. Males can find many mature female characters, while females will have no trouble finding attractive older and younger male characters (girls like both, right?).
With all that the manga does right, there are but a few things I can find fault with. First, and most notably, are the way the eyes are drawn. They are stereotypical shojo, being too big for the face and reflecting too much light. My second complaint is with how easily nuns will pick up guns and use the firearms well. I don’t have a problem with the priests using weapons because they are all depicted as priests in name and dress only. They don’t talk or look like priests. The nuns, Esther especially, gives me the impression of being well-versed in war. Within the first few chapters Esther willingly takes up arms and uses them effectively without any training. Doesn’t this go against everything nuns stand for? My third and final gripe is with bringing religion into manga. Sometimes I understand that it is necessary, but it isolates readers who are not of the represented faith. Even if it were small changes, like not saying prayers every time a gun is shot—that would make a world of difference.
All in all, this manga is full of surprises. I did not expect such darkness from a shojo manga (as seen below). But, this can be explained by looking at the history of the title. The light novel of Trinity Blood was made for a male demographic—while the manga is made for female. If the series was directed toward one demographic over the other, I doubt that I would have thought as highly of it. I’m pleased that it accomplishes the difficult task of being both a viable shojo and shonen manga. This manga deserves praise.
GO Rating: 4.5/5