Happiness vol. 3



This volume actually starts out leading to a moment of triumph for Makoto.  After surviving the attack by an unfriendly vampire at the end of vol. 2, he uses his newfound instincts to track down the missing Yuuki and brings him back to the hospital.  Which is all well and good, until it’s revealed that Yuuki has been turned into a vampire as well.  He doesn’t handle the transition as well as Makoto and now our protagonist has to deal with knowing exactly what’s going on but not being able to do anything about it.  Maybe Nora, the vampire who turned him, could help.  Or maybe the guys who come for Makoto in the middle of the night and seem to know exactly how to handle someone like him have some insights they wouldn’t mind sharing.

 

It’s actually pretty impressive how much tension and sympathy mangaka Shuzo Oshimi manages to get from this volume even though it’s pretty clear how everything’s going to play out.  We know that Makoto isn’t going to be able to hold onto his normal life — Nora spells it out for him before sharing blood in a queasily mothering way — but you still feel for him because of the connections he’s established.  While Makoto’s breakdown in front of his family is a heartbreaker, greater emotional weight comes from his relationship with Gosho after he tells her everything.  You realize he cares enough for her to be this honest, but that’s just going to make staying together more difficult once the bodies start piling up.

 

That starts here as we see that Yuuki doesn’t have the same kind of self-control that Makoto is blessed with.  It’s a stark contrast between the two as Yuuki’s actions make it so that he can’t go back to his old life and must strike out on his own.  Except he’s not about to leave his only friend who has saved his life twice, for which he returns the favor once here, and is the only person he knows who’s able to relate to his situation.  There’s a lot of personal drama that could be coming to a head with the next volume.  Of course, if Oshimi just decides to turn the screws even tighter I think she may be able to get away with that for now.

 

jason@glickscomicpicks.com


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