Rust Blaster manga

18 01 2010

This is Laserwolf, here to talk to you about the manga Rust Blaster.  What could be more intriguing than a one volume manga with a name like Rust Blaster?  And what do you suppose it could be about?  The cover art is a dead giveaway – it’s about vampires.  But where do rust and blasting come in to this?  The truth is, if there is a reason for this name, it is nowhere to be found in the story.  Please enlighten me if you know.  And now to talk about the manga…

Title: Rust Blaster, RustBlaster (ラストブラスター)

Artist/Author: Yana Toboso (artist/author of popular series Kuroshitsuji – “Black Butler”)

Genre: vampire, school, supernatural, action, comedy, tragedy

Number of volumes: 1 (finished)

Availability: Published in Japanese by Gangan Fantasy (GFantasy)

Characters / Summary:

Aldred is the son of the headmaster of a special vampire academy.  He is the leader of group six, a small group of his vampire classmates (Kodachi, Faye, and Lydwine) plus one eccentric, rich, genius human boy named Rengokuin.  Aldred gets a hard time at school because all vampires are supposed to have a special weapon they wield through using their vampiric powers, but somehow Aldred doesn’t have one (he uses a baseball bat with bent nails sticking out of it).  He also doesn’t like drinking artificial blood, which most vampires love.  Why do they drink artificial blood?  Because it is against the law for them to feed off of humans, after a disaster one thousand years ago almost destroyed everything.

When the twin moons visibly separated one thousand years ago, a vampire attacked and tried to bridge his world with Aldred’s world.  Now the moons are coming apart in the sky again, and a certain someone is about to return to try to do what he failed before.  Aldred, his school, his friends, and vampires and humans everywhere are in danger of losing their world.

In the meantime, a human transfers into the vampire school.  His name is Kei and he is assigned into group six.  When disaster strikes the school, he tells Aldred to drink his blood if he doesn’t want to die.  What happens afterward is quite a surprise, and could be the answer for saving the world.

My honest opinion:

This manga is much better than I expected it would be.  It has hints of romance without ever going anywhere, but that just leaves it to your imagination (it also has slight hints of yaoi, but that never goes anywhere either – good for me because I don’t like yaoi).  It also has plenty of humor.  One of my favorite parts is the cake fight.  If you like happy endings, though, this story might disappoint you.

The thing that really sells this manga for me is the originality.  Most stories involving vampires are so similar or played-out and this one is so different.  My impression of the vampires at Aldred’s school is that they are “tame”.  There is basically nothing to distinguish them from humans, except they look a little different and they are stronger.

My rating: 4/5

Why would I read it again?  (Spoilers ahoy)

I was drawn in by Aldred’s progression from a kind and rational thinker into a monster.  Maybe “monster” is too strong of a word, but it seems to fit.  In the beginning, I couldn’t help but like him because he was the underdog.  And when it turned out that the world depended on him and Kei working together, I obviously wanted to root for them.  But the taste of Kei’s blood changed Aldred – he went from a vampire that would rather drink milk than artificial blood to a vampire that always felt thirsty and almost attacked his own friends because he was so hypnotized by blood lust.  I thought that his final decision of self-sacrifice is a very wise one, because if he continued downhill at that rate, then I doubt he would have wanted his friends to see him like that.  As it was, he was able to become a hero and redeem himself in his own eyes.

I was also touched by Kei’s story.  He was raised as the holy lance, knowing one day he was going to have to lose his humanity to become someone’s weapon.  He could accept it because it had been beaten into him his whole life.  After joining group six and being treated like a human, I would have been sad to see him become a thing.  Aldred treated Kei like a person, and didn’t want Kei to have to give up his life.  Perhaps it’s a little ironic that it was Aldred that made a sacrificial choice in the end, but at least his was noble and voluntary and not because he was simply being used.

(I don’t want to mislead you with terms like “sacrifice”, since there is no specific evidence that Aldred died, but I am trying to be vague enough to not spoil the ending for you.)

In addition, I would like to add that I have never read Kuroshitsuji, but this makes me interested in checking it out.

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