Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Trinity Blood: Reborn on the Mars, Volume II-The Iblis

Trinity Blood exists in three different media. The anime came last, based on the manga. The manga came second, based on the books written by Sunao Yoshida. Tokyopop publishes not only the manga, but the book as well. The stories all follow the character of Abel Nightroad, a priest of the Vatican. His superior is Caterina Sforza, sister of Francesco di'Medici, a Cardinal and minister of the Vatican department of the Inquisition. Caterina is also a Cardinal and Foreign Affairs minister.

Caterina and her brother Francesco disagree on how to deal with Vampires. For these stories take place after a great Apocalypse that destroyed much of the earth. Many humans turned to a nanomachine virus that caused Vampirism to keep on living. Now, some vampires believe that they are superior to regular humans, called Terrans. Others want to make peace with the humans. Francesco believes the only good vampire is a dead vampire, whereas Caterina believes that some vampires do want some sort of rapproachment with the humans.

To that end, Caterina has gone to the City of Carthage to meet with a representative of the vampire Queen. Ion Fortuna is the representative. Since born vampires stop aging when they come into their power, Ion appears to be an extremely andorgynous 12 year old boy, but is actually a Methuselah. He has come with his best friend, Radu Barvon, also a Methuselah, but appearing to be a man in his early 20's.

Unknown to Ion, however, is that Radu has sold him out. Radu is working for an organization called the Rosenkreuz Orden, that wants to start a war between the humans and the Vampires. The last thing they want is for the kind of peace an agreement between the Vatican and the New Human Empire (Vampires). When his attempt to kill both Ion and Caterina Sforza fails, Radu sets off an ancient weapon hidden beneath the city of Carthage in an attempt to kill everyone. Can Abel, Father Tres and Sister Esther Blanchett save the city in time? And can Brother Petros, "El Ruinante" lower himself to working with Ion, when he believes the only good vampire is a dead vampire?

I really enjoyed the book, even though much of this story has already been published in the Trinity Blood manga. Reading it in book form, of course, led to a deeper understanding of the motivations of the main characters. A picture may be worth 1000 words (as in the manga), but somehow, reading the book makes the story seem more concrete than the same story in a manga is. My only complaint is that the books take more time to be translated (more words, natch), so reading the stories will always lag behind reading the manga.

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