Record of a fallen vampire is a manga that tells the story of dhampir (a vampire human hybrid) Strauss Akabara, who is in a race against time with humans to prevent the coming wrath of a vampire queen. In the past, the fearsome vampire queen had almost destroyed the world before she was locked away by the force of powerful magic.
Strauss Akabara is the current king of vampires and he does the unthinkable when he betrays his own kind as he plots to stop the powerful and vengeful queen from destroying all the humans. He has spent thousands of years looking for a way to stop her. Strauss is not motivated by his own nature as a vampire to prey upon humans, he is trying to stop the queen as a form of redemption for his dark and violent past. He is also seeking revenge because the vampire queen killed his loved one. Unknown to Strauss, events have been unleashed that pits vampire against humans with him right in the middle of the two warring worlds.
Humans and vampires will eventually have to team up in order to defeat a mutual enemy and this is not going to be easy for either sides. There is also a deep intrigue between the machinations on how the humans live their lives and also the lives of the vampires showing the massive contrast between the two species. In reality the humans are really no different than the monsters they hunt. Blood drinking, while a common aspect of vampire stories, is not as prevalent in this manga as it would be in Hellsing or Rosario Vampire. It is focused more on drama and conflict.
It is a pretty lengthy manga and it takes its time to unfold the events instead of placing it all at once. It has 46 chapters in total including an Omake. Nothing is really set in stone and you can’t predict when plot twists and betrayals can happen. The characters are complex and multi-faceted with each having his or her own agenda. There is no outright good or bad, just many shades of grey. The various characters all had rich backstories and were nicely fleshed out.
The gothic art and sci fi style mixed in was pretty good. The characters have typical shonen appearances which contrast somewhat to the overall grim nature of the story but it looked well for the most part. The themes, dark atmosphere and well paced storytelling are quite mature for a shonen oriented book. Action was predictable like in many shonen series but the way the characters win Is what makes it interesting. Chapters are full of drama and any character can die at any time. Each character had their own strengths and supernatural abilties to get the advantage in combat. There are elements of humor but the manga is focused on storytelling and the grim nature of the events unfolding.
Aliens are later on introduced during the later parts of the story but they seem tacked on as if they were added as an afterthought. They had no backstory and were totally unnecessary. The story is not an easy one to follow and you have to read it slowly before you can fully understand the complex plot. Information can be thrown at you all at once without fully giving you time to understand it. The omake was really cheesy and added nothing to the storytelling.
Despite some annoyances, this manga was solid with great storytelling, interesting characters and was well paced with lots of drama and action. I found it enjoyable and entertaining.
It gets 4 stars out of 5.
This is a really good manga series and vampire and horror fans can find enjoyment from it.