The Case Study of Vanitas is Jun Mochizuki's most recent series. I first discovered her manga last year when I picked up the first volume of Pandora Hearts and from page one was absorbed into the story. I'm still making my way through that series but took advantage of the opportunity to jump into this series as it began. The art in Vanitas is just as stunning as that in Pandora, but so far the storyline is slower. Little beyond character introductions has happened so far into the story, but I'm not really complaining because all the characters are pretty interesting.
Vanitas is a human pretending he's a legendary vampire- oh, and he's curing "sick" vampires that have gone crazy using the book that may have cursed them in the first place. Noe is a vampire with a secret agenda who "befriends" Vanitas in an attempt to get closer to his book and promises the reader at the end of the first chapter that he will kill Vanitas. And then there are an array of side characters who we've only seen pieces of and who I'm very curious about, not least of all Jeanne, who reminds me of Brienne from GOT if I'm being honest.
So far I would say this has a bunch of potential and I'll be happily reading it for a while. If you're looking for a new manga without a lot to catch up I'd strongly recommend this one.
I don't know if this qualifies more as a graphic novel or American manga, but it's short enough to be somewhere in between if nothing else. I've been a fan of Cassandra Jean's since I discovered her TMI fan art and I'm so happy to see her doing so well! I believe this is her first professionally published original work and if it's anything to go off of, I think her future works will be just as good.
Of course I loved the art, she's one of my favorite artists, and the story was really cute. My only problem- it ended too soon! And sometimes that can come off as not a bad thing but in this case it was a bit disappointing. I was looking forward to more of a story and it had a lot of momentum that ended rather abruptly in the end. I think this is because it's meant to be part of a series, but since that hasn't actually been confirmed it doesn't really make me feel better about that ending. Sure it was cute but so much was left unanswered!
My favorite part was just the relationships between all the characters. I don't have a word to describe this bond, but when I see it on the page it takes me to some of my favorite stories where the bond is similar (mostly stuff I read when I was younger so there's this HUGE nostalgia factor).
If anything, this is a pretty good holiday read, seeing as it's about Santa and his reindeer.