Silver Cross and Draculea Review
When vampires suck human blood, said human would turn into a vampire and a servant. That seem to be the consensus as far as vampires myth goes, however, that does not apply to Hisui, who apart from his unique constitution, is just a normal human. So when Hisui really did get his blood sucked by a vampire, a “True Ancestor” at that-the vampires of the highest class, Hisui obviously… still stayed human, there are no visible changes, not even a mark on his neck. Rushella was dumbfounded and furious-the amnesic and clumsy vampire decided to stay with Hisui until she figured out a way to turn Hisui into her servant. Even worse, Hisui ended stumbling into various different supernatural cases as well, turning his life into a blood-sucking hell… and more.
Original setting, huh? I generally have pretty good things to say for most of the light novels I read and reviewed on the blog so far, but this one is just as generic as they come. Light novel is an extremely conceptualized medium, and Silver Cross and Draculea very blatantly highlights the flaws I mentioned in this post. In Silver Cross, despite being a vampire light novel, it also ended up having other supernatural archetypes like ghost, witch and artificial human which makes it’s universe more hilarious than expansive. Though in it’s defense, the inclusion of werewolf and dhampir at least makes some sensible sense.
Despite supernatural though, the series is more romantic comedy than it is action, with level of ecchiness that could even rival DxD. So when viewed in that manner, I guess Silver Cross is at least decent in what they are accomplishing to do. It’s when the story shifts to drama that the novel can gets hard to savor, since one thing I noticed about the novel is that the transition from (ecchi) comedy to drama is awkward at best-resulting in pretty forced drama. This although, does gets better on later volumes though.
Also, another interesting aspect of this light novel, is the reverse gender dynamics. In this novel, it’s actually Hisui, the main character who’s the weakest and even the most feminine, something which the narration repetitively mentioned; while the other heroines are actually the powerful ones, and are obviously the more masculine and dominant in the relationship. It’s still not a formula Totsuki followed thoroughly however, since Hisui was given kind of an OP power, and ended up barely having any damsel-in-distress moments himself-which would had been interesting to see in concept.
So the story is structured thus-the first volume introduced the first few characters, namely, Hisui, Rushella, Mei and Eruru, and subsequent volumes introduce further new characters in a “Monster of the Week” format, before tying the story to a conclusion on the last few volumes. While this is fine and all, volume 1 seems to has the most solid pacing overall, since that volume is the only one where so many characters are fit together at once, and things are actually happening. Unfortunately, the “Monster of the Week” on later volumes mean spending entire volumes just to introduce a new character/supernatural being, so story developments slowed down significantly. But despite anything, I have to say, the finale is actually good-it’s a pretty open end unfortunately, but some plot points did get resolved, predominantly, there’s an aspect of Hisui’s characterization which finally gets closure.
As for the characters, by them alone, they are pretty much walking LN stereotypes, but I have to admit some of their interactions are actually pretty good. Hisui and Eruru have a more intelligent and professional relationship and they are the ones who would actually be solving the cases, I also like how despite not admitting it, Eruru is actually pretty dependent on Hisui and his knowledge on the supernatural. Hisui and Rushella have actually some coherent development in their relationship that you could had sworn that they could be a canon couple at any moment, which is also another reason why I’m slightly disappointed with the open end as well.
While the light novel is generally pretty ecchi and fanservice-y, the illustrations did a fine job in showing it too-especially how shapely and curvaceous the female character designs are. To that degree, I guess the illustrations are completely fine in that it accomplished it’s role successfully. That aside though, pandering or not, I feel that the artwork is pretty beautiful in general. A lot of focus and details seem to been given for the character designs, they all have such distinguishable designs that you can feel Yasaka, the light novel’s artist, actually pulled off a great deal of effort to translate Totsuki’s character ideas into his drawings.
If you’re familiar with anime adapted from light novels, Silver Cross and Draculea is a light novel which would fit right into the mold of trashy LN-based anime. It’s very similar in nature and while the formula may have worked before, it arguably isn’t as effective anymore since it’s done to bits. That said though, if a silly spin on the vampire archetype sounds like your thing, you may give it a try-since despite how critical I sound here, it’s actually kind of a fun read, if anything.